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Legislature Allen Jaggi

Rep. Allen Jaggi works at his desk in the House chambers in January 2013 at the Capitol in Cheyenne. He announced Wednesday he is planning to leave the legislature.

A state lawmaker who has sponsored some of Wyoming’s most controversial gun rights bills has decided not to seek another term in office.

Republican Rep. Allen Jaggi of Lyman recently paid a candidate filing fee to appear on the ballot for House District 19. But then he withdrew. He said he had gone back and forth in his mind about whether to run again, and he finally decided against it when another Republican, Danny Eyre, filed to run for the seat.

Jaggi said he’s been thinking about retiring for years.

“My wife didn’t want me to sign up to start with,” he said. “I told her I’d sign up. Then when this Mr. Eyre signed up, I thought, he’s kind of like I me. I am hoping he would stick up for the same values. I think he represents Bridger Valley and Uinta County similarly, so I felt a little better about that.”

As a lawmaker, Jaggi sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills that would have repealed gun-free zones in schools and allowed people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in state and local government meetings. Many of the bills failed.

Jaggi was also a vocal critic of the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish’s operations. He served on the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee for seven years, regularly blocking attempts by the department to increase licenses and fees to raise more money. After seven years, leadership removed him from the committee.

Jaggi has served in the Legislature since 2007. He and his wife recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. He’d like to spend more time with his family, he said.

“My wife and I talked,” he said. “We weren’t going to run again last time. We decided we’ve been there 10 years, it’s enough. We want to do more with our family. As we get a little older, taking on other projects that we’re doing, it’s time to quit.”

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In addition to Eyre, Democrat Mel McCreary seeks the HD19 seat.

Most of the district is in the Bridger Valley. It includes other parts of Uinta County.

The primary is Aug. 16, and the general election is Nov. 9.

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Follow political reporter Laura Hancock on Twitter @laurahancock.

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