WHEATLAND – Chuck Gray is a no-nonsense Natrona County Republican who stands upon a working man’s platform and has given his service in the House of Representatives for District 57 for four years.
He makes no bones about his political differences with Liz Cheney who has served as the U.S. Representative for Wyoming's at-large congressional district since 2017. Many know of her famous father, Dick Cheney, who is the former vice president of the United States who served as the 46th vice president under former President George W. Bush.
He was brought to Wheatland by local grassroots activist Shonda Boyd, who is an advocate for keeping Wyoming dollars in Wyoming. Shonda and her husband, Tyler Boyd, Wheatland residents and ranch owners, have been part of a developing national grassroots movement to see small processing and packing plants come back to life. The goal is to eliminate the middlemen, the excess and the deep pockets of bureaucracy, to get back to the simple idea of meeting supply and demand, matching producers with consumers.
In a grassroots effort to chase down a runaway freight train before it derails and causes irreparable damage, a very simple idea sparked the website, United States Meat and Produce Market. Shonda and Tyler Boyd had the insight to see beyond the large processing closures and know that somewhere down the line, the “big box butchers” will use COVID-19 and the new regime in the White House to exploit the general public and ultimately claim that they have no choice but to charge more for meat and produce products.
Boyd brought Gray in on a special night to meet the candidate and to honor the Hillside Bar & Grill June 15. She wanted people to come out and hear a viable candidate option to run against Cheney and she also wanted to celebrate the Wheatland restaurant for vertically integrating beef from local producers, Horblit Natural Beef and Fred’s Produce.
The idea was to educate people as to Wyoming’s pure natural beef to be raised and marketed in Wyoming.
Gray is running for the Wyoming Senate in 2022 and came to Wheatland to caution non-Cheney voters that many people running against her could act as a severe split in the voting and would give her the edge. Gray is advocating for a final vote for the top two candidates in a final election.
“As soon as she (Cheney) saw the chance on January 6 to vote for impeachment (against then President Trump) and try to quash our movement, she went along with that,” he said. “I’ve proven myself over the last five years in the Wyoming State Legislature. I represent east Casper, was elected in 2016 and entered into the 2017 session.”
Gray bills himself as “Liz Cheney’s replacement” and his hashtag to find out more is #draintheswamp. A term that hasn’t been heard very much since Trump left office, Gray is part of a faction that continues to believe that corruption is the swamp in D.C. and must be drained.
Gray runs on a pro-life platform.
“The first thing I did as a member of the legislature was to file the ultrasound bill,” Gray said. “This is a pro-life bill that required an ultrasound to be provided any time a woman asked for an abortion. It had been a bill that had been run many times in the state Legislature. We finally passed that bill.”
With an air of confidence, and a hint of a pit bull, Gray has successfully promoted and pushed through several bills in the Wyoming Legislature and his tenacity will take him to the task of the next election.
Gray is also responsible for discovering the University of Wyoming was covering abortion in their student health plan.
“This was unconscionable,” he said. “We were subsidizing that as state tax payers with a generous block grant that we were providing to the University. I wrote a budget amendment which said that they were not going to receive any of their state funding if they didn’t stop that practice. And of course they are addicted to state funding, so that got it under control and we got that through in 2020.”
Another issue that Gray has been active within the legislature is voter integrity and was part of the action that stopped the bill for mail-in voting in Wyoming.
Approximately 50 people attended the meet and greet and also attended the 45-minute question and answer period that followed Gray’s presentation.