Haynes Believes His Time Has Come In Wyoming Governor’s Race [VIDEO]
Dr. Taylor Haynes thinks his third run for Governor of Wyoming may lead to his election to the state's highest office in 2018.
Haynes, who is a retired surgeon, cattle rancher, and businessman from Cheyenne, previously ran for governor in 2010 and 2014. He formally announced his 2018 candidacy last week in Riverton.
In an interview Monday morning on KGAB-AM in Cheyenne, Haynes said people thought he was "a little crazy'' in 2010, but he was able to garner the support of a core group of Wyoming residents ''who understand the constitution." Haynes, who is a Republican, said by his second campaign in 2014, his message was starting to get some traction.
But he said the GOP gubernatorial primary fight between Matt Mead, the incumbent governor, and then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill tended to distract voters from his message. He also thinks Hill ''had a really strong message" and may have siphoned off some conservative votes that would have otherwise gone to him.
Haynes said Monday that with a little more money and possibly some harder work "maybe we could have reached more people," but even so the support he did receive ''was a real eye-opener."
Haynes ended up with 32.2 percent of the Republican primary vote, while Mead, running as an incumbent, got 54.8 percent and Hill pulled 12.7 percent. He said Monday that this time around more people have come to understand that Wyoming would not face some of the challenges it does if the state had been run constitutionally.
Haynes has long been a proponent of returning federally managed lands in Wyoming to state control. He said during his 2014 campaign under the U.S. Constitution the federal government is only allowed to own 10 square miles of land in Washington D.C.
He said at that time that if elected, he would take back all federal lands in the state, including Yellowstone National Park, which he vowed to open up for drilling, mining, and grazing.
On Monday in Cheyenne, Haynes said that if the U.S. Constitution was followed Wyoming would have "100 percent of our mineral wealth" to work with, rather than ''just 49 percent" that the state currently controls. He says the extra revenues that would be generated would go a long way toward solving Wyoming's budget challenges.
Haynes on Monday likened many of his stands to those of 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who at the time billed himself as a "constitutional conservative.'' Cruz, a United States Senator from Texas, won the 2016 Wyoming Presidential Republican Party caucuses.