Uinta County GOP taken back by “Traditional” Republicans In Party Coup
EVANSTON — A breaking news story may lay to rest the suit against the Uinta County Republican Party and the question if they followed state laws in electing county leadership.
The suit is still in the hands of the Wyoming Supreme Court. The appeal was made last August.
Ron Micheli, state Rep. Jon Conrad, R-Mountain View, Clarence Vranish and others filed a civil lawsuit being considered by the Wyoming Supreme Court about the party’s 2021 leadership elections.
In the lawsuit, they contested party officers should not have been allowed to vote in the 2021 leadership election because they lost their respective precinct committee elections in August 2020.” The Party cited their by-laws and allowed the votes. The Secretary of State later ruled the election was valid and the decision was upheld by Third District Court Justice Joe Bluemel in July 2022.
The lawsuit has cost the county committee about $50,000. Last week, Biffy Jackson put out a request for help the party pay for the legal debts incurred from this case, Jackson said “…if the debt could not be paid, party leadership could have their wages garnished and personal property confiscated, which she claimed could result in her losing her home.
According to a story in Cowboy State Daily Thursday morning, a party meeting Tuesday resulted in every member of the Uinta County GOP’s executive committee being removed from their positions and new committee members were elected.
Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily, reported, “During the reportedly contentious meeting, party chairperson Elisabeth “Biffy” Jackson was replaced by former Evanston Mayor Joy Bell in a close 33-31 vote.
“Also, former state lawmaker, gubernatorial candidate and former Wyoming Secretary of Agriculture Ron Micheli and his wife Patty Micheli replaced the county party’s State Committeeman Karl Allred and Committeewoman Jana Williams by similarly close margins.”
Stacey Wallace was elected as the new secretary-treasurer and Randy Barker and Jay Anderson were elected at the new West/East vice chairs.
Wolfson also reported, “We’re obviously pleased,” Ron Micheli told Cowboy State Daily about the outcome of Tuesday’s vote. “We appreciate the effort the past officers made. We hope they continue to be involved. Hopefully, this will patch up some of the tension in the county and state.”
According to Wolfson’s report, Micheli believes, “…the Uinta County leadership change may be a sign the party is turning back to being run by traditional Republicans, whom he believes the new leadership in Uinta represents.” Micheli also added, “…I will not yield my conservatism.”
In reporting the change, Wolfson speculated about the Wyoming Republican Party may be turning away from the “populist” bent that has been surfacing in recent years. He based this on comments from Micheli in which Micheli said he believes the “…leadership change may be a sign the party is turning back to being run by traditional Republicans, whom he believes the new leadership in Uinta represents.”
Micheli also noted, according to Wolfson, in Fremont and Johnson Counties, traditional Republicans took back precinct committee seats during the last election cycle and believe this trend will continue.
Wolfson said he was unable to reach Allred and Jackson for comments.
Others who don’t support this action have posted comments against the turnover, questioning the liberalizing bent.