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Republicans accuse Wyo GOP of ‘unconstitutional’ process to replace Balow

The Wyoming Republican Party headquarters in downtown Cheyenne (Nick Reynolds/WyoFile)

By Maggie Mullen, WyoFile

A Republican party official has accused the Wyoming GOP’s Central Committee of planning to use an unconstitutional process at its meeting Saturday for the selection of three candidates to replace former Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

Campbell County State Committeeman and former Speaker of the House, Tom Lubnau, made the charge in a letter Thursday to Frank Eathorne, Chairman of the Republican Central Committee, and Brian Shuck, Wyoming Republican Party legal counsel. In it, Lubnau says he has been told that the process will involve giving each county three votes, regardless of population — one vote for each county’s state committeeman, state committeewoman and party chair.

“If that occurs, that process would be in open and obvious violation of the United States and Wyoming Constitutional provisions that require that all actions of this type strictly follow ‘one man-one vote’ principles,” the letter reads.

Lubnau is urging the Republican Central Committee to instead select candidates for Gov. Mark Gordon’s consideration through “a process that recognizes the population in each county. Each county should be allocated votes based on its population.”

Lubnau also pointed to Article 2 of the Wyoming Republican Party Platform – “Every citizen is equal before, equally protected by, and equally subject to, the law.”

Neither Eathorne nor Shuck responded to WyoFile’s request for comment. Lubnau was not available ahead of press time, but attorney Patrick Crank spoke on his behalf. Crank is a former Wyoming attorney general.

While the letter does not directly threaten legal action, Crank told WyoFile if the process is not changed, “there will be legal action.”



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