Ammon Bundy, the anti-government militant who led an armed takeover of a US wildlife refuge, is running for governor of Idaho

Ammon Bundy, the anti-government militant who led an armed takeover of a US wildlife refuge, is running for governor of Idaho
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Ammon Bundy, wearing a cowboy hat, walking between two law-enforcement agents.
Ammon Bundy, center, one of the sons of the Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, after a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters near Burns, Oregon, in 2016. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File
  • Ammon Bundy on Saturday announced he's running for governor of Idaho as a Republican.

  • The anti-government activist is known for taking part in armed standoffs with the government.

  • In 2016, he led an armed group's occupation of a federal wildlife refuge for more than a month.

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

Ammon Bundy, the anti-government activist who led the armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge in 2016, announced Saturday that he's running for governor of Idaho.

"I'm running for governor because I'm sick and tired of all of this political garbage just like you are," Bundy, who is running as a Republican, said in a campaign-announcement video.

"Joe Biden and those in the Deep State that control him, will simply not be able to help themselves - they are going to try to take away our gun rights, freedom of religion, parental rights, and more and further violate the Constitution in unimaginable ways even more than they've already done," he continued.

Bundy, 45, is best known for his role in armed confrontations with the US government, which he alluded to in his announcement video, saying his family knew what it's like "when the federal government unlawfully attacks the people."

Bundy also has two misdemeanor trespassing charges against him in Idaho for visits to the statehouse in protest of COVID-19 legislation. On one occasion, when he would not leave the building, the police used an office chair to wheel him out while in handcuffs, the Idaho Press reported. In August, the police barred Bundy from visiting the Capitol for one year.

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In 2016, Bundy led an armed group in the takeover and occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in eastern Oregon.

The occupation, which lasted more than a month, was in part a protest over the federal government's control of public lands. At the time Bundy said the armed group, which media estimates said contained up to 30 people, would not leave until the federally run land was transferred to local property owners.

After weeks of negotiations, the FBI was able to retake the refuge. More than two dozen militants were charged, and one, Robert Finicum, was killed by the police. Bundy was arrested and faced numerous charges but was later acquitted.

It was not the first time the Bundy family made national headlines. In 2014, they took part in an armed standoff at the Nevada ranch owned by Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy's father.

The elder Bundy had spent years opposing the Bureau of Land Management and was ordered to pay the agency more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees. After he refused to pay, federal officials came to round up his cattle that were illegally grazing on federal land.

It resulted in an armed standoff between federal agents, the Bundys, and supporters of the family's cause. The Bundys were charged with conspiracy against federal agents, among other things, though the case ended with a mistrial.

Federal prosecutors expressed interest in revisiting the case last year, NPR reported.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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