Zinke Resigns As Delegate
Congressman Ryan Zinke has resigned as a Montana delegate to the Republican National Convention because of the party’s position on the transfer of federal public lands. Zinke told The Billings Gazette he withdrew after the Republican platform committee endorsed transferring federal lands. Zinke made his resignation public Friday.
An alternate delegate will replace Zinke. Public lands have emerged as a political tripwire in the 2016 Montana elections. Zinke will still deliver a speech about national security Monday to the Republican National Convention.
Zinke’s Democratic challenger, Denise Juneau has accused the congressman of supporting a bill by Rep. Raul Labrador, of Idaho, that creates a 4-million acre pilot program for local management of federal lands. Zinke said he supports better management of federal land but doesn’t support transferring those lands to the states.
He’s not alone. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton supports a transfer of federal lands to the states.