A Wyoming state senator who plans to primary GOP Rep. Liz Cheney appeared on a Facebook Live video on Thursday to, as he put it, "[dodge] a bullet" from reports he suspected were about to emerge about a long-ago relationship. In his announcement, Anthony Bouchard revealed that, as a teen almost 40 years ago, he'd impregnated another teen, though the Hill notes he didn't say in the video how old either he or the girl was at the time. "It's amazing that they look at things so negatively," he noted of his past, which he claimed people opposed to his candidacy were probing. "Bottom line, it's a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant. You've heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story." Hours later, Bouchard clarified some details to the Casper Star-Tribune: He'd been 18 when he'd impregnated the girl, who was only 14 at the time.
The father of four and grandfather of two told the paper that, to fend off pressure to abort the pregnancy, he married the girl when she was 15 and he was 19. He said they divorced three years later and, at the age of 20, his ex-wife killed herself, leaving him to raise their son. As for their child today, Bouchard notes his son "made some wrong choices in his life" and has "almost become my estranged son." The age of consent in Wyoming is 17, and the state doesn't appear to have a close-in-age exemption (aka a "Romeo and Juliet" law). Bouchard calls his announcement a preemptive strike against "dirty politics," though he says he doesn't think Cheney herself is pushing the story. "The Cheney campaign had no involvement in this at all," a rep for the congresswoman concurs. (Read more Wyoming stories.)