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October 28, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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www.LovellChronicle.com October 28, 20101 The Lovell Chronicle I 25 GOVERNOR OF WYOMING Leslie Petersen Democrat Matt Mead Republican BIOGRAPHY: I was born in Lovell when my father was a forest ranger in the Big Horns. My folks moved to Dubois when I was 2 and later acquired the CM Ranch, one of Wyoming's oldest dude ranches where I grew up and later ran the ranch with them and my former husband for many years. We were also in the outfitting busi- ness. I graduated from Dubois High in a class of five and attended the University of Wyoming in 1958-59. I moved to Jackson in 1975 and have been married for 34 years to Hank Phibbs, a Jackson at- torney who grew up in Casper. Hank is currently the chair of the Teton County Board of Commissioners. I was a realtor in Jackson for 20 years and retired from that in January 2008. We have two grown sons, Travis, who lives in Jackson with his wife, Kristi, and Monte, who lives in Colorado. I served as a Teton County Commis- sioner for nearly six years, (1983 through 1988) first appointed and then elected for a four-year term. Governor Sullivan appointed me to the Wyoming Water Development Commission and I served for eight years. I was Governor Herschler's legislative liaison for two sessions of the Legislature, where I was working right in the nexus of a Democratic governor and a Republican Legislature. I've served on several other boards and commissions over the years. Mike Wheeler Libertarian BIOGRAPHY: I was born in Ely, Nev., July 14, 1964. I took college courses in marketing, management, business and business ethics. I am a small business owner in Casper and have lived here for 16 years. I have two small children, an ll-year-old girl and a 7-year- old boy. This is my first bid at a public service position. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO SEEK OFFICE? WAS IT A PERSONAL INITIATIVE OR DID OTHERS ENCOURAGE YOU? PETERSEN: It was both. When Governor Freudenthal decided not to run for a third term, I thought we would see several strong Democratic candidates run, but they chose not to. It is daunting to run as a Democrat in a Republican state. However, I was serving as chair of the Democratic Party and many people turned to me. I wanted to do it and my family and I made the decision together. It has been an amazing experience. MEAD: My family has always been involved in the political arena, but I am new to it. I am running for governor because I want to work for a better future for our state. Iwant Wyo- ming to be first in all ways including jobs, the economy, energy development, education and quality of life. I want Wyoming to be a place where families can thrive and grown children can find good job prospects. I want Wyoming to be a place where all of us have more opportunities than those afforded pre- vious generations. I want our communities to be safe and our towns and counties to thrive. Deciding to run for governor was a deeply personal decision for me, made after many talks around the table with my fam- fly. I consider it a great honor. WHEELER: I vote in every election. I am frus- trated by the perpetual battle the two major parties are engaged in. I feel that the gov- ernment has taken on a life of its own and "We the People" must stand up and regain control. Friends, family and members of the Wyoming citizenry have encouraged me to run for governor. HAYNES: I decided to run as I am troubled by the out-of-control United States Congress. I am at an end point with the overreaching of federal agencies in Wyoming. The discussion had come up with friends and associates for several years, however, they were unaware of my decision until after I made it. BUDGETS ARE ANTICIPATED TO BE TIGHT FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS. WHAT ARE YOUR FINANCIAL PRIORITIES FOR THE STATE? PETERSEN: Education must remain a high priority. Infrastructure needs must be met. Economic development and water develop- ment are important, but so are people. A governor must review all of the needs while preparing a budget and set priorities at the time based on the needs and the available funds. We should remain fiscally conserva- tive with adequate rainy day savings. MEAD: I am a fiscally disciplined conservative and will run the state like a business. My financial priorities focus on job creation in the private sector and on diversifying and revitalizing our economy. My financial pri- orities include: upgrading our state's tech- nology and connectivity to the best available because that will help diversify our econo- my, enhance distance learning opportuni- ties, and improve delivery of health care to rural areas; maintaining our transpor- tation infrastructure because that is our highway of commerce, personally connects us to each other and provides opportunities for local projects that benefit communities; and developing water projects to put all our water to use for municipal, agriculture and other purposes. I will be a prudent steward of state finances. WHEELER: We must be ever vigilant in col- lecting taxes owed to the state. No more "back room deals" to encourage out of state companies to do business here. We must support local business and create an envi- ronment for local entrepreneurs to grow and prosper. We must reduce government and put an end to bureaucracy in this sovereign state. HAYNES: I agree with your assessment of our budget outlook. I plan to take over from the federal government, management of all our lands. Therefore we will collect 100 percent of our mineral royalties. We will get a 52 BIOGRAPHY: I am Matt Mead, a Republican candidate for gov- ernor. I am a Wyoming native, born in Teton County and raised on the family ranch there. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, where I played football, and a law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law. After law school, I served as a county prosecutor for Campbell County in Gillette, a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cheyenne and a Special Assistant At- torney General for the State of Wyoming. From 1995-2001, I was a partner in a private firm in Cheyenne. In 2001, I was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to be United States Attorney and served until 2007. Married 19 years, my wife Carol and I have lived in Cheyenne since 1991. We have two children, Mary (12) and Pete (10). I am a small business owner. My wife and I own a farming/ranching business in southeast Wyo- ming. I am on the Board of the Wyoming Business Council. Taylor Haynes. Write-in BIOGRAPHY: I was born in Shreveport La., and I have lived in Wyo- ming for 26 years and three months. I obtained a Bachelor of Sci- ence in mechanical engineering from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. After working as an engineer with Kennicott Copper in Salt Lake City, I earned my medical doctorate at University of Utah College of Medicine. I received my specialty training in surgery and subspecialty training in adult and pediatric urology and urologic surgery. I then practiced medicine in Cheyenne for 17 years. Cur- rently, I am the owner, president, and chief medical officer of Moun- tain Benefit Associates with offices in Worland and Cheyenne. I am on the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming, and am the chairman of the Fiscal and Legal Affairs Committee of the univer- sity. I also serve on several other local and national boards, includ- ing the Security First Bank board, the Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming and R-CALF USA, and am a lifetime member of the board of directors of Wyoming Stockgrowers. I have never run for, or held a public elected office. I am currently married to Elisabeth Wasson Haynes for the past eight years. Prior to that I was married to Bar- bara Brumfield Haynes for 31 years until she died of breast cancer in 1998. Barbara and I raised four children, Kenya, Ayodele, Taylor III and Enioma. I have three grandchildren. .Questions percent increase when that happens. WOULD YOU SUPPORT/ENCOURAGE WYOMING JOINING THE HEALTHCARE REFORM LAWSUIT REGARDING MANDATED PURCHASE OF INSURANCE. PETERSEN: I do not think it is wise to spend our money on a question that is already be- ing decided. Over time, I believe that the health care reform will be better for us as a nation, though I recognize that the bill is far from perfect. Before its passage, we had an unsustainable situation with more than 70,000 of our Wyoming people with no in- surance and the number was going up every day. Our state is now carefully reviewing each aspect of the bill as information be- comes available and has already applied for more than $4 million dollars in grants that will truly help Wyoming. The program will only work if everybody participates. MEAD: I believe the heath care reform act is unconstitutional and infringes on individu- al liberties. I would join the lawsuit against the plan. Our state's voice should be heard. Health care reform is not one size fits all, so I support health care reform at the state level. WHEELER: Absolutely yes, without a doubt! HAYNES: I will join the lawsuit to support our sister states. However, lawsuits of this nature can be long processes. I will get a Nullification Act crafted during transition. I will campaign it around the state using my 'Town Hall Method" This is to encour- age the people to insist that their legislators pass it. Wyoming people can be free of this in February. AS A MEMBER OF THE STATE LOAN AND INVESTMENT BOARD, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ASSISTING RURAL COMMUNITIES LIKE THOSE IN BIG HORN COUNTY THAT DONOr HAVE THE VALUATION TO LEVY FUNDS SUCH AS CAMPBELL, SUBLETTE, PARK COUNTIES AND OTHERS? HOW WILL YOU REACH OUT TO SMALL COMMUNITIES? PETERSEN: I am extremely supportive of state funding to cities, towns and counties. I was glad that we were able to provide fund- ing to them with block grants, Business- Ready Communities and other funds during the strong economic years before the reces- sion. As a former county commissioner, I be- lieve that local people are the best judges of how to improve their communities. When our communities are attractive and ready for business, they draw people who also rec- ognize that we have good schools, low crime and a wonderful outdoor lifestyle in Wyo- ming. I will work to see towns and counties receive a dependable level of funding that they can count on with fewer ups and downs, which make planning and staffing difficult. MEAD: I want our cities, towns and counties to be able to deliver essential services without additional taxes. Given the effect of the eco- nomic downturn on local budgets, I want to put some state discretionary funds toward local infrastructure projects such as water, sewer and road systems. Promoting travel and tourism, agriculture interests and ener- gy development are coreissues. Revitalizing these economic sectors in Big Horn County is important, and I plan to succeed in these efforts. I will be an accessible governor, with an open door, and I will consider local views as to how the state can better serve rural communities that do not have the valuations of other counties. I have reached out to small towns all through my campaign and will continue to do so if elected governor. WHEELER: I would focus on the industry that is available in your county/counties. We are all in this together. Education is a huge fac- tor and we can create new industry in these "low energy areas" to bolster the local econ- omy. Sometimes small changes make great differences. I would work withthe commu- nity leaders and the community as a whole to create opportunity. HAYNES: I am aware of the disparity of wealth. With the increased revenues from assuming control of all of our lands, Wyo- ming will have the money to support all of our towns and counties. I will participate in crafting a formula to distribute this sup- port without creating obligations that can't be sustained. WHAT DO YOU SEE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE IN WYOMING AND HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ADDRESS IT? PETERSEN: When I talk to people all over the state, their primary concern is the econ- omy and jobs. I believe a governor's first ob- ligation is to do everything he/she can to strengthen and diversify the economy. I will support a business-friendly tax and regula- tory structure and work to attract new busi- nesses and expand and support existing businesses. I understand that the mineral industry s the bckbo'ne of our economy. MEAD: Jobs and the economy are the most important issue facing the state today. We have to create an environment in the state that allows industry and private business to come to the state and create jobs. We must have adequate funding for our roads and work to resolve electrical transmission issues. My plan is to expand and diversify Wyoming's economy to find those businesses that develop and enhance Wyoming's natu- ral assets - energy, agriculture, tourism, recreation and workforce. We should look to have data centers here in Wyoming for the jobs they bring and the power we can sell to them. We should not only export our energy but find businesses that use the energy. We should promote gas-fired turbines to supple- ment wind energy. Improving connectivity and providing regulatory certainty will also attract businesses. We must move forward with projects to improve connectivity and diversify our economy. The Governor must be responsive to the needs of our counties, towns and cities. Enabling our communities to maintain essential services without addi- tional taxes will be one of my highest priori- ties. WHEELER: As I see it, federal intrusion and government control is the most important issue. We as a dedicated, conscientious citi- zenry can do better. Freewill and individu- al participation is what makes this nation great. We must stand tall, together, and do what makes sense. We must lock arms and be strong. We have to have a "can do" atti- tude and be aggressively involved in the pro- cess. This is our state, energy, water and cit- izenry. We have to come together and take care of our own. Let's set an example for the other sovereign states to follow. HAYNES: In my study of our situation and that of the General Republic, the most important issue is state sovereignty. This will be ac- complished by assuming control of our lands and nullifying any unconstitutional federal mandates. This will save some money and make us more efficient. Using our sovereign- ty and wealth we will be able to greatly en- hance our business climate thus attracting companies with good paying jobs. This will improve our employment picture. WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND HOW WILL YOU COMPENSATE FOR YOUR WEAKNESSES? PETERSEN: My greatest strength is my ex- perience from so many years of involvement in public policy issues in Wyoming. Howev- er, there is a huge learning curve for any- one who is actually elected governor and I believe I can overcome that weakness very quickly. MEAD: My strengths are my U.S. Attorney ex- perience, my business experience, my ranch- ing/farming background and the skill sets they have provided me. The governor's job is an executive position. My years as U.S. At- torney constitute high level executive ser- vice. I made decisions regarding life, liber- ty and property. I could not poll or test the waters -- I made the tough decisions and lived with them, as the governor has to do. I know the value of good law enforcement for safe communities. As a former prosecu- tor, I have criminal trial experience, which has furthered my communication skills and other characteristics, like good judgment and equanimity. I can bring people with dif- fering interests together to unite around a common goal. As a lifelong rancher, I have a strong work ethic, used to starting early and ending late. As a business owner, I know what it means to run a business, making a payroll, and meeting employee's health care needs. I list as a weakness some impatience with the speed and efficiency of government. I like to get things done, but I will work within the system to press for efficiency. WHEELER: I am constitutionally minded. I am a vsry good listener. I am honest. I am dedicated. I am level headed, I am stubborn. I am compassionate. I will not sacrifice my integrity for power, money or popularity. I will not play "party politics: I am not a law- yer, accountant, economist, scientist, doc- tor or a professor, etc. I will overcome these weaknesses by trusting that you the constit- uents will surround me (the governor) with the brightest and best individuals in these fields and more, I will always hold the peo- ple's concerns, opinions and desires at the forefront of my decision making. HAYNES: My deeply ingrained Judeo-Chris- tian and Constitutional values are my great- est strengths. In addition, my education and successful experiences in our free enter- prise system. My weaknesses seem to be my tendency to be too hands-on and doing too much myself. I have learned to compensate for these with my wife's help by learning to hire excellent people and allowing them to use their skills. I've learned to supervise and mentor more. WHY SHOULD PEOPLE VOTE FOR YOU? PETERSEN: Three of our last four governors have been Democrats and people recognize the value of checks and balance. A Demo- cratic governor opens up communication with other western Democrats and the fed- eral administration that will not occur if the top elected officials in Congress and state government are all in one party. Having the involvement of people from both political parties strengthens our state. My campaign is based on a theme of common sense, com- mon ground and civility and I offer a mod- erate and open administration that involves people from all walks of life in Wyoming. MEAD: People should vote for me because I " have run a positive, issue-based and grass- roots campaign. I have a well-thought-out plan and positive vision for moving Wyo- ming forward. I am not a career politician. I will make the tough decisions that affect our future, not the next election. I will leave a better legacy than what I receive when I take office. I will always put Wyoming first. WHEELER: People should vote for me because I am one of you. I have not been groomed for this position. I will be your eyes, ears and voice while in office. I swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States when I enlisted in the Navy and I live by that to this day. I am plain spoken and do not pull my punches. I will dedicate mind, body and spirit to you and this state. I am not a pro- fessional politician and have no desire to make a career out of this. I want to be the very best public servant that Wyoming has ever had. I will expect nothing less from the other elected officials and I will not tolerate bureaucrats that focus only on themselves, their power and their personal gain. HAYNES: The people of Wyoming should vote for me if they want to preserve and enjoy their Constitutional rights. They should vote for me if they want to communicate directly with their governor in regularly scheduled town meetings.