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A Healthy Competition

As Wyoming’s primary elections draw closer, the signs promoting candidates continue to grow thicker in yards, on buildings and along the roads of the state. Being a new homeowner, I can say I’ve added to it, donating a corner of my yard to a gubernatorial effort.

Seven Republican candidates and five Democratic candidates have thrown their name in the hat, hoping to gain the title of Wyoming Governor in the 2010 elections. Along with that election, which tends to draw the most attention, the state will also select a new State Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Secretary of State, positions for which a number of candidates are campaigning in earnest this summer. U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis also faces competition from a fellow Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House of Representatives seat in Congress.

Here at the Roundup we contact each candidate during campaign season and try to do our best to present to you information through thorough interviews with each individual. We hope that when you go to the polls in August, and again in November, we’ve helped provide some idea of where the candidates stand on issues important to the agriculture industry in the state.

So far, as I’ve talked with the candidates, comments over the growth in the state’s budget consistently surface. Some view that as a concern, and growth in state government overall, while others, like the interview with gubernatorial candidate Rita Meyer included in this edition, view it as a blessing that the economic growth and high energy markets were used in a beneficial manner for many rural Wyoming communities. Whatever their opinion may be on the fiscal situation of the last few years, they hold in common the need for concern over and careful attention to the budget in the years going forward is critical.

So far, they also hold in common the need for Wyoming to stand its ground on state sovereignty, especially regarding issues such as wolf management by the state and illegal immigrants. 

Differences of opinion or agreements aside, I have been impressed by those candidates who take the time to interview with us and make their policy and positions known. Whether or not you agree with their positions, you can be sure every one who has appeared and will appear on these pages is campaigning in earnest for what they think will make the state better, and each of them is taking part in the process that ultimately makes the state successful and protects the Wyoming quality of life valued by all. 

On another note, another event brimming with healthy competition took place in Casper last week – the College National Finals Rodeo. I hope some of you got a chance to watch the students compete, and congratulations to the Gillette College women’s team, which, in its third year as a program, took first place. Also, Gillette College team member Jordan Thurston, a freshman from Lance Creek, took first place in goat tying. Her team member Chelsea Moore also claimed a close second in breakaway roping, only two-tenths of a second behind the lead. With several excellent up-and-coming team members, I’m sure we’ll see them again in Casper for the 2011 finals.

Christy