A group calling themselves the ”Frontier Republicans” held a kickoff event at the Wyoming State Capitol on Thursday morning.
Group co-founder Doug Camblin said the group has been around in Campbell County for a while, but said Thursday’s event was the launching of the organization on a statewide basis.
”We just were concerned with the direction of the Republican Party,” Camblin said. ”We felt extremists and their extremist views have not been beneficial to the Republican party. One of the things we have seen is a movement of purity. That you have to have a litmus test to be a Republican.”
Camblin said of the group “the same as Ronald Reagan, we believe in a big tent.” On specific issues, Camblin says the group opposes a crossover voting bill in the legislature that would prevent people from changing their party affiliation in the last couple of weeks before a primary election.
Camblin says Republican presidents Reagan and Donald Trump were both Democrats at one point. ”We hope that if Democrats cross over to vote Republican, maybe they will decide to stay.” He did add however that people crossing over just to vote in one primary election and then returning to the Democratic Party is not something he favors.
Another member of the group, Dr. Joe McGinley of Natrona County, said of the group’s membership, ”We are Wyoming Republicans and we believe in conservative values.” But he says he believes extremists have driven away mainstream Republicans ”so we want to offer an avenue for these Republicans to come back to the party.”
He also says he thinks a tendency towards name-calling, insults and ”undermining individuals” has become more prominent in recent years. ”We are just looking for people to be nice to each other,” McGinley said.