A group of high-profile Fremont County Republicans are backing a Libertarian over their own party’s candidate in the race for Riverton’s House District 55 — an eyebrow-raising development in a year that has split the state’s Republicans into two warring factions ahead of the 2020 election.
Libertarian candidate Bethany Baldes recently sent out mailers touting endorsements from Riverton Mayor Rich Gard and Reps. Tim Salazar and David Miller in her bid for the House of Representatives against Republican nominee and local attorney Ember Oakley in her bid for the statehouse this fall.
Baldes said in a Facebook message Wednesday she was preparing for a forum on Thursday night and was not immediately available for comment.
Though well behind Oakley in endorsements from prominent conservatives — Oakley’s endorsements include some of the state’s most prominent and respected Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Tara Nethercott, Riverton Sen. Eli Bebout, Senate President Ogden Driskill and former U.S. Senator Al Simpson — Baldes’ support presents voters with a choice between two types of conservative candidates, the choice that seemed to define this year’s primary election season for the party...