After two armed confrontations with the U.S. government and overcoming criminal charges in connection to the conflicts, Ryan Bundy announced Thursday that he planned to run for Nevada governor as an Independent candidate, with a states’ rights platform.
Bundy, who plans to file his campaign petition next week according to Reuters, will run unaffiliated with either major party. Under Nevada law, that means he must gather 250 signatures of registered voters by June 1 to qualify for the ballot.
Bundy is aware that he may draw votes away from the Republican nominee and boost the chances for a liberal Democrat to be elected, but he said that didn’t concern him, as both major parties don’t uphold the rights of Nevada’s citizens.
“I can’t be concerned about that, this is about principles,” Bundy said.
From Reuters: Bundy, 45, said in a telephone interview he would mount a petition drive to qualify for the November ballot as an independent candidate, and canvass the state to gather support in “face-to-face conversations” with voters.
“I intend to secure the sovereignty of the state of Nevada and its land and resources for the people of Nevada,” he said.
He did not elaborate. But his rhetoric echoed a conservative political movement known as the “sagebrush rebellion” that has called for the U.S. government to relinquish control of vast federal land holdings within several Western states.
Bundy’s father, Cliven Bundy, is a rancher who “became a hero of Western states’ rights advocates in 2014,” according to the report, when he refused to pay grazing fees he disputed, prompting a court-ordered confiscation of Bundy’s cattle.
From Reuters; Hundreds of supporters rallied to his cause, leading to an armed standoff near Bunkerville, Nevada, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Government agents and police, vastly outgunned, ultimately retreated rather than risk bloodshed.
Ryan Bundy was criminally charged as a conspirator in the case, but the judge dismissed the charges citing prosecutorial misconduct.
Bundy lives in the town of Mesquite, Nevada, near the Arizona border, where he continues to ranch as well as perform construction jobs.
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