Ryan Bundy, son of Nevada Rancher Cliven, to run for governor

Ryan Bundy exits the court house on the second day of the Bundy family trial Nov. 15, 2017 (FOX5).

The eldest son of Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy is running for governor. Ryan Bundy confirmed his plans Thursday.

"We will do whatever it takes, and that means whatever it takes," Bundy said. "If running for governor is what it takes to preserve our freedom, well then that's part of it."

Ryan said he doesn't think other candidates running to replace Gov. Sandoval would properly protect the state liberty. He added he is a strict constitutionalist who believes the federal government can only own land in states for limited specified purposes. Bundy said he will be running as an independent candidate.

"I am a man of principal, not party," Bundy said.

A judge previously dismissed criminal charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons Ryan and Ammon and Montana Militia leader Ryan Payne. They were accused of leading an armed uprising against federal authorities.

[RELATED: Cliven Bundy holds rally at Metro HQ after case dismissal]

Ryan Bundy has faced federal charges after two different armed standoffs against federal authorities. In 2014, Cliven Bundy led an armed standoff in Bunkerville to protest federal cattle grazing fees, and two years later Ryan and Ammon Bundy led an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

UNLV History and Political Science Associate Professor Michael Green said Ryan Bundy would be a long shot in the governor's race, but could have a big impact on the election.

"The logical theory is that Bundy would draw support from the republicans," Green said. "So he could have an effect in drawing off votes, but it seems unlikely he would win."

Ryan Bundy said states' rights will be the central issue during his campaign. He said he intends to file candidacy papers next Wednesday in Las Vegas, then embark on a statewide speaking tour.

Stay with FOX5 and FOX5Vegas.com for developments.

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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