Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R), one of Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) GOP primary challengers, on Thursday come forward with a disturbing account of a sexual relationship he had with a 14-year-old teen he impregnated when he was 18.
A report by the Casper Star-Tribune, which conducted an interview Bouchard, begins immediately with the Republican telling the newspaper about the relationship and resulting pregnancy.
Then the Star-Tribune mentions that several hours prior to the interview, Bouchard told supporters via Facebook Live that he had gotten the girl pregnant when they were both teens. However, he did not specify the girl’s age in the video, only that she was “a little younger than me,” and compared the relationship to “the Romeo and Juliet story.”
The lawmaker tells the Star-Tribune that he and the teen got married in Florida when they were 19 and 15-years-old, respectively. They were legally able to do so in spite of the age gap because, up until 2018, Florida allowed any marriage regardless of age if there was a pregnancy. All that was needed was parental consent and the judge’s signature.
The couple divorced after three years, and Bouchard’s ex-wife died by suicide at the age of 20, the senator told the newspaper.
In the Facebook livestream, Bouchard also said his son — whom he had with the 14-year-old — “made some wrong choices in his life” and “I certainly don’t approve” of “some of the things that he’s got going on his life.”
“But I’m not going to abandon him. I still love him,” the lawmaker said in the video.
Bouchard then made it clear to the Star-Tribune that his frank disclosures were an effort to get ahead of the story before a “U.K. media reporter,” who he said had called him, and “a political opposition research company” exposed the relationship and pregnancy first.
The candidate lamented that “dirty politics” are “why good people don’t run for office,” then vowed to stay in the primary race.
“Bring it on,” he told the Star-Tribune.
Bouchard is one of eight candidates who is aiming to unseat Cheney, who fell out of favor with her GOP colleagues for voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump and for acknowledging that he was responsible for the Capitol insurrection in January — drawing Trump’s ire and vows to get her primaried in 2022.
Cheney was ousted as the No. 3 Republican in the House last week and was replaced as GOP conference chair by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who, despite having a relatively moderate voting record, has risen to prominence as one of ex-President Trump’s more reliable lackeys in the House.