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September 18, 2020

The Cowgirl Run Fund was the bi-partisan brain child of several Wyoming women. In principle, I support civic engagement in almost every form. But, one of the founders is an elected officer of her county’s Republican Party, and, as such, a member of the WRP’s Central Committee. As a Republican, I find the funding of a Democrat woman, by a Republican woman in Party leadership, over an incumbent Republican man offensive on many levels. The funding by that Republican woman of the Minority Floor Leader, who is unopposed in her race, is also offensive. So offensive, in fact, that she was censured by her colleagues on the WRP Central Committee last Saturday. 

Cowgirl Run Fund makes the assumption that women can serve in the legislature more ably than men can serve. This is inherently a sexist notion and is rejected by the Wyoming Republican Party which promotes values over gender.

Having served in the Wyoming House for six years, I can attest that women are superbly represented. The men are husbands, sons, and fathers of daughters, and they hear from the women in their lives frequently on the issues before the legislature. “Woman’s issues” are always well addressed.

Cowgirl Run Fund has succumbed to the gender-shaming heaped upon Wyoming by the mainstream media and progressive, so-called, “woman” organizations that bemoan the small number of female legislators, and other electeds, in this state. Knuckling under to outside gender pressures is neither good policy, nor, does it necessarily result in the best elected officials.

She and her county partners on the State Central Committee were absent from the meeting, which was unfortunate. I would have liked to hear a defense of her activities on behalf of Democrats and against Republicans.

Speaking only for myself, this woman has no place on the Central Committee of the Wyoming Republican Party, and ought to step down immediately.

The Wyoming Republican Party is under attack from all sides, and within, as mainstream Wyoming Republicans demand that the party become more principled on its return to its conservative roots. 

In my role as Wyoming’s National Committewoman, I spent eight years traveling the state. The complaint I heard consistently was about the Party permitting Republicans-that-should-be-Democrats to ride on the Republican brand.

In 2016, the Wyoming Republican Party and the Republican National Committee both adopted the most conservative Platforms that either entity had seen in decades. I am proud to have been part of both efforts. Many other states are following suit.

Subsequently, we have seen a revolt by actors and factions that want the GOP to be all things to all people, and by Republicans who want Democrats to like them. Now that we are standing on the solid, timeless, conservative principles that defined the GOP since its founding, the old guards like Mitt Romney, John Kasich and Jeff Flake find themselves more allied with actual Democrats and Progressives than with the Republican party they claimed to have been serving all these years.

I am saddened that a member of the Wyoming Republican Party Central Committee, and a Republican leader in her own county, does not see fit to support an incumbent Republican state senator, but rather to generously fund his Democrat opponent.

Her censure was appropriate.

Marti Halverson

Etna, Wyoming

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