Ryan Bundy, fresh out of a jail cell, now says he wants to be Nevada’s governor and will run on a state-sovereignty platform.
The eldest son of antigovernment icon Cliven Bundy told media outlets Thursday that he intends to file next week as an independent candidate for governor, then embark on a statewide speaking tour.
“The state of Nevada needs someone who will stand up for statehood, and recognize that Nevada is a sovereign state, not just a province of the U.S.,” Ryan Bundy told The Nevada Independent.
Those are the same principles, he said, that propelled him and his family to national notoriety following a 2014 standoff at Bunkerville, Nevada, with federal agents.
Criminal charges from that standoff, brought against him, his father and brother, Ammon Bundy, were dismissed in early January by a federal judge in Las Vegas.
After spending 22 months in federal custody, Ryan Bundy was released from jail in Nevada on November 14 after the start of the jury trial in Las Vegas that was derailed by what the judge described as misconduct by government prosecutors who failed to turn over certain FBI documents to defense attorneys.
The Justice Department is appealing those dismissals.
Ryan Bundy earlier was acquitted of federal charges for his role in the 2016 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Bundy told reporters he doesn’t believe any of the current candidates for governor would enforce Nevada’s “constitutional right to all land and resources within the state,” the Independent reported.
His home state of Nevada, he said, should enforce its constitutional right to control 85 percent of the state’s public lands now controlled by the federal government.
“Land is already appropriated to various users, but it needs to put into production for the benefit of the people of Nevada,” he told the newspaper. “I fully intended to make sure that happens.”
If Ryan Bundy goes through with his plans to enter the political arena, he will join other far-right, antigovernment candidates who’ve expressed similar intentions.
His father, Cliven Bundy, earlier made public statements about possibly running for sheriff or governor.
Former Oath Keeper Jon Ritzheimer, involved in the 2016 takeover of the federal wildlife reserve in Oregon with Ryan Bundy, also talked about running for congress in Arizona, but his prison sentence got in the way.
Last week, former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, who heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, lost his primary election bid to be the Republican candidate for the U.S. House for Arizona’s 8th congressional district. Mack only collected 1,014 votes, or 1.4 percent of the vote.
In Washington state, Joey Gibson, the founder of the alt-right Patriot Prayer, has announced his candidacy to run for the U.S. Senate.