Bundy went public with his plans during a rally at Kleiner Park in Meridian, Idaho, according to his campaign website. The 45-year-old introduced the “Keep Idaho IDAHO Plan,” which seeks to eliminate “immoral taxes,” provide a plan for economic growth, bolster efforts to protect unborn children, and terminate “cronyism and corruption” in government.
Bundy, an outspoken critic of coronavirus lockdown measures, will challenge incumbent Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, who assumed his post in January 2019.
“I’m running for governor because I’m sick and tired of all the political garbage, just like you are,” he said in a campaign video. “I’m tired of our freedoms being taken from us, and I’m tired of the corruption that is rampant in our state government. Look, let’s be real: Joe Biden and those in the deep state that control him will simply not be able to help themselves.”
“They’re going to try to take away our gun rights, freedom of religion, parental rights, and more, and further violate the constitution in unimaginable ways, even more than they’ve already done,” he added. “We cannot afford to have state leadership that lets the federal government bully us or walk over us, and it is an unfair fight when the federal government unlawfully attacks the people. Believe me, I know, as my family and I experienced this firsthand.”
In mid-March, Bundy was arrested for failing to appear in court after he refused to wear a mask to his own jury trial. Magistrate Judge David Manweiler issued a warrant after Bundy declined to wear a face covering and was denied entry to an Idaho courthouse. He was later booked into jail on a $10,000 bond.
The 45-year-old’s trial stemmed from August 2020 charges of trespassing and resisting arrest after he allegedly refused to leave the state Capitol in Boise during a coronavirus lockdown protest. The rancher and activist was apprehended by law enforcement and rolled out of the special session in a chair hours after the meeting had adjourned.
“I’m going to sit right here,” he said at the time after leading a group of demonstrators in the area for dayslong opposition to government COVID-19 restrictions.
His slew of charges has left him banned from stepping foot on Idaho’s Capitol grounds for one year.
Bundy first came to prominence in 2016 when he and others took over Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge following a land dispute with the federal government. The anti-government activist and many of his followers were acquitted of conspiracy and weapons charges after they were arrested by authorities, though LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed by law enforcement during the standoff.