SHERIDAN — Rex Rammell, a candidate for U.S. Congress, participated in the Sheridan WYO Rodeo parade Friday with a campaign float he said wins him cheers wherever he goes.
The Gillette Republican’s entry consisted of two horses carrying two effigies of federal agencies: the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency. The BLM and EPA dolls were draped over horses, which Rammell led on his own horse carrying a campaign sign. The candidate said he’s run the entry in parades in Casper, Gillette and Lovell.
“My take on the parade was that all through the parade thought I heard nothing but cheers, thumbs-up and smiles,” Rammell said.
Rammell said his campaign’s chief issue is the transfer of federal lands to the states.
“So if the land were transferred back, it would literally be the death of those agencies,” he said.
But some parade-goers did not like the joke.
Dominic Jandrain, a hydrologic technician for the BLM office in Buffalo, said he felt threatened seeing a caricature of himself hung out for dead.
“It’s upsetting to me, even if it is to no one else,” Jandrain said.
Jandrain acknowledged Rammell’s right to speak his mind but said he thought the presentation promoted a “creepy agenda.”
Rammell said the dolls were intended to represent federal agencies and not the employees of those agencies.
“It wouldn’t surprise me that a federal employee wouldn’t like it,” he said, “but I don’t think they’re real popular throughout Wyoming right now.”
Rammell has run unsuccessfully for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House in Idaho, his home state. Rammell, a veterinarian, made headlines as a gubernatorial candidate in 2009 for joking about wanting to purchase a hunting tag for President Barack Obama.