A complaint has been filed against gubernatorial candidate Dr. Taylor Haynes and is being investigated by Albany County District Attorney Peggy Trent.
Records suggest the complaint could involve the legitimacy of Haynes’ claim of Wyoming residency in his filing for his current campaign for governor.
Though Trent declined to discuss specifics, her disclosure of the investigation and complaint came following a WyoFile request for Haynes’ voter registration information from the Albany County Elections Clerk.
WyoFile’s inquiry followed receipt of documents from an anonymous source alleging Haynes resides in Colorado, not Wyoming.
Current property tax records in both states indicate the residence on Haynes’ borderland ranch is in Colorado, while the Wyoming portion of the property contains only agricultural tracts, not buildings. The residence Haynes lists on a campaign form is not for the ranch. According to the form, Haynes resides at a property in Laramie rented by a business Haynes owns. The mailing address he lists is a box at a Laramie UPS Store.
In his filing to run for a major party nomination with the Wyoming Secretary of State, Haynes “[swore] and affirm[ed]” that he is a registered voter residing at 702 S. 3rd Street in Laramie.
The address is for a wood fronted building on one of Laramie’s principle commercial streets. The business is owned by Brendan Murphy, a Laramie real estate agent, according to property tax records.
A sign in front of the property is for Prodegi Corporate Benefit Services. The company’s business filing lists Haynes as its registered agent, again using the UPS Store box as an address. The company lists a Worland location as its principal address.
WyoFile was unable to reach Murphy for comment. Repeated calls to the listed number for the Laramie Prodegi office went unanswered.
Another realtor familiar with the property said he had last entered it a year ago. At that time it had no kitchen or shower and was not a residence. “I don’t see how it could be,” used as one, the realtor said.
Haynes broadcasts his ranching lifestyle in his campaign website bio, where he writes about how he grew up on a farm in Louisiana and worked to put himself through college in search of a different life.
“Much to his father’s delight,” the biography reads, “Taylor did end up with dusty boots when he returned to his agricultural roots and bought a cattle ranch in southeast Wyoming.”
He refers to himself as living on the ranch in the biography. “I started thinking I could live on a small ranch while still practicing medicine,” it quotes him as saying. “‘The next thing you know I am running cows and building fence,’ Haynes says.”
In both Colorado and Wyoming, Haynes is the registered agent for an LLC, Thunderbasin Land & Livestock. In both states, the LLC is registered to his mailing address, the UPS store in Laramie. The LLC owns parcels of land that straddle the Wyoming-Colorado line south of Woods Landing. Haynes’ LLC purchased the land in 2013 for slightly less than $2.5 million.
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The Colorado portions of the property fall within Larimer County. That county’s property tax assessor’s website lists a single family residence on agricultural land, an “additional residence” on agricultural land, a barn, a stable, a horse arena, a farm implement shop and an equipment building.
The Wyoming portions of the property consist of 388 acres of agricultural land, with a 2018 market value of $33,354. There are no structures listed and the assessor lists “$0” in improvements to the land.
A voicemail left with Haynes’ campaign this afternoon was not responded to. An email with specific questions was also unanswered by press time. WyoFile also tried to reach Haynes through his campaign treasurer but did not receive a response.
The Secretary of State’s office checks the residence a candidate lists against his or her county voting registration information, according to the secretary’s elections division. WyoFile called the Albany County Clerk’s office on Tuesday to request Haynes voter registration information under the Wyoming Public Records Act.
Trent, the Albany County district attorney, returned the call. Upon learning that WyoFile was requesting Haynes’ information, Trent said there had been a complaint filed against the candidate and there was a “pending investigation.” She declined to provide further detail, saying there would be a release of information soon, possibly before the end of this week.
Since Brad Hill has seen fit to attack me personally and the website will not accept a direct reply, I am responding in this separate comment box.
Dr. Haynes did in fact refer to WyoFiles report as a ‘pack of lies.” His comment was, “By now you have all seen the personal attack on my residency; it is all a pack of lies.” The only initial reporting on Dr. Haynes residency was by WyoFile, and WyoFile’s story was carried by other newspapers in the state with WyoFile’s by-line. Dr. Haynes repeated the attack on WyoFile most recently in an interview with the Big Horn Radio Network, on Friday where he called WyoFile reports “fake news.”
I simply pointed out obvious discrepancies in Dr. Haynes’ various statements regarding his residency in my comments, comments that were both factual and objective. If anyone has gone “down a dark road of deceit”, it appears to be Dr. Haynes who has not been honest about his actual residence.
As an aside. Dr. Haynes is a past trustee of the University of Wyoming. He represented Laramie, Goshen and Platte (= ‘district 1’). UW trustees must be eligible to vote in Wyoming. I assume Taylor’s eligibility to sit as a trustee was checked and validated at that time.
My criteria for Wyoming residency is more along the lines of ‘where exactly does he hang his cowboy hat at bedtime’ ?
Just waiting for someone to swear under penalties of perjury, that Taylor Haynes is not a Wyoming Resident.
Why would this be of interest? The problem seems to be that candidate Haynes has sworn that he resides at a place that he does not. “Residence” is defined as,”the place of a person’s actual habitation” at Wyoming Statute 22-1-102(a)(xxx) and that 3rd street office is clearly not his abode. According to his website, he lives on a ranch -.and his residence on his ranch is in Colorado. I went to the Haynes for Wyoming website and Haynes posted a video this morning where he ‘addresses’ the residence question, but doesn’t explain anything and certainly doesn’t tell us where he resides.
What you failed to mention is Dr. Haynes clearly stated on his video “our counsel is preparing iron clad, concrete documentation for the Secretary of the State and we are working with their office. This matter will be officially cleared up up in short order…”
By omitting key points of his dialogue your comments lead the reader to believe Dr. Haynes is withholding this information.
The statement you quote doesn’t explain anything and doesn’t tell us where he resides. Is his counsel going to provide ‘iron-clad, concrete documentation’ that Haynes actually lives at the 3rd street office? He is certainly withholding that information at present. His statement that WyoFile’s reporting is ‘just a pack of lies’ seems a bit thin in the face of the information presented in the article, information from government filings and named sources.
I don’t believe Dr. Haynes said ”Wyo Files Files reporting “ is a pack of lies? When in fact he never mentioned Wyo Files specifically.
Once again you interject your speculation, which further more leads the reader down a dark road of deceit.
You must feel threatened by offering objective and factual comments
Great reporting Wyofile! The state is richer for your reporting. I have noticed a pattern in which the Casper Star Tribune tends to run articles after they have been in Wyofile.
How does the fare with the recent ruling in Gillette to allow a candidate who is not even a Wyoming resident at all, run in the Campbell County?
The Wyoming constitution requires that to qualify for governor, one must be a Wyoming elector who has resided in the state for five years prior to the election. No such qualification existed in the election you reference.