W. Frank Eathorne says two of the most important moments in his life occurred when he was 7 years old, living on the family ranch in the Thunder Basin grasslands of eastern Wyoming.

The first came on a stormy spring day in 1975 after a Sunday school class at Dry Creek Community Hall in the minuscule town of Bill, just north of the Eathorne U Diamond Ranch in Converse County.

“It was a rainy April Sunday after church that I got down on my knees and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He has continued to sustain me in His Grace, Love and Mercy,” Eathorne, chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party, said in a text. 

His second epiphany occurred a short time later when he was watching the news on the one television channel the family could get on their remote 30,000-acre cattle ranch. He saw then-President Gerald Ford on the flickering black-and-white screen and was struck by another life-changing revelation. 

“It was then I knew I was a Republican,” Eathorne recalled in a Wyoming GOP website video. 

He did not elaborate what so inspired him about Ford, the moderate and unelected Republican vice president from Michigan who became president after Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal. 

But a quotation from Ford that Eathorne posted on the Wyoming GOP website seems to match Eathorne’s political leanings: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

Dry Creek Community Hall, in Bill. (Screenshot)

Four decades after those two transformative moments, the now 53-year-old Eathorne is in his fifth year as chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party. 

His tenure coincides with a time of utter Republican dominance in Wyoming. Conservatives occupy all five statewide elected offices and control 90% of the seats in the Wyoming Legislature. They’ve added new restrictions on abortion while batting away attempts to fund state government or expand Medicaid. His allies say he’s the best thing for the GOP in recent memory. 

Still, that success has come with consequences. Detractors call him the worst GOP chairman in the last 50 years. By surrounding himself with loyal partisans and exploiting an urban-rural divide at the heart of the party, he has solidified his control of the GOP’s conservative agenda, in part by pushing dissenters out. With no real Democratic opposition to face under Eathorne’s leadership, Wyoming Republicans have taken to infighting, punishing those who deviate from the party-insider’s line. 

Following the state GOP convention earlier this month, longtime GOP leader and former House Speaker Tom Lubnau of Gillette, quit the state party because of what he described in his resignation letter as “the lack of integrity, toxicity and the move toward secrecy.”   

Weary and scarred from his many battles with Eathorne, Lubnau said that after his resignation “I feel like I’ve jumped off a sinking ship onto a tropical island with beaches and Mai Tais.”

A working rancher with a reputation as a soft-spoken charmer, Eathorne’s journey to political power has not been without controversy: He had a short, questionable career as a Worland police officer, worked as a Terminix pest exterminator in northwest Wyoming and served as a parole officer in south Texas. He returned to Wyoming in 1999 to take over the family ranch and for a period accepted federal agricultural subsidies. Now, he sits at the top of a party that’s been described as both dominant and dysfunctional while emerging as the tip of the spear in Donald Trump’s furious drive to unseat perhaps his greatest political opponent: incumbent Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney.

First-name basis

After Cheney voted to impeach Trump in January 2021, Eathorne helped to orchestrate Cheney’s censure by the state GOP central committee. The move seemed to catch Trump’s attention. After the censure vote, they were on a first-name basis. 

“Frank has censured the incompetent Liz Cheney!” Trump announced in an April 2021 statement. “Frank has my complete and total endorsement for his reelection. He will never let you down!”

Since then, Eathorne has solidified his position at the helm of the state party and with Trump.   

When the former president decided to appear in Casper at an upcoming Memorial Day weekend rally for Cheney opponent Harriet Hageman, Eathorne said Trump called him personally with the news. Eathorne, a longtime Hageman friend and party ally, then informed the state central committee.  

Multiple people said the understanding amongst Wyoming politicos is that Eathorne revels in rubbing shoulders with Trump and Washington, D.C. elites. 

Frank Eathorne at the White House with former President and First Lady Donald and Melania Trump (Screenshot)

Lubnau said as much.

“I heard somebody say, and I can’t remember who, that Frank just likes going to those Washington, D.C. parties and wearing cowboy hat and hobnobbing with the elite.”

Although state statute dictates that party leadership not take sides before the August Republican primary, Eathorne has arguably helped Hageman’s campaign by leading successful — although largely symbolic — state and national efforts to censure Cheney and expel her from the party. 

In his most recent push, at the February Republican National Committee meeting in Salt Lake City, Eathorne authored a resolution — which national delegates overwhelmingly approved — to censure Cheney and Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger and “cease any and all support of them as members of the Republican Party for their behavior.”

Before she announced her campaign for Congress, Hageman had worked closely with Eathorne in party leadership. She and Eathorne toured Washington, D.C. historic sites together when they attended national meetings. 

“Frank has been a strong leader for the Wyoming Republican Party,” Hageman said in a statement for this story. “He recognizes that his role is to implement the agenda of the grassroots, and that is what he has done.  He adheres to the GOP Platform and has represented our state well while serving on the RNC.”

Tent size

But through these efforts, Eathorne has also emerged as a polarizing figure in the GOP. 

Eathorne has said as much himself: “In Wyoming, we don’t necessarily embrace the idea of a big tent,” he said on Fox News earlier this year.

The “big tent” approach has been one of the cornerstones of the nation’s Republicanism, espoused by Ronald Reagan as far back as 1967. 

“Twenty years ago, the state party convention had a ‘big tent’ Republican atmosphere where you had social conservative Republicans, libertarian Republicans or Rotary Club Republicans who had a unified front pulling together to get Republicans elected,” said Rep. Clark Stith, (R-Rock Springs). 

Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne speaks during the state GOP convention on May 7, 2022 in Sheridan. Eathorne has served as the party’s leader since 2017. During that time, the Wyoming GOP has enjoyed dominance in government, but has experienced multiple inter-party clashes. (Lauren Miller, Casper Star-Tribune)

Few in Wyoming have a more established Republican Party pedigree than Casper oilman Diemer True, who served two terms as state chairman and in both the Wyoming House and Senate. He contends Eathorne’s small-tent approach is a divisive force that has alienated major segments of the party, especially in the population centers of Laramie, Natrona and Campbell counties.

“Frank has failed in a colossal way,” True said. “He is probably the worst chairman that I’ve ever seen in my 50-plus years of being involved in Republican politics. His is absolutely a failed leadership.”

True’s concern centers on Eathorne’s hard-line, “purist” approach to state politics, in which long-time loyal party members are labeled RINOS — Republicans in Name Only — because they disagree with Eathorne and other current party leaders.

“This Republican purity is a good way to become the Republican minority,” True said. 

Mary Martin, chairman of the Teton County Republicans, likes Eathorne personally, she said, describing him as amiable and “well mannered.” Like Eathorne, she is upset with Cheney’s criticism of Trump and Cheney’s insistence that the former president is responsible for the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

“My disappointment in Frank is that he hasn’t been able to come up with a process to keep the Republican Party with more of a big-tent approach,” she said. “We have a couple of people who come to the Wyoming party meetings who are absolute bullies.”   

In addition to Lubnau’s publicized exit, Doug Chamberlain, a former member of party leadership, specifically put his departure from the party on Eathorne.

“Your leadership in regards to how you treat me has ‘crossed the line I have personally drawn’, beyond which I will not allow myself to be treated,” Chamberlain wrote in a September 2020 letter that was marked confidential but eventually leaked. “As a result of these various incidents and issues I will no longer offer my volunteer services as ‘Acting Parliamentarian’ and ‘Acting Treasurer.’”

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the WRP. It has been enjoyable and rewarding until recently,” he concluded.

April Poley is campaign coordinator for state Sen. Anthony Bouchard’s (R-Cheyenne) House run against Cheney and a former member of state GOP leadership under Eathorne. When she told state party leadership that she was backing Bouchard, she was “instantly” removed from the group text chat used by elected leaders of the party.

“It was like I was excommunicated from a church,” Poley said. 

Poley hasn’t been the only party operative to find themselves on the outside looking in. 

“Twenty years ago you’d have more than 400 delegates to the state convention, whereas this last Saturday [May 7] you had 285 delegates to the convention,” Stith said. 

At the same time, the Wyoming Republican Party’s focus on purity has coincided with some significant legislative victories. Conservative lawmakers sought for years to pass a Voter ID law in Wyoming. The effort finally succeeded last year. Prior to the 2021 session, the Wyoming Legislature had only passed two abortion-related bills in 30 years, according to analysis by the nonprofit news site The 19th. Since then, it has passed three including a so-called “trigger bill,” that will eliminate nearly all abortions in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which appears likely.

Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne speaks to Ben Sherman, state committeeman for Laramie County, on May 7, 2022 in Sheridan after delegates for the state’s most populous county walked out of the state party convention. Supporters say Eathorne is a selfless leader who’s done much for the Republican cause. Critics say he’s pushed out dissenting voices in the GOP while allowing conflicts to fester. (Lauren Miller, Casper Star-Tribune)

Eathorne’s most avid supporters in the party view him as a galvanizing force who is willing to stand up against what they view as assaults from the left and failures to deliver from establishment Republicans. One of Eathorne’s staunchest backers is Karl Allred, the Uinta County GOP chairman who first rose to prominence in Wyoming for suing then-Gov. Matt Mead over renovations at the Wyoming Capitol. 

Allred believes that if a person identifies as Republican but can’t agree with at least 80% of the state party’s platform, “you oughta look somewhere else.” He sees many of the Republican members of the Legislature as “Democrats that are now in the Republican Party.” 

Still, Eathorne’s grip on the party doesn’t always translate to legislative success. Even with vocal support fromTrump and conservative Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, for example, the Eathorne wing of the party failed in several attempts to block “crossover” voting in the state primary that allows voters to change their party affiliation at the polling place. Hageman supporters contend the practice could benefit Cheney. Similarly, GOP party leaders went into a special legislative session — which Eathorne personally pressed for in a letter to legislative leadership — with an ambitious set of 21 bills opposing federal vaccine mandates but were able to pass only one relatively meek measure limiting federal enforcement.

The most recent example of party tensions came during the May state GOP convention, when most members of the Laramie County delegation were refused seats over a rules violation. Earlier, most of the delegates of Natrona County had been excluded because of a dispute over party dues. 

Both counties have clashed with party leadership, leading some observers to question whether the rule violations were really an excuse to punish those that, in the eyes of the party, hadn’t toed the line. 

When rule violations by other — albeit smaller — counties were brought to light, the party declined to take similar actions, even going so far as to remove a rule from the bylaws that smaller counties had violated.

Nearly every one of the 30-plus Laramie County delegates — including John Sundahl, Hageman’s husband — walked out in a line and tossed or slammed their credentials down in front of Eathorne, who was presiding over the meeting in his usual cowboy hat.

Eathorne v. Cheney

Cheney and others claim a band of political extremists has hijacked the state party. According to leaked documents, Eathorne is listed as a member of the Oath Keepers. Eathorne claims to be only a passive member of the militant right-wing organization. 

Eathorne’s critics chafe over a podcast interview he did with Trump strategist Steve Bannon in February 2021, in which he suggested Wyoming — as some right-wing politicians had advocated in Texas — might consider secession from the union. They are also concerned about Eathorne’s activities at the Jan. 6, 2021 Trump rally in Washington that preceded the violent assault on the Capitol.

Wyoming GOP National Committeeman Corey Steinmetz and his wife Sen. Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) with Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Wyoming GOP Executive Director Kathy Russell and Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne in December 2019 (Wyoming GOP Facebook)

“Frank Eathorne is a member of the Oath Keepers,” Cheney said in a statement for this story. “He was on the Capitol grounds during the violent attack on January 6. He has ignored the rulings of our courts. He has suggested Wyoming should consider secession from the United States. His views and his actions make a mockery of the rule of law, the Constitution, and the values on which the Republican Party, the state of Wyoming, and our great nation were founded.”

Eathorne discussed secession on Bannon’s War Room saying “We are straight talking, focused on the global scene, but we’re also focused at home. Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we’re keeping eyes on Texas too, and their consideration of possible secession. They have a different state constitution than we do as far as wording, but it’s something we’re all paying attention to.”

Eathorne clarified recently he did not mean to imply that Wyoming should secede. 

In a statement after the events of Jan. 6, Eathorne confirmed attending the rally, but said he “observed no violence or property damage during my time there including a brief stop in the vicinity of the Capitol building.”  

The political warfare between Cheney and Eathorne has become so intense that it sometimes seems to eclipse the primary battle between Cheney and Hageman. The two women are longtime political allies who agree on nearly every policy point, but differ on Trump.

But with Cheney and Eathorne it is more personal. If past remarks are an indication, Eathorne sees her actions as an attack on his political hero. Cheney feels he has ruined her home state political party. “Our state party is broken,” Cheney tweeted after the Laramie County walkout. “Wyoming deserves better.”

When Cheney was asked why she chose not to attend the state party convention, a spokesman told reporters it was because Eathorne would be there. 

“The chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party is a member of the Oath Keepers who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and has called for secession, so no, Liz will not be attending,” a Cheney spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson did not mention Cheney’s main rival and former unpaid member of her advisory team, Hageman, who attended the convention but who was relatively quiet.

Wyoming political historian Philip J. Roberts contends “there has never been a sharper divide between an incumbent and party chair,” even going back to the famous feud between Sens. Francis E. Warren and Joseph Carey in the early days of Wyoming statehood.

“Even at the height of the so-called Warren-Carey feud, party officers tried to align with one ‘incumbent’ or the other,” Roberts said. “They didn’t stand out there alone, criticizing an incumbent in their party. I think this is unprecedented because we never had a party chair so slavishly in the thrall of an autocrat like Trump.”

A strong family name

Politics run in Eathorne’s family. 

Friends and old timers in Douglas and surroundings generally call him “W. Frank” to distinguish him from his prominent father, Frank Glenn Eathorne Jr., a popular public servant and Farm Bureau leader who served several years as a Converse County commissioner.

The father, Frank Jr., was born in Texas but moved to the family ranch in Wyoming as a child and had a distinguished career. 

An honors engineering graduate of the University of Wyoming, Frank Jr. served two tours in Vietnam as an F4 fighter pilot based in Cam Ranh Bay. While as a young Air Force lieutenant in flight training in Florida, he met and married a St. Petersburg secretary, W. Frank’s mother, Leslie Kilgore.

In addition to serving on the county commission, Frank Jr. was founder and chairman of the Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association and an officer of Wyoming Farm Bureau. Both he and Leslie were honored by the Farm Bureau for their distinguished service. The two also worked with the Audubon Society to set up bird census stations on their property.

“Everybody knew his dad … all around nicest guy you could ever meet,” said Rep. Dan Zwontizer (R-Cheyenne), who’s been in the Legislature since 2005. “He was beloved by everybody in Converse County.”

Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne addresses delegates and guests to the state party convention on May 6, 2022 at the Ramada Hotel in Sheridan. Eathorne grew up on a family ranch in Converse County and often sports western wear at political events. (Lauren Miller, Casper Star-Tribune)

Eathorne was born on March 3, 1969, in Douglas and raised in Converse County, where he attended Douglas High School, graduating in 1987. His younger brother Mike remembers him as “very athletic” and a “team player.”  Frank and Mike competed together in rodeo team roping. Frank, the more athletic of the two, also competed in bronc and bull riding.

When Eathorne entered politics in the early 2000s, the community’s love for his father helped him gain footing in Converse County politics, then a hotbed of the state’s political scene.

“Frank Eathorne has certainly been key [in W. Frank moving into local political circles] and W. Frank picked up on those [conservative right-wing] beliefs,” said Lucile Taylor, former Converse County clerk.

Many people even thought that W. Frank was his father when they saw his name pop up in political contexts. 

Eathorne and his wife, Theresa, served as precinct committeeman and -woman in Converse County starting in 2002. He went on to serve in every office of the county party including two terms as chairman that ended in 2012, according to his Wyoming GOP bio. Eventually, Eathorne served three terms as state committeeman.

Eathorne’s first foray into politics beyond his backyard was in 2012. He was a part of a group of Wyoming conservatives backing national delegates that would go on to support Ron Paul’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination against the mainstream candidate Mitt Romney, according to Poley who was part of the same effort. At the center of this group was a belief in smaller government and non-interventionist foreign policy.

But it was Eathorne’s involvement with WyWatch Family Action that put him on the state-level political scene. The ultra-conservative group established itself as an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage and pro “religious freedom” advocacy organization. In its four years of existence, Eathorne served as vice chairman and, in its final year, director. 

WyWatch was an early adopter of the aggressive confrontational tactics more prevalent in today’s politics. It was also known, as far back as a decade ago, for criticizing Republicans for getting in the way of its efforts — a hallmark of the modern Wyoming GOP. 

“It was kind of the first threatening organization,” Zwonitzer said. “It was a lot more emotionality and a lot more ‘my way or the highway.’”

Eathorne has graduated from being a part of WyWatch, a group that purged those who didn’t fully comply, to being chairman of a state party that does the same.

Ben Sherman (left), Laramie GOP state committeeman, speaks with state GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne after the body voted against seating Laramie County’s delegates at the state convention in Sheridan on May 7, 2022. (Maggie Mullen/WyoFile)

Eathorne ran for chairman of the state party in 2015, but only after much encouragement and praying, said Allred, the Uinta County Republican. Allred and others first started asking him to run roughly a year before the election. 

“At first it was a lot of ‘nos,’” Allred said. “He said he’d have to pray up on it and it took him a while.”

Eathorne was ultimately convinced, but lost to Cheyenne lawyer Matt Micheli by three votes. He was later elected as vice-chairman in 2017. Four months later, he moved into the top spot following the resignation of then-chairman Ryan Mulholland, who accepted an out-of-state job with Google. Eathorne was reelected to the chairmanship in 2019.

“He could’ve been in politics way earlier because he’s got the charisma,” Frank’s brother Mike Eathorne said. “Things like that just happen for him.”

Eathorne’s allies and adversaries agree that he’s “soft spoken,” but how that translates differs depending on who you ask. 

“Frank is so soft-spoken and gets along with a lot of people. It really takes a lot for Frank to get upset so we looked at it and figured he’d be the perfect guy for this job,” Allred said. 

But for Poley, the party official who found herself on the outside after supporting Bouchard, his quiet demeanor “makes the hairs on the back of [her] neck stand up.”

“Pardone [sic] my French, but he just tells you to ‘fuck off’ in the nicest of ways and quietest of voice,” Poley said in a text message. “There is a heavy handedness in what appears as a quiet demeanor.”

A checkered career

Before politics, Eathorne worked in law enforcement. 

He attended Casper College and then Chadron State College in Nebraska, earning a degree in criminal justice. 

On Dec. 28, 1990, he married Theresa Lynn Campbell, whom he had dated both at Casper College and at Chadron State. In June 1992, he became a rookie patrolman with the Worland Police Department. Theresa, who had a business degree, landed a job as personnel manager for Holly Sugar, then one of Worland’s largest employers.

But soon after Eathorne started his police work, he was in trouble.

First, he was called on the carpet before Worland Mayor Tom Bancroft and Police Chief Bob Richardson after he admitted having oral sex with a woman — not his wife — in his patrol car while on duty during the midnight shift.

After a disciplinary hearing, Eathorne was suspended without pay for one month and placed on department probation for a year.

“Bottom line,” Chief Richardson told the mayor and city council members at a 1994 disciplinary hearing, according to a transcript, “Frank screwed up big time.”

This is the Worland apartment that Patricia Bravo says Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne barged into while she was living there on July 27, 1994. The incident resulted in a federal lawsuit that was eventually settled. (Lauren Miller, Casper Star-Tribune)

Only 14 months later, according to allegations in a federal civil lawsuit, Eathorne barged armed and drunk into the apartment of 23-year-old police dispatcher Patricia Bravo on July 27, 1994 and tried unsuccessfully to pressure her into having sex with him. 

After about 10 minutes of pleading — including begging him to go because her 2-year-old daughter was asleep in another room — Bravo said she was able to convince Eathorne to leave but remained fearful that he might come back. Before leaving, Eathorne “begged” Bravo to introduce him to her female neighbor, according to Bravo’s statements in the complaint.  

At 5-foot-1-inch, Bravo is a foot shorter than Eathorne. 

In court testimony, Eathorne admitted having “four or five drinks” with friends at Goose’s Bar in Worland before he went unannounced to Bravo’s apartment shortly before 1 a.m. to “conduct surveillance” on a nearby house. But he denied Bravo’s claims that he pressured her to have sex or intimidated her with his personal Glock .40-caliber handgun holstered on his hip.   

“I conducted myself politely, gentleman-like,” Eathorne said, according to a hearing transcript. 

Tess Beltran, a neighbor, testified seeing a tall man who she later identified as Eathorne, knock and then “force” his way into the door. “I thought it was a friend who was kidding around.” Then she heard Bravo shouting. “I found out the next day that there was no kidding going on.”

Eathorne said that he was “surprised” by Bravo’s allegations and later approached her in the police department parking lot.

“After shift one night,” Eathorne testified in a court deposition, “I saw her in the parking lot and I just said, you know, ‘If I have done anything to make you mad, I’m sorry.’ And that was it.”

The resulting federal legal case against Eathorne ended in a court-approved settlement two weeks before it was set for trial. The settlement amount is not public record. Bravo said she was at her new home in Denver when she was hand delivered a $200 check written on the law firm account of her attorney Joseph E. Darrah, who is now Park County Circuit Court Judge. It’s unclear what Darrah collected in attorney’s fees, and he declined to comment on the settlement.  

The state of Wyoming paid for both the settlement and the 18 months of legal defense on the grounds that Eathorne’s actions were in the “scope of duty” (as defined by the Wyoming Government Claims Act).  

The state gave Eathorne free legal representation despite the statement by Chief Richardson that in his uninvited post-midnight visit to Bravo’s apartment “he was not in any way, shape or form representing the Worland Police Department.” As a second-year uniformed patrolman, Eathorne was not even authorized to conduct plain-clothes surveillance, Richardson said.  

Eathorne resigned from the Worland Police department in September 1995 to take what he said was a better paying job as a pest exterminator for Terminix in the Bighorn Basin. 

But for Bravo, the diminutive former police dispatcher and single mother, the tense July 1994 incident with Eathorne in her Worland apartment was the beginning of what she said was an agonizing downward spiral. 

Almost 30 years later, neighbors still recall how distraught Bravo was following the incident.

“She was visibly, visibly upset,” one neighbor said. “I think she was truly afraid.” 

Bravo also asked her neighbors — who wish to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the Worland police — to keep an eye out for any men hanging around.

“If I were her I’d be scared to death too,” her neighbor said. 

Bravo said the incident changed who she was as a person and led her to attempt suicide. Doctors later told her she died for a few minutes before she was revived.  

“What he did to me practically ruined me,” she said recently at the Washakie County Library in her hometown of Worland, where she works as a dishwasher in a local cafe. 

In the weeks after Bravo reported the incident in what she thought was a confidential exchange with her supervisor Cassandra Frank, she said, other employees stopped visiting her in the dispatcher’s room. She began to receive a series of negative performance reviews. 

On Nov. 9, 1994, four months after the uninvited visit to her apartment, Bravo was fired by the joint city-county authority that employed her as dispatcher. 

Occasionally breaking into tears, she said in a recent interview that she was most hurt by the way her hometown and her former colleagues at the police department ostracized and shunned her after she reported the incident to her supervisor.

“I was just starting my life. And when that all happened, all the lies that came out, the whole police department totally just embraced him rather than me, who had grown up in the community,” she said. “And of course, you know, we were nobody, my family was nobody because I grew up poor. We were poor. And I just never even imagined that people that I knew would treat me the way they did and take his side.”    

That the Worland Police Department would shun Bravo and rally around a young, popular male officer does not surprise former Washakie County attorney Wendy Press Sweeny. 

“It was absolutely a culture in the police to protect their own,” said Sweeny, now a deputy attorney for Sheridan County. “When there were DUIs, they got rides home instead of going to jail,” Sweeney said of cops getting pulled over for driving drunk.     

Goose’s, a bar in Worland, is pictured on April 18, 2022. According to federal court documents, Frank Eathorne, then a town police officer, admitted to having four or five drinks here before he showed up at Patricia Bravo’s home unannounced shortly before 1 a.m. on July 27, 1994. (Lauren Miller, Casper Star-Tribune)

There were no female officers, but women worked in the department in other capacities. Only a few years before the Bravo case, three women dispatchers successfully sued the department for sexual harassment, winning an out-of-court settlement.

In Bravo’s case, after she was fired and publicly disgraced, she left town. Eathorne’s only apparent punishment was an admonishment from the police chief about drinking while armed.

“I told him he could carry a gun, or he could drink,” Richardson testified in a lawsuit deposition. “He could not do both.”

Despite this rocky start as a police officer in Worland, Eathorne later landed another law enforcement job, earning $26,000 a year as a parole officer in Fort Bend County, Texas, where his wife Theresa worked as a human resources executive at Imperial Sugar Corporation in nearby Sugar Land. According to Fort Bend County Administrator Lorraine Niemeyer, Eathorne left that job after 19 months with “no disciplinary items in the personnel file.”

“Minus some indiscretion,” former Chief Richardson recalled in a recent telephone interview, “Frank was an excellent police officer. A very good police officer who left on good terms.”

When asked at the state convention if he regrets the encounter with Bravo or feels empathy for her, Eathorne said “no comment.”

But in an earlier interview in Casper, his brother Mike, 51, spoke about the unfairness of dredging up a 30-year-old case. 

“That’s not Frank right now,” Mike Eathorne said. “That’s not the smoking gun that should determine his future. We all make mistakes. We all stumble and that’s part of life. What really matters is where the heart is now.”

Political contradictions

In the summer of 1999, Eathorne returned to Wyoming to manage his family’s sprawling Converse County U Diamond cattle ranch.  Over the next 20 years he climbed the ranks of the Wyoming Republican Party and made it all the way to a White House Christmas party, where he posed with President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump in formal cowboy attire including a western cut sport coat, rodeo belt buckle, cowboy boots and a white cowboy hat. 

To his supporters, Eathorne is the shining light and moral exemplar of the state’s dominant political party. “I think he is a man of unquestionable integrity,” said Crook County rancher David Holland, who is Wyoming GOP vice-chairman under Eathorne. “And he’s a man of principle.” 

Steadfast in his constant, unwavering pronouncements about American traditions and family values, Eathorne admits that his own life has not always been so exemplary.

“I have flaws and I own them,” he said via text. 

In December, at the end of a Sunday service at the Unity Christian Fellowship Church in Douglas, Eathorne rose in front of his family and fellow church members to publicly confess that he had committed adultery and to beg for forgiveness. According to those who were at the service, Eathorne apologized for the infidelity and said that he and Theresa Eathorne — his wife of 30 years and mother of his three children — were attempting to reconcile.

After he spoke, several male members of the congregation rushed forward to embrace him and praise him for his courage in making the admission, according to several people who witnessed it.

On March 9, he filed for divorce. According to the divorce petition, the couple had not been living together since July 25, 2021. Theresa has since counter sued, asking for custody of the couple’s one remaining minor child.

The divorce shocked some friends, according to people in the community. In Eathorne’s previously acknowledged marital transgressions, Theresa consistently rose to his defense. For example, in the 1993 disciplinary hearing in Worland after Eathorne admitted having oral sex in his patrol car with another woman, Theresa passionately defended him and begged for leniency. 

At one point she argued the sex act was “consensual” and that it had only interrupted his duty for “three or four minutes,” as documented in the hearing transcript.

“You know we’re not looking for any special treatment,” Theresa said. “We’re not looking for anything of that sort. All we want is fair treatment after this act occurred with this person.” Theresa, then a personnel manager at Holly Sugar Company, argued that her husband’s offense was minor and that he should not be fired. 

Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne addresses members of the Sheridan County Republican Party at a May 2021 anti-Cheney fundraiser at the Knights of Columbus Hall in downtown Sheridan. (Nick Reynolds/WyoFile)

In police dispatcher Bravo’s 1994 sexual harassment lawsuit against Eathorne, Theresa defended him in a court deposition, accusing Bravo of lying about the incident, which occurred while Theresa was out of town. 

Eathorne said that he does not recall details of the settlement except that he didn’t have to pay for it with his own money. “I’d remember that,” he said.

It is not the only time that Eathorne, a fierce critic of government assistance, has benefitted from taxpayer largesse.

As manager of the family U Diamond Ranch north of Douglas, he received federal agricultural subsidies totaling $109,000 for the years 2001-2005, according to the Farm Subsidy Database. During most of that time, he was involved with the Converse County Republican Party.

Eathorne now regrets accepting the federal subsidies, he said.

“Since then, I have learned that government handouts are not for me,” he said. “They don’t fit my political ideology. If a private business can’t remain in business on its own, it probably shouldn’t be asking for government help.” 

‘It has everything to do with power’

Some argue that Eathorne’s aggressive campaign to oust Cheney from office may do more to help the congresswoman than hurt her in the Aug. 16 Republican Party primary. 

State Rep. Landon Brown (R-Cheyenne) calls Eathorne and his disciples in the state party “Trumpicans.” Eathorne “believes he is the mouthpiece for all Republicans, and he is not,” Brown said. “He is opposed to everything that is not Trump. He is trying to steer people away from Liz to the point where he has alienated people who were on the fence.” 

Although some recent telephone polls have included his name as a potential choice for governor, Eathorne has never been a candidate for public office. He and his allies like to describe himself not as a leader but as a humble servant of his two masters, his god and the members of the state party central committee who chose him. 

“I think some of [his rise to power] was divine providence, honestly,” Mike Eathorne said. “Regardless of what other people might say about my brother, he’s not for himself. He’s about advancing freedom. He’s about advancing liberty.” 

Wyoming GOP National Committeeman Corey Steinmetz and his wife Sen. Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) with Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne and Liz Cheney primary opponent Harriet Hageman. (Wyoming GOP Facebook)

But some members of his own party, even those who generally support him, say lack of leadership and inability to control the state party and its more extreme elements are his biggest flaws. 

“As far as leadership style, he’s actually very weak in leadership because he’s just letting these people run all over him,” said Bonnie Foster, who served in Republican politics at the county level and on the state executive committee.

At the recent dinner preceding the state convention, some members of the audience jeered at both Gov. Mark Gordon and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, both Republicans. There is a general lack of civility in party ranks, critics say, and Eathorne does little to stop it.

“Those that elected me know me well enough,” Eathorne said in one of several brief exchanges for this story. “They know me by my record. I stand for the timeless principles each and every time, the principles I was elected to represent.”

Ben Sherman, the Laramie County state committeeman, also blamed Eathorne for the lack of civility within Wyoming’s Republican politics. 

“A lack of calling decorum on certain party members throughout his entire tenure has led to this attitude of general hate that is coming from the party,” he said.

Eathorne also held loose reins during his time as chairman of the county party: He often let meetings drift into topics almost entirely irrelevant to Wyoming, said one Converse County Republican.

“Most of the meeting was taken up with floor conversation about Sharia law, which obviously has nothing to do with Wyoming,” Glenrock resident Sally Ann Shurmur said.

This leadership style could work to his benefit. 

“Frank Eathorne let it go unchecked. That’s … why he stayed in power — because he doesn’t try to stop any of the fringe elements. He’s just kind of let it all happen so I guess it keeps him in power,” Zwonitzer said. 

But to his allies, this style makes him the quintessential leader.  

“Frank relies on the state central committee. He believes the power belongs to the people,” Allred said. “He’s not a dictator. He’s not a one-man band.”

But Eathorne’s deference is just a front, multiple people interviewed for this story said. 

In the last five years or so, Stith, who has also been a Sweetwater County delegate since 1998, said “there’s been a real shift” to a “top down” management approach by party leadership. Until recently, leadership would not allow the state central committee to take a stance on substantive policy issues. 

“The state central committee only dealt with process issues,” he said. 

Some see glaring irony in combining a heavy-handed leadership style and a laissez faire approach.

“There’s a theme of top-down leadership, but they don’t exercise much control,” Stith said. 

Those who oppose Eathorne say there’s an explanation: Power over politics.

“They fear losing control and it is all about power with these people, more than about what’s right and what’s wrong. They fear losing their power and will do whatever they need to do to maintain or gain power,” Poley said of current state party leadership over text. “That’s the epitome of a political mind though, not in politics for the right reason. These are the types of people that we need to get out of politics. The type that put party, power, and politics OVER the people and our state and US constitutions.”

Stifling or steering

Eight years ago this month, the Wyoming Republican Party debated whether to censure another high-ranking GOP official. Like Cheney, then Gov. Matt Mead had angered elements of the far right. Mead was known as a moderate, and as a politician who put a strong emphasis on civility and pragmatism. 

The effort to censure Mead ultimately failed. But two people interviewed for this story identified the move as the “turning point” in the party, a shift that can’t entirely be pinned on Eathorne.

“It began to change from being a unified party to anger,” Stith said. 

Wyoming Republican Chairman Frank Eathorne talks to Gov. Mark Gordon on May 6, 2022 at the Wyoming Republican Party delegate dinner at the Best Western in Sheridan. After Gordon did not call a special legislative session last fall to combat federal vaccine mandates, Eathorne authored a letter to legislative leaders urging them to convene. (Lauren Miller, Casper Star-Tribune)

But since that point, Eathorne’s inaction to steer the party in a different direction does fall at his feet, his critics say.

Earlier this month, as some of the Laramie County delegates loitered outside the fairgrounds, Eathorne emerged and asked Sherman, the Laramie County state committeeman, “why there was anger directed at him.”

Sherman told Eathorne that he was “steering the party in one specific direction” and wasn’t allowing for open debate. 

“He has surrounded himself with people who all think exactly the same,” Sherman said later. “So there is no free and open discourse.” 

But whether Eathorne is stifling debate or steering his party toward even more successful waters depends on who you ask. 

Originally from Indiana, Mike Pyatt is retired and lives in Mills where he is one of the leaders of the militantly anti-abortion Liberty’s Place 4 U Wyoming group, formed in part because members don’t feel like they have a place in the more traditional conservative Natrona County GOP. 

Slight and gregarious with white hair and a wispy white mustache, Pyatt often holds forth at Metro Café, a Casper institution that attracts customers from all political stripes. 

Pyatt first met Eathorne at a county political convention in 2008 and immediately felt he had found a kindred soul. “We really hit it off for a variety of reasons,” Pyatt said, “but later I learned he was a brother in Christ. That was a common denominator we had.” 

When it comes to a fight, “physical or political,” Pyatt said, “I’d want Frank on my side.”

This summer, the nation’s eyes will be on Wyoming as the battle between Cheney and Trump’s choice to defeat her, Hageman, will be decided. At stake could be Trump’s grip on the Republican Party. 

There are louder and more famous participants in the battle. But a quiet rancher from Converse County could help determine which side wins.

Matt Adelman, Publisher Douglas Budget contributed reporting.

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...

Join the Conversation


Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Brother Frank Eathorne professes to be a follower of Jesus Christ… and Donald Trump…. and the present GOP party…

    I wonder… He can’t do both at the same time. Light and darkness can’t mix…

    In regards to following Mr. Trump….

    Is he the man you would want for a best friend?

    Is this the man you would want to be a role model for your children?

    Is this the man you would want your daughter to marry?

    Is this the man you would want to rely upon in a serious disaster?

    Could you trust him alone with your wife?

    Can you believe what he tells you?

    If he did not agree with you, would he treat you fairly?

    Would you want him to run a company you owned? Would he follow the guidelines you gave him for for your best interests? If you gave him advice would he listen and do what you told him to do?

    Would he obey the laws of the land and keep you out of trouble.

    Would you trust him with your money and your retirement plan? Your Social Security?

    Does he seem to have a high degree of self-control? The kind of example you would like to follow?

    Would you like to depend on him for employment?

    If a good friend of his raped and shot your wife, would you wonder if he would pardon him?

    Just curious… Something to think about….?

    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
    (Revelation 22:14-15 KJV)

    And there shall in no wise enter into it (heaven) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
    (Revelation 21:27 KJV)

    Dangers of Associating With the Ungodly—The world is not to be our criterion. We are not to associate with the ungodly and partake of their spirit, for they will lead the heart away from God to the worship of false gods. The steadfast soul, firm in the faith, can do much good; he can impart blessings of the highest order to those with whom he associates, for the law of the Lord is in
    his heart. But we cannot willingly associate with those who are trampling upon the law of God, and preserve our faith pure and untarnished. We shall catch the spirit, and unless we separate from them, we shall be bound up with them at last, to share their doom. E.G.White AH – 460

    Shun Those With Low Standards, Loose Morals—It is wrong for Christians to associate with those whose morals are loose. An intimate, daily intercourse which occupies time without contributing in any degree to the strength of the intellect or morals is dangerous. If the moral atmosphere surrounding persons is not pure and sanctified, but is tainted with corruption, those who breathe this atmosphere will find that it operates almost insensibly upon the intellect and heart to poison and to ruin. It is dangerous to be conversant with those whose minds naturally take a low level. Gradually and imperceptibly those who are naturally conscientious and love purity will come to the same level and partake of and sympathize with the imbecility and moral barrenness with which they are so constantly brought in contact.11 { AH 462.2}
    A good name is more precious than gold. There is an inclination with the youth to associate with those who are inferior in mind and morals. What real happiness can a young person expect from a voluntary connection with persons who have a low standard of thoughts, feelings, and deportment? Some are debased in taste and depraved in habits, and all who choose such companions will follow their example. We are living in times of peril that should cause the hearts of all to fear. E.G.White AH – 463

  2. Yet another Republican with credible sexual assault allegations that other republicans still vote for. The moral majority, indeed.

    1. Really???? What about Bill Clinton and one of his best friends, Jeffrey Epstein?? GIVE ME A BREAK.

  3. Anyone have a definition of a “militant right-wing organization”? Patriotic and devotion to the rule of law and fidelity to the Constitution seem to characterize those “right wingers” in my estimation. Do they club baby seals and I didn’t hear about it?

  4. What an excellent piece of reporting on the dangerous spiral of the Wyoming GOP into extremism. No state party should condone participation in January 6th.

    When courage and dignity were handed out, they went to Liz Cheney.

    1. Ann Robinson,
      Really, “..courage and integrity.”?
      I’m a Registered Independent, formerly a member of the GOP, but was raised a Scoop Jackson Democrat, by a couple of FDR Democrats, though born in WA, I finished High School in Thermop back in ’75, so I’m NO MAGA ‘fanatic’ as the anti-Trumpers (those labeled as having ‘TDS’ by MAGA folks, and for the most part, the Trumpers have it correctly on this count) refer to those who support Trump.

      Jan. 6 was NOT a ‘constitutional crisis’ as some declare, nor was it a ‘coup’, nor an ‘insurrection’; it was a bunch of pissed off people responding to the assault on credulity by the Main Stream Media, an assault on the Rule of Law by Secretaries of State across the nation on ‘on the books’ election laws, as well as an assault on the RoL by activist judges refusing to even look at evidence of serious election issues in key states.

      Where there’s ‘smoke’ there’s ‘fire’ all too often.

      Jan. 6 was ‘Breaking and Entering’ with some of that questionable, AFTER some of the Capitol Cops actually OPENED THE DOORS for people to Trespass on federal property, but THAT issue has not been addressed by any of those currently ‘in power’ and certainly not by ANY members of the current DOJ; who are bent on acting as if the loons on Jan. 6 were from al Qaeda, the Islamic State terrorist groups.

      NONE of those people who broke windows and trespassed had guns. The poor Air Force veteran who was murdered by the incompetent Capitol Cop (left his gun in a bathroom at one point in time), had just had a Capitol Police Tactical Team LITERALLY walk within arm’s reach of her, with Loaded AR-15’s slung on their shoulders, and THEY did NOT see her as a threat to anyone. Literally moments later, the UNARMED veteran was dying from a gunshot wound.

      My opposition to Cheney, whom I USED to support, came when she denied Due Process several times during yet another political attack on Trump by his RINO opponents, while claiming she was ‘supporting the constitution’. You cannot support the Constitution when you deny a ‘suspect’ facing charges, his/her due process; there was NO evidence gathering by ANY committee of the House prior to the vote to impeach, NO committee debates, NO witnesses brought before ANY committees, ZERO ‘due process’, which had been historically given to ALL presidents facing impeachment.

      This is why opposed her: as a Registered Independent, and the reason I left the GOP, I actually believe in the Rule of Law and the Constitution: Liz Cheney does not so believe; she believes in raw personal power (just like Trump oddly enough when he is attacked, which is how he responds personally, which I oppose), and the fact that Trump does NOT like her dad, also played a role in her attacks on him.

      Bottom line: Cheney deserved to lose her seat because she denied Trump the very Constitutional protections which she said she supported. She was, and is, a hypocrite, a proven RINO, and someone to use her phrase, ‘who should NEVER be allowed anywhere near public office and public power.’

      Exactly correct.

  5. Frank offered to ride through a barbed wire fence for Mr. Trump at last Saturday’s ULTRA-MAGA mixer. Sounds like a splendid idea to me. I’m oilin’ up my trusty old fencin’ pliers as we speak and we’ll get ‘er stretched up nice and tight for y’all. Ride for the brand boys. Ride for the brand……

  6. Good article , Rone……eye-opening. This helps me understand the current state of the Wyoming Republican Party.

  7. And the plot (lies) thicken. ….

    Not only was the cowboy pope, aka eathorne, in restricted areas while at the capitol. But, he lied as well…..

    Whodathunk that the new age chrump lemmings would lie to protect themselves??

  8. Oh, she can talk, both in public where Hageman claims to be “pure Wyoming” and also in the backroom conferring with Coloradan Aaron Millions on how to steal billions of gallons of Wyoming’s water. So yes, she can “talk”…….out of both sides of her mouth

  9. Folks, we need to face the facts – the Wy GOP has been hijacked by carpetbaggers and being led by a coca cola cowboy who seriously needs a lockable chastity belt. The whole situation will only get worse before it gets better…and I’m speculating about the “better” part. Definitely statewide and I fathom nationally that the Republican party has shot it’s self in the foot and that in time, the wound will become fatal. I used to think that there was something seriously wrong with Democrats but now have to face bold reality that the rotting and deterioration of American politics has come inward from my own party. Eathorne is just the icing on the cake for all of this absurdity. After this Wyo File article came out, you’d think a man with any sense of pride would avoid the upcoming Donald J. Chump fest in Casper, but I’m sure ole’ Frank will be there a shakin’ hands and a grinnin’. Why not? He’ll be with his own

  10. In all the Hagerman’s commercials on TV, I haven’t heard one word come out of her mouth!

  11. There’s not too many vermin that’s lower than a dirty cop. Well, it get lower when that dirty cop is the leader of a state political party. But, now we’re absolutely scraping the sludge off the swamp bottom when this same vermin is the head of MY Wyoming GOP. And to think that I’ve spent a half a century thinking that the Democrats were the whack jobs…

  12. Mr. Eathorne,
    In Wyoming a respectable gentleman traditionally removes his hat as a gesture of respect when engaging in cordial discourse. Not his trousers. I suggest that should you continue to profess a desire to pull yourself up through the political strata by the straps of your boots, that you may also entertain the prospect of purchasing a sturdy pair of matching suspenders as well.

  13. Wow, great reporting. This is sad, the republican party of Wyoming needs to gather these people and take charge. This is the 21st century. Hopefully, they see the need to separate church and politics.
    If the Eathornes following spent their time and energy focused on how to make Wyoming acceptable to all generations this could become an equality state. Otherwise, what’s left of the state locked in the past when those few are gone? It is amazing that a man can rise to such power and leadership (which apparently while claiming to be religious. A resignation from a police department in shame over personal conduct would put the moral compass on my radar.

  14. This 6 months long investigation is precisely how nonprofit professional journalism is supposed to work : produce bulletproof reporting ; following where the actualities lead without steering them ; double and triple fact checked. The value of the public service cannot be understated or denied.

    Having said that , the extreme activist Park County Republican blowhards in and around my town of Cody are already spouting ” fake new , fake news … “. Nothing could be further from the truth

  15. A mediocre man who is convinced he is
    valued. True Leaders do not have feet of clay.

  16. Nice… Frank thought we needed a better candidate than Cheney or Hageman so it seems that where ever the money is and prestige that’s where everyone flocks to. Instead of actual representation for Wyoming there’s more “Cowtowing” Trump said “NOT all my Endorsements win” We the People” do not need more politicians and attorneys!! Vote for commonsense and reason not more Swamp dwellers! Am doing the work for Wyoming instead of promising and talking about it..No Cheney NO HAGEMAN
    Thank you!!

  17. Amazingly comprehensive piece regarding the downward spiral of right-wing politics in Wyoming, particularly the well researched background of the current GOP chair…he seems to be cut from the same ‘cloth’ as his hero, Trump…sleazy relations with women, Machiavellian behaviors, narcissism…in addition to his Oath Keeper membership, attendance at the January 6th insurrection. WYOMING deserves much better.

  18. Eathorne, with his big hat and and head that is empty except for reactionary ideas, is the symbol of all that is wrong with Wyoming politics.

  19. WOW! What a conversation. Just returned from grocery shopping and listening to folks wholly reliant on diesel fuel and this column showed up in my email…WOW! Maybe take the time to ponder a few steps on how to turn a democratic republic on its head.
    1-Philosophically divide the nation
    2-Swarm the nation’s border unconstitutionally
    3-Create civil rioting and remove accountability
    4-Gain control of the nation’s media and speech
    5-Create huge national debt to provide a reason for overbearing taxation thru inflation
    6-Weaken the military and citizen’s resolve
    7-Foment racial strife
    Seems like a good start, huh? But on the bright side, no one has to read those doggone mean tweets anymore.

  20. Frank Eathorne reminds us of Bill Clinton. His actions and values do not represent us as Republicans or as Christians.

  21. It is always Projection with Republicans….Sharia Law is what these religious zealots want and they will trod on the Constitution to achieve that goal in America. The religious base will justify any method to achieve their goal as evidenced by their embrace of Donald Trump. Frank and Donald seem to have the same “way” with women and I wonder if this is the result of women being considered property by the book they call their guide? It appears to me that some American women have generational trauma due to the teachings presented in biblical settings?

    It is evident that a mediocre man with a good safety net can go very far if one says they pray over decisions. No wonder America and Wyoming are a mess.

  22. Because of your ground rules–I cannot speak my mind re this …………….!
    Same sleeze oozing here in Montana.

  23. Typical liberal hit piece. Because the party wants to restore conservative values to Wyoming it’s considered bullying and divisive. Liberals want to infiltrate the GOP. Unfortunately many believe the garbage they spew.

  24. Best I can tell you, This is a true exsampel of Hage. fation, Spell check not working, I can see why Gov. S D removed herself from, being a part of this Circus, Srinmitz, was on Huntley ballot when she ran first time, Not on paper but on Machine, True Hegaman deal. We got a splite party, I have a hard time beleiving TRUMP, is still a part of this.Thats all.

  25. Go Hageman, Eathorne and Trump. Cheney is a career politician who only cares about power and now Trump Republicans need to stand united.

  26. Achtung! The transformation of the Neo Wy Republican Party is nearly complete. The goon squad is in place, the only thing missing are brown shirts, arm bands and goose stepping. And what better Fuhrer than a disgraced former cop? To think, these people took over the Wy GOP without even firing a shot…

  27. Mr. Eathorne’s affection for Oaf Keepers and his high regard for women characterize the man. His moral fibre reflects that of his idol: #45. Little wonder, then, that Mr. Eathorne is held in such high esteem by so many of Wyoming’s Good Old Boys.

  28. Wow! Great investigative reporting. Sad to see my native home bring bastardized by these power hungry autocrats; but not surprised either. I’ve always pondered how legitimate the moniker “the equality state” really is; and when it comes to the ruling politics, it isn’t.

  29. Eathorn wearing his indoors tells me all I need to know about him, is an insult to real cowboys and just makes him look stupid.

  30. Excellent article on a Wyoming profile of courage.. NOT! A profile of a sleazy cop, adulterous family man, member of a white Nationalist seditious group both Oath Keepers and Wyo GOP. Sad , not a fan! Very poor social skills as you see him at the table or indoors with his hat . The makings of the modern Republican Party ; perdition and sedition and he may run for Governor!

  31. Nan, many of the good things in the country have just flown away…kinda’ like a ‘pilot’ and his younger, more beautiful mistress flying over a man-woman on the South Fork and waving bye-bye….

  32. The Wyo. GOP has turned into a fascist organization and reeks of nazi tactics. Luckily, Eathorne, though crazy as Hitler, isn’t quite as clever. Neither are his lieutenants and the Park Co. thrillbillies. One thing these goons have accomplished though is the ruination of the GOP in Wyoming

  33. He testified, “…if I have done anything…”
    Read that again. “…if I have done anything…”
    A classic gas-lighting statement, refusal to see women as valuable and underhanded shift of blame as well. Then fending off opponents with childhood taunts of “RINO!” Tho’ RINO might be a better label than WHINO (Woman Hating Ignorant Narcissistic Ogre). Come on WY GOP, Cowboy Up and put this bronco out to pasture.

    1. Excellent reporting. Eathorne and his gang seem intent on turning the “Equality State” into the “Misogyny State.”

      1. Just a point of real world facts: doesn’t it take TWO to engage in ‘illicit affairs’?

        You know, a man and a woman in the case to which you refer?

        Aren’t women supposed to be ‘equally culpable’, or are all women just puppets for you to prop up as ‘victims’, so you can promote the ‘all men evil’ Woke Transsectional mantras?

        Just wondering.

  34. Sorry that I briefly subscribed to Wyofile. Looks like you’re AOK with Cheney and the Biden Regime. Bye now.

  35. Many thanks Ms. Tempest and Ms. Eavis for this penetrating investigative journalism look at Frank Eathorne, who typifies what I call a “GOP Repulsive”.
    Sounds like Frank’s 3rd epiphany after God and the GOP was becoming a consecrated sexual predator, and his 4th epiphany is he sees adultery as a Milton Bradley game.
    The mention of Franky Wanky being in the dangerous NeoNazi militia group Oath Keepers of Elmer Stewart Rhodes is disturbing.
    It reads like the bio of a quiet covert Cluster B malignant narcissist.
    Interesting he’s another Trump worshipper in the corrupted GOP that forsook the Constitution for serial rapist Trump, who’s laundered money for Russian criminal oligarchs since the 1980’s.
    It’s good to know what’s REALLY going on in the Wyoming GOP in likely the reddest state per capita in the USA.
    I’ve watched GOP greed and corruption in Wyoming 64 years. They never learn.
    Reminds me of watching Reaganomics destroy Wyoming in the 80’s, in the fallout after vile Trump who aspired to turn USA into the Fourth Reich as its führer.
    Eathorne is part of the problem in Wyoming… damn GOP Repulsives…

  36. Excellent article. I agree with Hageman’s supporters on the issue of “crossover” voting: (They) contend the practice could benefit Cheney.” Indeed it will, and I am thrilled to switch my party registration to vote for her. I will back the candidate who is faithful to the Constitution, and represents Wyoming with dignity, rather than the one who will say anything to get elected and buys into the election fraud conspiracy theory.

  37. Liz Cheney is a traitor. She is not an America First person. Do you people like this what is happening to our country right now? I could care less about Mr. Eathorne. I want my country back.

    1. That is pure Gold calling Cheney a traitor after what tRump orchestrated on January 6th and is still being the puppet master on the delusional tRumplican party today.

    2. You want your country back from whom?

      From the traitorous repub whack jobs that have played jedi mind tricks on gullible boomers? If so, then I agree.

    3. Am I understanding this comment to say that people who support the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution, but not the rhetoric of “America First,” are traitors? Following this “logic,” people who try to overturn the results of a democratic election are undoubtedly patriots. And Ms. Till wants her country back. What country, pray tell, is that? It’s clearly not the United States.

    4. The MAJORITY of America did not like the way America was going under Trump and LEGALLY changed directions through our constitutional right of a fair election. THAT is America. So if you don’t like THAT America – maybe you should follow the advice the GOP spewed for 4 years under Trump and “get out” because the majority of Americans don’t like “your” idea of what America is.

  38. One more powerful piece of reporting by WyoFile. The Good Ol’ Boy’s Club in Wyoming continues to use its power to gain power and suffer little in the way of consequence. Please keep being a beacon of great investigative reporting.

  39. The Wyo G.O.P. is much like a capital city that has a nuclear tipped missile heading it’s way – you’re already dead, but you just don’t know it

  40. The irony, (or blasphemy) of the side-by–side poses of the Pope and Eathorne is not lost in the photograph above by Nick Reynolds.

  41. My distant recollections, if I remember correctly is that Mr. Eathorne is no friend of public land, or public access to them. I appreciate Wyofile’s interesting article on him. However, I want to see the same kind of article on Liz Cheney, and also on the head of the Wyoming Democrat party. On Cheney, where she was born, went to school, college, worked, married and her ties to Wyoming. Further, why so many of Wyoming’s Republicans want her gone. How did she end up being so disliked by so many Wyoming conservatives. A good background, like this article on the head of the Wyoming Democrats would be most helpful as well.

  42. So, this is the “leader” of the lunatic fringe? Just when you think that the WY GOP can’t get any lower, ka-boom!!! Up here in pork, err Park County, about 98% of these Republican Men’s Clubbers are recent self-transplanted carpetbaggers that moved to the Basin (mostly around Clark, WY) to be big fish in a small pond. Very few of them own any real estate, hence pay little to no taxes, have no ties here yet they want to be the voice for Wyoming. Got to give them credit as they were able to hijack the local GOP without a shot being fired. I predict that the WY GOP will eventually deteriorate within and characters like Eathhorne and the carpetbaggers will be history, though my concern is that this bunch will leaving nothing but a glowing toxic waste dump that no decent and civilized group will want to touch. Might be time to conduct a funeral for the GOP and start up a new party.

  43. Why does none of this not surprise me?

    I can hear the cries of “fake news” already.

  44. When Liz absolutely rolls Harriet “sell off Wyoming water” Hageman in the primary, the Oath “GOP” Keepers within the State will go bananas. Not necessarily a bad thing as Trumpanzees do eat bananas…………………….

  45. Quite the transition going from dirty cop to dirty politician. Many parallels to be observed, especially the supposed “good cops” looking away at the actions of the “bad cop” The manner in which the GOP has operated since 2016, I’d say Mr. Eathorne is just the leader to final dismantle a dying party

  46. Wow, what an article showcasing the “history” of Eathorne. This story only solidifies the fact that he is the right man, at the right place in time to lead the Wyoming GOP into total destruction. Eathorne’s “leadership” of the minions of whackos, forked-toungers, trumpanzees, carpetbaggers and poseurs will only speed up the inevitable implosion.