BOISE, Idaho — Far-right activist and candidate for Idaho governor Ammon Bundy announced Thursday morning that he will drop out of the May Republican primary, calling the party "corrupt and wicked."
Bundy, who has been campaigning as a Republican against Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, will switch to an Independent affiliation, which will allow him to continue to run in the general election.
"Because of the corrupt and wicked state of the Idaho Republican Party establishment I have considered several times of un-affiliating myself with the party and running as an Independent candidate," Bundy wrote in a statement. "However, I find myself in a conundrum. The Republican Party platform is the platform I stand behind but the Republican establishment in Idaho is full of filth and corruption and they refuse to put forth the party platform."
KBOI Radio's Nate Shelman first broke the news Wednesday evening that Bundy would drop out of the primary. Multiple sources from inside Bundy's campaign told Shelman that Bundy would endorse McGeachin in the primary and that in turn, McGeachin would back Bundy in the general election if she lost in the primary. KTVB independently confirmed that with a source in Bundy's campaign.
But on Thursday morning, Bundy walked that back, saying there was no such agreement.
"Although this is an intriguing idea, the fact of the matter is, Janice McGeachin and I never made any agreement to endorse each other," he wrote. "In the future this radio host should think twice about running with information he gets from that source."
McGeachin also responded, writing in a statement that she was now focused on her race against Little.
"Today's announcement by Ammon Bundy that he is withdrawing from the Republican Gubernatorial Primary makes it all the more clear that there is only one viable conservative candidate in this race," she wrote. "I am, as I have been throughout my campaign, entirely focused on defeating Brad Little and restoring the principles of State Sovereignty, Individual Liberty, and Traditional Conservative Values in Idaho. I strongly support the Idaho Republican Platform, which so many politicians routinely ignore, and I look forward to conservatives from across the state uniting behind our campaign to Make Idaho Free Again."
Bundy is continuing to campaign, and held a town hall Wednesday evening in Clifton, Idaho.
Candidates running for statewide office start filing with the Secretary of State at the end of February.
"I am certain that by unifying Idahoans behind the actual Republican platform we can take back control of the Idaho government and restore the conservative values that have made Idaho such a great place to live," Bundy wrote.
This article will be updated as more information is released.
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