Ryan Bundy, the son of controversial Mesquite-area rancher Cliven Bundy, plans to run for governor in 2018.
Bundy told The Nevada Independent in an interview on Thursday that he plans to file to run for governor as an independent on March 14, and will run on the same state sovereignty principles that made him and his family household names during a 2014 armed standoff with the federal government over unpaid grazing fees.
“The state of Nevada needs someone who will stand up for statehood, and recognize that Nevada is a sovereign state, not just a province of the U.S.,” he said.
Bundy, who was acquitted and released from an Oregon court in November following charges that stemmed from the takeover of the federally owned Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said he didn’t believe any of the current candidates for governor would enforce Nevada’s “constitutional” right to all land and resources within the state.
Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday recommended shrinking the boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument in a move that distressed conservationists, who have fought for years to protect the land near Mesquite. Zinke’s report came one day after the president slashed the size of two national monuments in Utah, a move that has already sparked a lawsuit.
Compared to the wholesale changes the president approved in Utah, any adjustments to Gold Butte are expected to be minor. But Zinke’s recommendations, although similar to a leaked draft in September, carry a symbolic weight for the area. They signal a major reversal of public lands policy that comes almost exactly one year after President Obama designated the nearly 300,000 acres that start about 10 miles from the site of the 2014 Bundy standoff.
“We will fight it in court,” Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in an email. “And we will win.”
Ryan Bundy started his detention hearing with a prayer last week in US Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr.’s courtroom.
Although you don’t often see it in any legal jurisdiction, it should have come as no surprise. As a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the eldest son of Bunkerville cattle rancher Cliven Bundy prays often. Friends and family members who assembled at U.S. District Court prayed on bended knee before packing the courtroom on Bundy’s behalf. The group included Bundy’s wife and eight children, who by themselves filled nearly half a row in the courtroom.