politics

Education Commission of the States

State-funded pre-k is coming up in the Mountain West. More states than ever are funding programs across the country. But of the handful that don't, three are in our region.

Bob Wick / Bureau of Land Management

Public lands advocates across the Mountain West are calling Tuesday's midterm election a big win for conservation. Several races in the region favored candidates with strong public lands platforms.

Shoshanna Miller

Fremont County Representative Jim Allen lost against Northern Arapaho member Andrea Clifford by 60 votes. Clifford said she worked dawn to dusk to meet people in person and to create a strong social media campaign.

 


Over the past few months, President Trump campaigned hard against Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester. Tester drew the ire of the president after he blocked Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Wyoming's Midterm Election results are in. Wyoming Public Radio news director Bob Beck spoke with Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard about the outcomes of the races, and what they could mean for state politics going forward.

Sara Burlingame

Laramie County Democrat Sara Burlingame clinched a seat in Wyoming House of Representatives, beating out Paul Johnson by 70 votes. Burlingame is the director of Wyoming Equality, a group that advocates for LGBTQ issues. She says it might surprise people that someone like her could win an election in a predominantly Republican district, but she says it helped that she’s very active in the Cheyenne community. She says she thinks her message of political civility also resonated with voters.

curtmeierfortreasurer.com

Republican State senator Curt Meier will be Wyoming's new state treasurer. Meier served in the Wyoming Senate for over 20 years and has a background in farming and business.

Governor-elect Mark Gordon making his victory speech
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

Former state treasurer Republican Mark Gordon will become Wyoming's next Governor. He won easily with a 40 percent margin defeating democratic opponent Mary Throne - a former state legislator.

Screen shot from http://kristiracines.com/

Republican Kristi Racines beat out Democrat Jeff Dokter to be Wyoming's next State Auditor.

screen shot from jillian4supt.com

Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow will serve a second term. Four years ago when she started her first term, she said educators called for strong leadership and stability in K-12 education. She said delivering that along with her reputation for collaborative decision making is why she ran uncontested this time around.

State of Wyoming

Ed Buchanan will continue his stint as Wyoming's Secretary of State. Buchanan has held the office since March when he was chosen to fill the unfinished term of Ed Murray.

barrasso.senate.gov

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso beat democratic challenger Gary Trauner in a landslide victory. Barrasso's campaign focused on his role in decreasing federal regulations and cuts to federal income taxes.

Photo: Julie Falk per https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Wyoming House District 33 is mostly in Fremont County and includes Lander and the Wind River Reservation. This year the seat is heavily contested between an incumbent, who is a chair of a legislative committee, and a popular Northern Arapaho woman who's a former Fremont County Commissioner. But Northern Arapaho Tribal member Andi Clifford said she would like to represent both tribes in Cheyenne as a Democrat.

State of Wyoming

Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has been running the office ever since he was chosen to fill the unfinished term of Ed Murray earlier this year.  

In that time Buchanan has picked up on a number of things that could both help businesses and change the way Wyoming handles elections. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that working to diversify the economy will be something he’d like to be a part of if he gets elected.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

State Representative Jim Byrd is running for Wyoming’s Secretary of State post as a Democrat. Byrd is extremely familiar with the business and election parts of the job after serving on the legislature’s joint corporations committee. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that he hopes to get off the ground quickly.  

Erik Hersman

If you're confused about where to vote, or what you need to bring with you to the polls, there's now a 24/7 hotline addressing those concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Wyoming and the Equality State Policy Center established the hotline.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

Nationally, the average number of uncontested races for seats in state legislatures is close to 40 percent. But in Wyoming, that number is well over 50 percent.

Oil and gas producing states around the country are closely watching Colorado this election season. Voters are deciding on a ballot measure dramatically increasing the so-called “set-back” distance drilling rigs need to be from homes.


Three states in the Mountain West have ballot initiatives this November focused on expanding access to Medicaid. Over time, these traditionally Republican states appear to have warmed to a program originally linked to the Affordable Care Act.

Bob Beck

Lawrence Struemph is Wyoming's Libertarian Candidate for governor. Dr. Struemph is a native of Fremont County who has a doctorate in Instructional Technology from the University of Wyoming. He's an educator, an avid gun owner and outdoorsman and very active in the Laramie community. Struemph tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that working with a variety of organizations opens his eyes up to the needs in Wyoming.

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It's election season and on November 6 Wyomingites will have the chance to participate in what's arguably the most local election of all: for the local school board. Caroline Ballard sat down with education reporter Tennessee Watson to discuss some of the hot topics in school board races across the state.

Andi Clifford

On the Wind River Indian Reservation, there have been a string of events to stir up excitement for the upcoming mid-term election. These events have included games, candidate speeches, and food. Securing the votes from the Wind River Reservation could win two Northern Arapaho candidates seats in Wyoming's legislature.

In counties across the U.S. voters might notice something way down at the bottom of their ballots: the candidates for county coroner. Coroners are in charge of investigating violent and suspicious deaths, and they’re up for reelection every four years. But should we be electing them at all?

The outdoor clothing company Patagonia made the rare move of endorsing two Democratic Senate candidates on Friday — Jon Tester of Montana and Jacky Rosen of Nevada. It’s part of a larger trend in corporate America to get employees out to vote.

Bob Beck

State Treasurer Mark Gordon is the Republican candidate for governor. Gordon is a former businessman and owns a ranch in Johnson County. He joins Bob Beck to discuss issues from anti-discrimination issues to health care.  

wyohistory.org / U.S. Air Force

During a State of the Nation Address last year, the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte called on the U.S. "Give us back those Balangiga bells," said Duterte. "They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage."

On Thursday night, President Trump rallied in Montana for Republican candidates. At the rally, he congratulated a Montana congressman for body-slamming a reporter last year.

Mead Gruver/AP

Cheyenne lawyer Karen Budd-Falen has been tapped as Deputy Solicitor for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior. She is well known for representing private property owners and local governments in disputes with federal land agencies.

On a recent Sunday evening around dusk, Willie Grayeyes stood on a sagebrush and juniper-studded mesa, scanning the southeast Utah landscape. It was a place the Navajo Democrat’s family had lived for generations and where he’s hoping to be part of a political first.

In counties across the U.S., voters might notice something way down at the bottom of their ballots – the candidates for county coroner. They’re in charge of investigating violent and suspicious deaths, and they’re up for reelection every four years. But should we be electing them at all? It’s a centuries old tradition inherited from across the pond.

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