Although the May 17 primary is long past, one former Republican candidate for governor remains in the race. According to early polls, his name remains well known, yet controversial: Ammon Bundy. Unlike Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin who lost to incumbent governor Brad Little in the Republican primary, Bundy will have the chance to face Little in the general election come November. Bundy has that chance because he chose to drop out of the Republican race and register as an independent before deadline.
Bundy spent much of last week campaigning in North Idaho, hosting at least two public town hall events in both Sandpoint and Athol. Additionally, Bundy spoke on a podcast from North Idaho, went through the Hayden Parade and had a private lunch with a number of North Idaho politicians at the MacKenzie River Pizza Company of Highway 95. There he answered a number of questions about himself and his campaign for about two hours.
Bundy began the meeting by introducing another independent running for U.S. Senate-- Scott "Oh" Cleveland. After that, Bundy almost immediately opened up the floor for questions.
One of the more controversial line of questions were related to Bundy’s associates from the Bundy Ranch situation. According to some of Todd Engel’s supporters, Engel was not supported by Bundy after he was released from prison before Engel. Bundy said that Engel’s claim that he was not supported during his time in prison was nothing but politics. Beyond that, Bundy didn’t have much else to say about the disagreement between the former friends except that a rift between them didn’t really exist. Engel declined to comment on the situation.
Another line of questions related to Bundy’s chances of winning. Many supporters seemed skeptical that Bundy can defeat the incumbent governor. According to Bundy, however, his campaign has a good chance of winning. Part of his strategy is to collect Idaho citizens who don’t usually vote, but would be willing to vote for a non-traditional candidate. Another part of the Bundy strategy is to harness a widespread dislike of Governor Little.