Taylor Haynes has promised that if he is elected governor of Wyoming he will claim all federal lands within the state’s borders.

The Cheyenne physician brings that message and others to a meet-the-candidate event tonight in Jackson.

Haynes recently gained national attention after suggesting that Wyoming ought to exploit natural resources within Yellowstone National Park. A Republican, Haynes opposes immigrants, supports drilling and vows to restore the sanctity of the Constitution in Wyoming.

Haynes issued a memorandum Tuesday rebutting “legal experts” who claim Wyoming’s governor cannot simply seize federal land within the state’s boundaries.

The Constitution’s provision for 10 acres on which to seat a national government — the clause establishing Washington, D.C. — describes the maximum allowable area that government can own, Haynes wrote.

The gubernatorial hopeful has staked out several other notable positions, among them a stance on Somalian refugees opposing Mead’s recent comments on a potential future plan for refugees who choose to live in Wyoming.

“Gathering up large numbers of people who are refugees from war-torn countries, who haven’t prepared themselves to come here, and who largely shun our culture, is a travesty, as it undermines our system of immigration,” Haynes wrote in a statement. “The refugee green card protocol is being used to legally undermine our workforce, and through the influx of alien values it undermines our Judeo-Christian culture.”

Haynes went on to say that refugees threaten national security, carry infectious diseases and suffer from mental health problems.

Originally from Louisiana, Haynes has served in several high-profile posts in Wyoming. He has held a seat on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees, served a stint as vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and worked as vice chief of staff and chairman of patient care at the DePaul Hospital in Cheyenne.

Haynes has pledged to use his time as governor to “restore the use of the Constitution and our Christian values in our state.”

Haynes will be meeting and greeting between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. this evening at the Teton County Administrative Building. The building is at the corner of East Simpson Avenue and South Willow Street.

Note: This article has been changed to clarify Gov. Matt Mead's stance on Somalian refugees.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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