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Wyoming GOP members plan to contest state leadership vote

May 15, 2020 GMT

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Some Wyoming Republican Party members plan to file a complaint with the secretary of state’s office after the state GOP upheld a contested vote for top party positions.

The dispute stems from a portion of the party’s annual state convention held online last weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic. A statewide public health order at the time prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people.

Convention polling gave the state GOP committeeman and committeewoman positions to incumbent Corey Steinmetz and former gubernatorial candidate Harriet Hageman, candidates favored by the state party’s more conservative faction.

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Opponents of the vote said fewer than two-thirds of eligible delegates voted and the outcome was “illegitimate.” Other party members said those questioning the vote just didn’t like the result.

The state GOP will uphold the vote at least until an in-person portion of the convention takes place June 25-27 in Gillette, Party Chairman Frank Eathorne announced Wednesday.

“The body voted to adjourn before a revote was ordered and in any case, revoting by the same method was out of order,” Eathorne said in a release. “Since the election was not overturned, it must stand as the action of the body unless or until subsequent action is taken.”

A group called the Frontier Republicans that promotes change within the party plans to bring a formal complaint with the secretary of state to contest the results, Natrona County Republican Party Chairman Joe McGinley told the Casper Star-Tribune.

The situation sets the stage for a fight between the party’s moderate and conservative factions at the Gillette portion of the convention.

Battles between the two sides in recent months have centered on child vaccinations and secret investigations of party members who question state party leaders.

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