GOP responds to candidate dispute
November 3, 2022
The central committee for the Crook County Republican Party is unable to support Ogden Driskill in his bid to retain his Senate District #1 seat due to his voting record, according to a statement from Sherri Davis, Precinct Committeewoman.
This voting record has been determined through two websites, wyovote.com and wyorino.com, and according to Davis it shows that Driskill supports the Republican Party’s platform only 50% of the time.
According to Davis, the party’s 2022 bylaws state that a candidate must “substantially uphold” the Wyoming Republican Party’s platforms. This shall be defined as, “Having a voting record of at least 80% in support of Wyoming Republican Party Platform related legislation,” or, in the case of a candidate who has not held the office before, “Having signed a pledge” to support such legislation.
“Failure to support or commit to support the Wyoming Republican Party Platform shall negate a candidate from receiving party support, financial or otherwise, during any general election,” state the bylaws.
Davis’s statement was issued in response to claims from Driskill that the central committee is offering tacit support to his write-in opponent.
At this time, the central committee has not officially endorsed anyone for Senate District 1.
Driskill, however, argued that the party’s failure to support his candidacy is de facto support for the campaign on behalf of one of his opponents in the primary, Roger Connett. The treasurer of the “Roger is Right” write-in campaign is also now the chairman of the central committee, he pointed out.
Driskill brought his complaints to the central committee at a recent meeting, after which Chairman Jeff Burian agreed to confirm with the party whether or not members wished to support the senator’s campaign. He contacted his precinct people via email and, “The body determined that they would rather not make any kind of endorsement,” he said last week, declining to give an exact record of the decision as he had promised committee members that it would be confidential.
Davis claims the lack of support is wholly related to Driskill’s past legislation.
“Many people have abandoned the Republican Party due to the fact they feel they are not represented by their legislators,” she says in her statement.
“This is why the Crook County Republican Party has taken an intentional role in supporting candidates who do have a voting record which supports the Republican platforms no less than 80% of the time.”
Davis explained that this is the “Ronald Reagan Rule”.
“We may not agree on everything, but we should at least follow the party platforms 80% of the time,” she says.
“We are a conservative state. We want conservative legislators.”
Davis also spoke to the importance of the party platforms in selecting legislators.
“If there is no guidance to what makes you a Republican, anyone can claim to be one. The platforms are that guide,” she says in her statement.
“The Crook County Republican Party did no more than what the bylaws required. They followed the rules. They abided by the Crook County Republican Bylaws, which align with the State Republican bylaws.”
All legislators are aware of this standard, she says, as well as those who request money who are running for office for the first time.
“And for this, the Crook County Republican Party has been thrown under the bus and criticized, by the one who has failed to uphold them,” she says.
Both wyorino.com and wyovote.com are anonymous websites that claim to analyze legislator decisions according to conservative values.
Wyorino.com is run by an organization called “Ride for the Brand, Wyoming”, which claims to not be affiliated with any person, party or organization but does not further identify its members or ownership. The site creates an annual “scorecard” based on how state politicians voted on ten specific bills.
Wyovote.com provides a list of legislators sorted from “most Conservative” to “most Liberal”, purportedly developed by “a team of dedicated Wyoming Conservative citizens”. Again, the ownership or members are not identified.
*This article was edited to correct Jeff Burian's role with the write-in campaign.