Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman. (Rhianna Gelhart/ Wyoming Tribune Eagle/Wyoming News Exchange)

Former President Donald Trump is set to appear at a May 28 rally in Wyoming for Harriet Hageman — despite the objection of one prominent Republican Party leader who says such an event, if sponsored by the party,  violates state election law.  

Hageman is the Cheyenne attorney Trump has endorsed to oppose incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in the 2022 midterm elections.

Wyoming GOP chairman Frank Eathorne announced the planned Trump-Hageman appearance — subject to any scheduling conflicts — at the Nov. 13 Wyoming Republican Central Committee meeting in Buffalo. Committee members also narrowly approved a non-binding resolution attempting to strip three-term representative Cheney of her life-long party membership during the Buffalo meeting. 

The site for the rally has not yet been announced.

At the meeting, Gillette attorney Tom Lubnau voiced an objection to some fellow attendees about the party sponsoring a Trump-Hageman rally before the Aug. 16 primary, which will decide the party’s official candidate. Lubnau, a former state representative and house speaker, supports retired Army officer Everett “Denton” Knapp in the crowded congressional race, he said.

“I think it is a violation of the statute that says that a state party can’t use any resources directly or indirectly to influence an election until after the primary,” Lubnau said. “But I was the only one to raise the objection.”

It will be the biggest political event Wyoming has ever seen.

Hageman campaign advisor Tim Murtaugh

Wyoming statute 22-25-104 (2013) backs up Lubnau’s assertion. It states that “no political party funds shall be expended directly or indirectly in the aid of the nomination of any one person as against another person in the same political party running in the primary election.” 

But according to several of those who attended the Buffalo meeting, the delegates generally welcomed the planned Trump appearance. 

Trump carried the state with nearly 70% of the vote in the 2020 election. Eathorne, a Converse County rancher and businessman, and other members at the top of the state party are staunch Trump supporters. 

Eathorne attended the Jan. 6 Trump gathering in Washington that preceded the violence at the Capitol building. In a public statement, Eathorne described what he experienced as an “organized and peaceful rally.” 

In contrast, Cheney said the violence and the former president’s alleged role in inciting it, are what lead her to support his impeachment.

According to Hageman campaign advisor Tim Murtaugh, any official announcement of a Trump appearance will have to be made by the former president himself. 

“But certainly Harriet Hageman is grateful for his endorsement and strong support and knows that Wyomingites will be thrilled when he does come,” Murtaugh told WyoFile. “It will be the biggest political event Wyoming has ever seen.”

This story has been updated to clarify that Lubnau shared his objection to the rally with some attendees, but not the entire assembly – Ed.

Rone Tempest

Rone Tempest was a longtime national and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. In 2004 he was part of a team of reporters to win the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the massive wildfires in Southern...

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  1. Jeepers Wyoming. Turn your faces into the wind, open your eyes and let it blow the glitter of Trump’s fools gold off your face

  2. I quess the republicans can make their own rules and laws as they go. Funny if the Democratica’s did it they would be breaking the law. Both parties have something wrong with them the way they spend our tax money going after the other party in Washington, DC and nothing ever happens.

  3. Violating the law is no problem for Republicans. Whether he will be of much help to Hageman is open to question.

  4. Liz Cheney represents Louden County Virginia. When is the last time she held a town hall in Wyoming?

  5. I cannot believe there are those Republicans still attached to Trumps coattails. They still lie and I have such a time in seeing how many people are so gullible and love a man who has been proven to be such a piece of self serving trash.

    1. Yes aligning oneself with a loser is another indicator that the Wyoming GOP have lost their narrow little minds.

  6. If Trump wants to wield his influence all over the country why isn’t he paying for all these trips and rallies himself with all the money from his “Big Lie” fundraising? Either way someone is going to have to pay for it and it better be legal and not Wyoming tax payers! From what I can find Trump still owes municipalities around the country hundreds of thousands of dollars, going back to 2016, from past “rallies”.

  7. Donors can put funds together to bring President Trump to Wyoming. GOP will then not be liable. See what the people of Wyoming have to say.

  8. I commented to other delegates, but not on the floor. Chairman Eathorne made the announcement, but there was no opportunity for debate. Lubnau

  9. If it’s against the law, that should be an end to it it. I am sick of some Republicans ignoring or bending the law to suit themselves. Honor among thieves comes to mind. What happened to a fair election? There are others in the primary but the election will be weighted if this goes ahead.

  10. Liz Cheney has sided with Democrats all to often. Her words cannot be trusted and this is a problem when people trust those elected will represent them. Liz Cheney has Never returned or responded to any of my calls,letters or emails and cannot be reached with important questions or comments. How then can she say she is a representative of the Wyoming people. The sad fact is that I voted for her. This will not happen again.

    1. Yes, I, too, have yet to receive a response from Ms. Cheney, or her office, to my repeated letters and questions… So, with tongue-in-cheek and a Wyoming Cowgirl smile on my face, perhaps a better title for her would be: Her Royal Highness or Princess Cheney?! And, PLEASE… NO unusual mail-in balloting, okay?!

    2. this is a problem when people trust those elected will represent them. Why do so many people trust Trump after it’s been proven that he lied to everyone for 4 years. The only one that Trump represented was Trump!

    3. I don’t know who you are calling but her office promptly returned my call for assistance and I have found them to be very professional and I’m not a registered Republican.