Zwonitzer Keeps Wyoming House Seat, Speaker Says Issue Resolved
Wyoming House District 43 Rep. Dan Zwonitzer won't face a House investigation committee in regard to allegations he doesn't live in his legislative district following a House vote on Monday.
The residency complaint alleged that Zwonitzer moved outside his district. It was referred to the House by the Wyoming Secretary of State's office after Wyoming Republican Party Officials questioned his residency.
Zwonitzer is a Republican but is often at odds with more conservative members of the Wyoming GOP. The House vote Tuesday against forming an investigative committee was 36-24.
Zwonitzer has denied living outside of his district.
Wyoming House Speaker Eric Barlow on Tuesday issued a statement which includes the following:
''Pursuant to Article 3, Section 10 of the Wyoming Constitution, only the House of Representatives is qualified to judge whether a member possesses the necessary qualifications to be elected to or continue to serve in the House of Representatives.
The complaint itself was not self-executing and required an affirmative action from the House to either further investigate the allegations or to find that Rep. Zwonitzer was no longer qualified to serve. I provided the members of the House of Representatives the opportunity to make any motions to address the complaint.
House members considered a motion for the creation of a five-member special committee to investigate the residency complaint against Rep. Zwonitzer. The committee would have been tasked with making recommendations to the Wyoming House of Representatives on the matter. This motion failed on a 24-36 vote.
I then provided the members of the House three separate opportunities to bring additional motions. No further motions were brought forth from the floor of the House.
Following this action of the House and as I stated on the floor, “I consider the question of Rep. Zwonitzer’s qualifications to serve in the 66th House of Representatives to be resolved in, and before, and by the 66th House of Representatives.''
Zwonitzer issued the following comments:
“I’m grateful the House of Representatives affirmed my legitimacy to serve as a Representative for House District 43,” said Zwonitzer. “Voters of District 43 voted me as their Representative, and I consider it a privilege to continue to serve them.”
But four people who say they live in Zwonitzer's district have filed a lawsuit against him in First District Court on the residency issue.