• Bundy is known for taking part in armed standoffs with the government
  • Sick and tired of all of this political garbage, says Bundy in the campaign video
  • Other Republicans -- Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, Cody Usabel, and Jeff Cotton -- are also running for Idaho governor

Ammon Bundy, an anti-government activist who grabbed national headlines when he led an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon, has officially announced his bid for governor of Idaho. He is running as a Republican and will join the GOP primary to challenge the current state Gov. Brad Little.

In a video posted announcing his campaign Saturday on his website, Bundy said: “I’m running for Governor because I’m sick and tired of all of this political garbage just like you are. I’m tired of our freedoms being taken from us and I’m tired of the corruption that is rampant in our state government.”

Bundy grabbed headlines in 2016 when he led an armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon that went on for 41 days following the arrest of two Oregon ranchers who were accused of arson on federal properties.

Bundy and his group were indicted by a federal grand jury. They were eventually acquitted. On the other hand, Dwight and Steven Hammond, the father and son ranchers who inspired the standoff, were pardoned by former President Donald Trump in the same year.

Before the 2016 incident, Bundy and his father, Cliven Bundy, were involved in an armed standoff with authorities in 2014 after federal agents tried to confiscate Cliven’s cattle due to his refusal to pay for fees on grazing on federal land, ABC News reported. They were later acquitted of charges.

According to AP, Bundy joins fellow Republicans -- Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, Cody Usabel, Jeff Cotton, Edward Humphreys, and Lisa Marie – in the race for Idaho governor. All these people have already filed paperwork for the electoral position. But no Democratic candidate has entered the race so far, the report added.

On his official campaign website, Bundy said: “We can not afford to have state leadership that lets the federal government bully us, or walk all over us.”

“…And its an unfair fight, when the federal government unlawfully attacks the people — believe me, I know as my family and I experienced this first hand, when we were unlawfully attacked by federal officials at our family ranch in Nevada in 2014. But we did not back down, and thankfully, likeminded patriots across the country stood with us, as we fought back against federal tyranny to protect our land and our rights,” he added.

In August 2020, Bundy was banned for a year from visiting the State Capitol after he was arrested during a protest for trespassing, resisting, and obstructing police, according to ABC News. He then missed his trial date in March after being denied entry to the Ada County Courthouse as he refused to wear a mask.

Bundy filed paperwork for his gubernatorial bid with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office last month, but it hit a roadblock as he was not listed on Idaho voter records, CNN reported.

The Idaho gubernatorial primary is set to take place next year, the report added.

ammon bundy
Ammon Bundy, the leader of a dwindling armed occupation, spoke to members of the media in front of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Jan. 6 near Burns, Oregon. He was arrested Tuesday. Getty Images