GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A U.S. House candidate in Wyoming who disclosed that he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18 scoffed at the idea of dropping out of the race and challenged any legislators who might make an issue of his past.
“That’d be great,” state Sen. Anthony Bouchard said Monday of any possibility of censure by the Legislature. “Do it. Bring it on.”
Bouchard then refused to answer questions about the girl he married after she bore his son and who killed herself at age 20 in 1990, the year after they divorced.
“I’m not talking anymore about that, about this story,” he told the Casper Star-Tribune at a news conference in Gillette he’d scheduled hours earlier.
Bouchard is among at least eight Republicans running against Rep. Liz Cheney. He has been a state senator from Cheyenne since 2017 and previously was a gun rights activist.
It’s unclear whether Bouchard will face repercussions in the Legislature, though one leader left open the possibility.
“At this point we’re looking into it,” Senate President Dan Dockstader, a Republican, said by email Monday. Dockstader declined to provide further details.
Bouchard disclosed his teenage marriage last week in a Facebook Live video, telling supporters it was “like the Romeo and Juliet story” and that he went public with the information to get ahead of a story on his past.
Last winter, Bouchard was among the first candidates to announce a run against Cheney over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
His early start paid off. After a successful 2020 state Senate campaign in which he raised almost $14,000, Bouchard brought in $334,000 for his U.S. House race over the first three months of 2021.
The rate of donations has increased since news of the pregnancy broke last week, Bouchard campaign coordinator April Poley said. The assertion could not be verified because donations don't have to be publicly reported as they are received.
Cheney's campaign brought in $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2021.