Former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell has announced a new campaign for governor – of Wyoming. Rammell, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for Idaho governor in 2010 and as an independent against Sen. Jim Risch for the U.S. Senate in 2008, told the Jackson Hole Daily News and Guide that his campaign platform rests entirely on trying to force the transfer of federal public lands from the U.S. government to the state, including threats to “forcibly remove federal officials from their offices on Wyoming’s public lands.”
“The thing that I’ve got going for me is Wyoming’s in a crisis,” Rammell said. “With all the people that are leaving the state, all the state jobs that had to be cut and a $700 million shortfall, I think people will start listening to a candidate that is willing to take bold moves.”
Rammell gained notoriety in Idaho after a herd of domestic elk at his eastern Idaho hunting ranch escaped in 2006, prompting then-Gov. Jim Risch to order the escaped animals shot to avoid spreading disease to the state’s wild elk herds. Rammell fought an extended but unsuccessful court battle over that incident, culminating in an Idaho Supreme Court decision against him. He also launched a political career out of it, first running against Risch. Rammell also made the news in Idaho for an elk-poaching conviction and battery and jury-tampering charges.
In 2012, he lost a GOP primary for a state legislative seat in Idaho County, then announced he’d “given up on Idaho” and moved to Wyoming. At the time, he told Eye on Boise, “I probably was too optimistic that I could turn Idaho into Wyoming.”
When he campaigned for Idaho governor, Rammell used a 16-foot inflatable green Tyrannosaurus Rex as a campaign gimmick, pulling it on a trailer behind his campaign RV for parades and rallies, and saying, “T-Rex is going to take a bite out of the feds when he becomes governor.”