State Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) wants to take his fight against the Republican Party establishment to the next level.
“I’m not burning bridges,” he said. “I want to nuke them.”
The second-term Laramie County senator is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in the 2022 primary, having declared soon after he heard Cheney say she would vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
He said he’d been frustrated by her well before that however, and had heard how many others felt the same.
With his campaign well underway, last week he stopped all over Park County to talk to residents about what he said he’d want to bring to Washington.
“I always want to vote how I think my constituents would want,” he said.
In the Legislature, that’s meant sponsoring bills to defend Second Amendment rights and, he said, to provide more transparency.
In the latest session, he sponsored a bill that would have made attorney general an elected position. It did not pass.
“Fighting the establishment is not for the faint at heart,” he said. “Sometimes I lose, sometimes I win, but when you don’t send a fighter, why would you expect different results?”
Gun rights are a major focus for Bouchard, who started Wyoming Gun Owners, a group that advocates for gun owners in the state and has occasionally criticized the NRA for not opposing all gun control efforts.
Before politics, Bouchard built a business. He works with his wife of 24 years, Billie Jean, in the family septic cleaning business.
Bouchard first won his State Senate seat five years ago, despite, he said, being massively outspent.
Last year, he did it again in one of the more moderate areas of the state, which Bouchard said is a credit to his ability to reach out to people who have avoided politics.
“I attribute that to my strong conservative message,” he said. “I’m a proven conservative.”
Now his fundraising efforts have become easier as Cheney’s back-and-forth with Trump has led to a flood of new donations for Bouchard, who has raised nearly $500,000.
He’s not just running against Cheney, however. Last week a Cheyenne attorney, Darin Smith, entered the race and Rep. Chuck Gray (R-Casper), who entered the race in March, has also been able to gather hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.
Bouchard said voters should look at his record when deciding who to vote for.
“I’m the guy pushing that the auditor needs to open the checkbook,” he said. “I fought by myself on this thing. I’ve been fighting against the establishment.”