PHOENIX – Outlaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed posse hobnobbed with numerous Arizona Republican political candidates last weekend at the70th annual Mohave County Republican Party Picnic.
Stumping politicians who attended the Aug. 16 picnic along with Bundy included: Gubernatorial candidates Treasurer Doug Ducey, Christine Jones and Secretary of State Ken Bennett; Secretary of State candidate Michelle Reagan; Attorney General candidate Mark Brnovich; Treasurer candidates Jeff DeWitt and Randy Pullen; and Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Diane Douglas.
Bundy made national and international headlines in April over his tense standoff with local sheriff’s deputies and federal land management officials during which his followers trained guns on law enforcement officers and media. Two of Bundy’s more extreme followers, Jerad and Amanda Miller, later murdered two Nevada police officers in an attempt to incite revolution against the government.
Arizona not withstanding apparently, much of Bundy’s support evaporated after he gave a televised interview during his standoff exposing his racist thoughts on “the negro.” He has more recently indicated that God is guiding his fight against the federal government over his $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
Bundy was originally an invited guest speaker at the picnic, even posting a press release about his “states rights” speaking agenda just one day before appearing. However, sources close to picnic’s organizers said many regular attendees balked at Bundy being a speaker and threatened to boycott. Bundy was ultimately just invited as a guest.
ProgressNow Arizona was not invited to the picnic, and none of the media members we alerted regarding Bundy’s presence chose to make the trek. So it was unclear whether Bundy’s armed guards were there to protect Bundy from GOP picnickers or to prevent him from being taken into custody by members of law enforcement who were present. ProgressNow Arizona received confirmation of Bundy’s attendance via sources who were present, and the photo was pulled from an attendee’s Facebook post.
Oddly, none of the candidates opted to be photographed with Bundy, or to acknowledge his presence on social media. But with only about 250 attendees, and an armed security detail, he must have been hard to miss.