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Wyoming: Country Party Submits Signatures, Constitution Party To Do the Same

Over at Ballot Access News, Richard Winger reports that the Country Party has filed their petition to be on the ballot. This is a party that is not putting forth any presidential candidate.

On December 6, the Country Party submitted 6,387 signatures to the Wyoming Secretary of State, on its petition to be a qualified party. The requirement is 3,740 signatures. The Country Party wants more power for the Wyoming state government, relative to the federal government.

The Country Party is actually a local offshoot of the Libertarian Party, but with a more rural flavor. The Country Party is led by former Libertarian Party members, including Don Wilis, the chairman of the new party.

The Country Party was formed about a year ago by top members of the Wyoming Libertarian Party who left after becoming disillusioned with the Libertarians’ electoral chances and parts of the party platform, such as legalization of drugs and calling for open borders.

The Country Party’s platform is still similar to the Libertarians; among other things, it calls for rejecting all federal education funding to Wyoming and eliminating, or at least reducing, the state’s 4-percent sales tax.

If the Country Party wins ballot access, said chairman Don Wills, they hope to target 30-35 legislative incumbents next year, though Wills estimated the party would only be able to recruit candidates in 20 of those races.

In other Wyoming news, Constitution Party employee Gary Odom reports: “Well the Constitution Party, which currently has slightly less than the amount turned in by the Country Party, but is still petitioning, has run a totally volunteer petition effort in Wyoming and has secured petition signatures in 23 counties. ” The last IPR heard, the Constitution Party petition had well over 3,500 signatures.

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Trent Hill


  1. Robert Hoover Robert Hoover December 14, 2011

    I don’t think the Constitution Party would have had any problem getting on the ballot in Wyoming if they paid people.

    Since they are against that, they came close but failed last time.

    Maybe they’ll make it this time.

  2. Nicholas De Laat Nicholas De Laat December 13, 2011

    The Constitution Party is a good party, they just lack in tactics. They have tried for 2 elections now to become an official recognized party, and the Wyoming Country Party did it in three months. That tells me two things. Though the Constitution Party is good in principals, they will never be viable. An idea is only that…an idea until it gets produced. Having an idea about a business is not a business, and so on.
    Second, it tells me that since the Country Party has the signatures, has some money, and backing, that the people of Wyoming Support it.
    The people behind this party are dedicated, and are not using dirty tactics against any other party. They are simply concerned citizens wanting to make a real change (and not President Obama’s). They are working hard to do this, and have established bylaws around point of just doing good. You should check the Wyoming Country Party out!

  3. Don Wills Don Wills December 13, 2011

    Cody, I agree that there are some state Constitution Parties that do not push the bible or the absolutist position on abortion. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in Wyoming. I assume you know Rex. Do you really believe he would let a pro-choice candidate be nominated to run against Rep. Lummis? Not a chance.

    The point is that we are the inclusive party, and the Wyoming Constitution Party is not. More importantly, the dollar is in the process of being destroyed, and the Constitution Party wants to argue about whether or not a rape victim should be prosecuted for taking the day after pill. That’s what’s bs, not my truth telling about the Wyoming Constitution Party.

    Readers can judge for themselves. Here’s the Preamble to the Platform of the Wyoming Constitution Party from their web site (

    “The Constitution Party of Wyoming gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance, and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States. The Constitution Party of Wyoming is to restore Wyoming jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.”

  4. Cody Quirk Cody Quirk December 13, 2011

    Don, that is bullshit.

    Our party doesn’t ban people of a certain religious faith from being members of the CP, and not all of us are so ‘exclusive’ on abortion.

    I admit there used to be some in the CP that had that attitude, but they left and only one of two of those individuals remain in the national party.

    BTW, being a Mormon that’s practical on the abortion issue and opposes any form of theocracy- I and many others in the CP are proof that the CP is NOT a theocratic party.

    As I said, join with us, attend our national convention, and help make the CP better then it already is.

  5. Don Wills Don Wills December 12, 2011

    Seeing as how the Constitution Party in Wyoming is the Christian absolutist-on-abortion Party, there probably isn’t any room in their party for some of our potential candidates who might not be Christian or who might be pro-choice. However, we would welcome all individual candidates who are Christian evangelicals and/or who hold an absolutist position on abortion. So maybe you should ask Rex to stop his efforts and join us. I’m not kidding.

  6. Cody Quirk Cody Quirk December 12, 2011

    I understand your attitude about the CP platform Don, but why not join the CP and then work to change the platform from within? You’re just splitting the third party vote on the Right in Wyoming.

  7. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry December 12, 2011

    Mr. Wills, thank you. I just sent you a message.

  8. Don Wills Don Wills December 12, 2011

    To contact me, click on my name and follow the links to the contact page.

  9. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | December 12, 2011

    Darryl…Don Wilis is the Chairman. Why not just ask him for his email?

  10. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry December 12, 2011

    Can you please get me in touch with someone from the Country Party?

    Many thanks, in advance!

  11. Don Wills Don Wills December 12, 2011

    paulie represents the positions of the Wyoming Country Party well. The Wyoming Country Party is less radical than the Constitution Party or Libertarian Party, but more radical than the GOP (that’s not saying much!). Think Tea Party without the social agenda.

  12. johncjackson johncjackson December 12, 2011

    I agree about ballot access.

  13. paulie paulie December 12, 2011

    a new party that doesn’t agree with any of the libertarian positions of the LP.

    They support smaller government across the board, but not to the same extent as the LP.

    Even on issues like drugs and immigration they want to move somewhat in a libertarian direction. Certainly they want lower taxes.

    They want more local autonomy, and most libertarians would agree.

  14. paulie paulie December 12, 2011

    Same principle as with providing them coverage here,

    I believe they should all be able to be on the ballot, and they should all be covered to some extent as news.

    After that it is up to them to make their respective cases and I am not shy about sharing my opinion on those. As you know.

    Disagreeing with someone is not a reason that I think they should be kept off the ballot, or that I wouldn’t help them get on the ballot if they pay me.

    Hope that is clear.

  15. paulie paulie December 12, 2011


    I don’t take ideology into account when I petition for ballot access.

    I believe all parties should have access to the ballot regardless of whether i agree with them or not.

    I’ve happily circulated for everyone from the Socialist and Green Parties to the Constitution Party and in between.

    They should all be on the ballot – period.

    The laws that bar them from the ballot without having to collect these signatures are an outrage.

    And yes, i do make a living at it.

  16. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | December 12, 2011

    john–I’ll agree there.

  17. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | December 12, 2011

    “I don’t know where or how the Constitution Party is petitioning, but they seem to be getting some numbers somewhere.”

    It’s an all-volunteer effort, I’m told. Pretty impressive.

  18. johncjackson johncjackson December 12, 2011

    People from the LP left the LP to form a new party that doesn’t agree with any of the libertarian positions of the LP. At least that makes sense.

  19. johncjackson johncjackson December 12, 2011

    So this was the top secret work Paulie was doing. He was working for some rightwing nut political party. Milnes was right. I might have to stop watching the news babes on tv.

  20. Paulie Paulie December 10, 2011

    Americans Elect has more signatures than either of them, but wants to go for more padding than the Country or Constitution Parties.

    There’s also an American Third Position Party that is supposedly circulating, although I only saw that in Ballot Access News after I left Wyoming – I did not run into any of their petitioners or anyone that said they signed their petition while I was in Wyoming.

    Curiously, although the Constitution Party said they have a lot of signatures, I did not run into any of their petitioners either, and very few people (as in maybe five the whole time) that said they signed for them already.

    I worked in Laramie, Cheyenne and Casper. We also have people working in Sheridan.

    I don’t know where or how the Constitution Party is petitioning, but they seem to be getting some numbers somewhere.

  21. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | December 10, 2011

    “#2 – we don’t want to have any connection or association to the LP. The LP message is poison to political success.”

    Except that your leadership is mostly composed of former LP leadership within the state. I’d say that’s a connection/association. But, whatever. I’m not going to argue with you about it, I’ve no dog in whatever fight you’re having.

    As for the rest of your comment–I actually like what you have to say. I really do. If Fusion were permitted in Wyoming (and you ought to try to make it so), then you would have an even better chance of success.

  22. Don Wills Don Wills December 9, 2011

    #2 – we don’t want to have any connection or association to the LP. The LP message is poison to political success.

    Our stock answer to #3 can be found here –

    In a nutshell, the absolutist position on abortion makes the Constitution Party unacceptable to 90% of voters, just as the drug and open border issues make the LP unacceptable to 90% of voters. We’re a non-radical alternative that holds none of those radical positions.

    In addition, we are unlike any other political party (at least in non-fusion states) in that we are about changing policy, not getting our team elected. Our bylaws specify that we will only run candidates against big government folks, that is, we are the anti-RINO party. We don’t need to win a single election to accomplish our objectives. If we could just get the GOP to actually live up to its platform that talks about smaller government, less taxes, less intrusion from the feds, etc., we’d close up shop and join the GOP. Until that happens, we’ve got to hold their feet to the fire. And unlike in many other states, that’s much easier to do in Wyoming in the general election than in the primary.

    One more comment. We believe the federal government is beyond saving. There’s no point in even trying to change policy there. That’s why our focus is solely on the 90 members of the Wyoming legislature. That’s where we hope to actually have an impact and that’s where we will put all of our resources.

  23. NewFederalist NewFederalist December 9, 2011

    I guess I don’t understand why you formed a new party rather than joining the Constitutionalists since you said you were “much closer” to them than the LP.

  24. Trent Hill Trent Hill Post author | December 9, 2011

    Don–three leaders in the Wyoming Country Party used to be influential members/leaders of the Libertarian Party in Wyoming? Did you leave the LP to form the Country Party?

    Ok then, almost by definition you’re an offshoot. It wasn’t an insult, just an observation.

  25. Don Wills Don Wills December 9, 2011

    No, the Wyoming Country Party is not a local offshoot of the Wyoming Libertarian Party. The fact that three of us used to be in the LP means we have as much in common with the LP as Ron Paul.

    The Wyoming Country Party platform rejects much of what the LP platform contains, including the positions on drugs, open borders, taxation, and the general legitimacy of government. If anything, the Wyoming Country Party is much closer to the GOP and to the Constitution Party than it is to the LP.

    If you really want to put a quick and dirty label on the Wyoming Country Party, we’re Tenthers.

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