Nev. Lawmaker Smack in the Middle of Oregon Standoff

Michele Fiore set to be present for surrender of occupiers she supports
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 8:19 AM CST
Nev. Lawmaker Smack in the Middle of Oregon Standoff
In this June 3, 2013, file photo, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, works during the final day of the 77th Legislative session in Carson City, Nev.   (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison, File)

A tense standoff between the FBI and the last four occupiers at Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge lasted into the wee hours of Thursday, with a Nevada lawmaker right in the middle of it. Assemblywoman Michele Fiore was in Portland Wednesday for a next-day press conference to show support for Ammon Bundy, the jailed leader of the standoff, the Oregonian reports. Fiore was patched through on a phone call with the armed occupiers as she made the drive from Portland to Burns, where she was expected to be present Thursday morning as the occupiers were set to surrender to the FBI. "We're putting our big-girl panties on now, and we are taking America back," the 45-year-old Fiore said on the live-streamed conference call with the occupiers, which was listened to by some 64,000 people at one point, the Washington Post reports.

Fiore, a two-term assemblywoman who's running for Congress, represents the Nevada district where Cliven Bundy—Ammon's father and organizer of his own 2014 standoff with the feds—has his ranch. She's made clear her support for the Bundy family and the Second Amendment, and she's used social media and other promos to share her views, including a firearms-themed 2016 calendar, a New Year's Eve tweet of her packing heat, and a Christmas card that showed her and her family all sporting guns. As she was driving to the occupiers Wednesday night, she yo-yo'd back and forth between keeping them calm and offering her support for their stance. "We're going to make it through this, and we're going to write about it," she said, per the Post. (Cliven Bundy was supposed to be at Malheur this morning, too—but he's been arrested.)

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