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The Latest: Bundy: judge who dismissed his case did US favor

February 24, 2018

Southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy talks to a reporter before giving the keynote address to the state convention of the Independent American Party of Nevada Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Sparks, Nev. Bundy served 700 days in jail before a U.S. judge in Las Vegas threw out the criminal charges against him and others last month stemming from an armed standoff with federal agents at his ranch near Bunkerville in April 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s speech to the state convention of the Independent American Party of Nevada (all times local, PST):

8:50 p.m.

Southern Nevada rancher and state’s rights activist Cliven Bundy says a U.S. judge in Las Vegas did the federal government a favor last month when she threw out his criminal case stemming from an armed standoff at his Bunkerville ranch in April 2014.

Bundy told a gathering of the Independent American Party of Nevada’s state convention in Sparks Friday night that he would have preferred the trial to continue because he knows he would have been acquitted of any crimes.

He says Judge Gloria Navarro saved federal prosecutors from further embarrassment. He says it would have been “a great thing” if it had been left to the jury to find him innocent because that would have set an important precedent across the country.

Bundy says he doesn’t have any aspirations to run for political office. He says he’s backing Nevada’s Independent American Party because neither Republicans nor Democrats truly represent American citizens.

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8:20 p.m.

The head of the Independent American Party of Nevada is hailing rancher Cliven Bundy and his wife, Carol, as “true American heroes.”

Cliven Bundy is preparing to give Friday night’s keynote address to the gathering of the third-party’s state convention in Sparks.

He served 700 days in jail before a U.S. judge in Las Vegas threw out the criminal charges against him and others last month stemming from an armed standoff with federal agents at his ranch near Bunkerville in April 2014.

Party chairman Joel Hansen says the Bundys are true patriots like those who fought in the American Revolution more than 200 years ago.

He says those defenders of freedom “fought the battle of Bunker Hill” and the Bundys “fought the battle of Bunkerville.”

The Independent American Party has a platform emphasizing state and individual property rights. Its members — many of them disaffected Republicans — make up about 4.5 percent of Nevada’s active registered voters.

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5:45 p.m.

Southern Nevada rancher and state’s rights activist Cliven Bundy is bringing his brand of politics to a gathering of like-minded conservative libertarians in northern Nevada.

Bundy, 71, was set to give the keynote speech Friday night at the Independent American Party of Nevada’s state convention in Sparks where many consider him a hero. He spent nearly 23 months in prison before a federal judge in Las Vegas dismissed a criminal case last month against him and two of his sons stemming from an armed standoff with government agents at his Bunkerville ranch in 2014.

Joel Hansen, chairman of the Independent American Party of Nevada, said before the speech that Bundy’s story is one of “tremendous courage and faith” standing up against federal “corruption and tyranny.”

The party, which focuses on state and property rights, includes many disaffected, former Republicans. It now has 65,000 active registered voters in Nevada — up from about 15,000 in 2002. It’s currently the third largest political party in Nevada, making up about 4.5 percent of the active voters.

Several of the Independent American Party’s leaders have been involved in legal disputes with the U.S. government similar to Bundy’s dating to the 1990s.

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