Wyoming GOP convention recap: Republican Party goes all in for Trump, all out for governor

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Over 300 registered Republican voters gathered in the state's capital on a cold and slushy Saturday for Wyoming's State GOP convention to crown former President Donald Trump as their choice for the next president of the United States and award him all 29 of their presidential delegates.

Seated underneath Amateur Hockey League Pennants dangling from the rafters of the City of Cheyenne Ice and Events Center, attendees debated convention bylaws, passed resolutions, and selected their choice for the US President.

The convention opened with a prayer by Pastor Dwane Bazinet, calling for unity, and for loving one’s neighbors.

“Heavenly Father, I want to lift this conference up to you and let each discussion be filled with love, compassion and fulfilling the commandment of loving your neighbor,” Bazinet said.

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The crowd erupted in thunderous applause and chants of the former president's last name as they celebrated the endorsement. Pat Truman, a representative of the Trump campaign, strongly criticized President Joe Biden.

“He is too feeble to lead and too weak to protect our nation. His weakness allows our borders to be overrun,” Truman said. “Our cities here at home are overrun with illegals crashing through our borders. But there is an answer: to elect President Donald J Trump.”

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Despite Wyoming’s small population, its supermajority status gives the Cowboy State more Republican delegates than states with larger populations, such as Maine, Hawaii and Connecticut.

Much of the day was spent debating bylaws and intricate rules regarding the Wyoming Republican Party’s operations. Topics of contention included when to discipline members for missing county meetings, the orientation of the stars on the Wyoming Republican Party’s flag resembling those on a pentagram, and how to accurately count the votes present.

While party members were divided regarding the bylaws, there was more consensus regarding the proposed resolutions, which were similar to policy proposals designed to align with the party’s platform. The party passed all but two of its over 90 proposed resolutions, including a censure of Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon, a fellow Republican.

“We have a quote-unquote Republican that vetoed the strongest bills the party passed this year concerning some of our key platform planks,” said Troy Bray, a delegate from Park County. “If you’re not going to be a Republican, and believe the things Republicans believe, then please go find a party that represents you.”

The censure only carries symbolic weight but is indicative of the growing rift within Wyoming’s Republican Party, notably frustration from the further-right wings over the governor’s recent vetoes. Convention Chairman and State Representative (R—Wheatland) Jeremy Haroldson said Wyoming conservatives were setting the standards for Republicans around the country.

“We’re making the decisions that will guide this great state into the future,” Haroldson said. “How we conduct ourselves today they will write about in history. We’re making history today.”

Other resolutions mirrored conservative talking points across the country, including a call to “stop the invasion at the border,” labeling DEI as unconstitutional, a pledge to support the nation of Israel, a resolution recognizing the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, a resolution to ‘roll back leftist ideological indoctrination,’ and the imposition of a state felony on anyone found to be in Wyoming illegally.

Honorary Convention Chair and State Representative John Bear (R-Gillette) compared America’s divisions today to the level of fractures before the American Revolution and the Civil War. The attendees were on the side of moral righteousness and needed to stand their ground, according to Bear.

“This is not a time for unity, but a time for moral clarity. And as I often say, let’s fight for Wyoming. America’s last hope,” Bear said.

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Cy Neff is a politics reporting fellow based in Wyoming for USA Today. You can reach him at cneff@usatoday.com, or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @CyNeffNews

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: At Wyoming Republican convention, Trump endorsed, governor censured