May 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy files to run for Idaho governor

Photo of Ammon Bundy speaking into microphones
Ammon Bundy speaks to the media as the leader of a group of armed anti-government protesters who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon, in 2016. Photo: Rob Kerr/AFP via Getty Images

Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy, who is currently barred from entering Idaho Capitol grounds, has filed papers to run for Idaho governor next year, NBC reports.

Why it matters: He would attempt to unseat Gov. Brad Little as the 2022 GOP nominee. Unhappy with Little's response to the pandemic, anti-government activists have unsuccessfully targeted the governor for recall, per NBC.

Flashback: Bundy was part of an armed standoff in 2016 at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Bundy and others involved in the 41-day occupation were charged with possessing a firearm in a federal facility and conspiring to impede federal workers, but were acquitted.

  • He was in the news again last fall after he refused to wear a mask at his son's high school football game.
  • He brushed with law enforcement at the Idaho Capitol Building last summer and was detained for trespassing. The incident led to a 12-month ban from the premises, enacted last Aug. 26.

Worth noting: Bundy is not currently registered to vote, per NBC News. He views it as an act of protest.

  • "I want to make the point that I'm not very happy with the Republican Party. I would never be a Democrat," he told NBC News. "The Republican Party has not done a very good job of standing for liberty and securing the rights for the people."
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