Hans Hunt takes a local approach to solving issues
Newcastle – “My platform is ‘local solutions for local issues,’ and I feel that extends to all the issues. The people at the local, most basic level know what’s best at that level and are able to come up with the best solutions – especially compared to someone at a desk that is far removed from the situation. If elected, I will work to implement those local solutions at the state level,” states Wyoming House of Representatives candidate Hans Hunt for District 2 in eastern Wyoming.
At 22 years old, Hunt says his energy and political drive are advantages in his campaign. “A lot of folks get into politics either after they retire or are at least well established with a steady income. They have both the time and the money to pursue politics in many cases. I’m doing it because it’s what I really want to do. I was planning to run in 2012, but when Ross Diercks announced he wasn’t running I decided to jump in, figuring it would be better to run now than go up against an incumbent in two years,” explains Hunt.
In addition to working on the family ranch and being involved in management decisions there for several years, Hunt has spent three summers working in oil and gas fields laying gas line, and another summer working for the highway department.
“Those jobs allowed me to see not just the inner workings of each respective industry, but also gave me the ability to weigh issues from multiple perspectives. I feel those and other experiences will give me the ability to make fair, balanced and better informed decisions on a variety of issues,” he says.
Hunt says eminent domain is an important issue to a lot of Wyoming residents, particularly those involved in wind energy development.
“I think eminent domain and wind power need to be completely re-thought. The idea that a company can blaze a trail from point A to point B across private property without any serious compensation to the landowner is something I disagree with.
“The fact that it is a single, one-time payment and from then on that land is a permanent right of way forever is a big concern to a lot of people. Even if a turbine is discontinued or taken down in the future, current wording would allow the energy company continued use of that land forever with that single payment. I don’t find that to be fair agreement for landowners neither do they from what I’m hearing,” says Hunt.
According to Hunt, water rights are also high on landowners’ lists of concerns. He says Wyoming should be careful not to give our water away. “Water is a hot commodity these days and we’ve been stretched enough in other areas. I feel we should get the full value out of our water or find a means of storing it for our state during dry years,” notes Hunt.
Hunt feels education is an area that’s doing well in Wyoming, especially when compared to other states. However, he says the PAWS testing method is a huge problem. “I feel converting back to a pen and paper test would be advantageous to our school system. It’s simpler, and far more accurate. It may take longer but you know it hasn’t been messed up by some machine when it’s over,” he says.
Another issue people are asking about is the state lottery. “I’ve heard people speak for and against it and have conducted a lot of research on this issue.
“There is no doubt it would create a lot of income for the state and there is the argument it would potentially lower taxes. Wyoming is one of only seven states that doesn’t currently have a state lottery, and I personally believe we should keep it that way. Kansas statistics show that most of the income derived from their lottery comes from the poorest counties, and that the people with the lowest incomes are spending more on the lottery than any other income class. That being said, I feel that, especially with the economy the way it is, people should save their money instead of investing in a state lottery,” explains Hunt.
If elected, Hunt will take off his spring semester of college to focus on his duties as District 2 Representative. He says that while that sets back obtaining his college degree, the overall experience of campaigning and serving, if elected, are worth it.
“Our 10th Amendment rights state any powers not specifically given to the federal government are reserved for the state. That right has been trampled over, especially by the current administration. It’s time to stand up and fight back for those 10th Amendment rights at the state level, and it’s time to take similar action at the local level,” concludes Hunt.