politics

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A plan to try to reduce health insurance premiums on the federal health care exchange was approved by a Wyoming legislative committee. 

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Democrats preparing to take over control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January are gunning for major battles on climate change and energy issues, which could hurt the economic gains witnessed in Wyoming this Trump-energy-era.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis made a visit to Wyoming. He was there to witness the formal turnover of the Bells of Balangiga.

 

Governors-elect from across the country are gathering in Colorado Springs this weekend for The Seminar for New Governors. The weekend-long conference, taking place at the five-star Broadmoor Hotel, is designed to help them prepare for their new jobs.

The parents sat stiffly; some had clearly been crying. Their children, largely oblivious, scribbled with crayons on the carpeted floor of a Denver immigration court. In a matter of months, the judge before them will make 71 life-changing decisions.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice instructed ten immigration courts around the country to speed up cases of families seeking asylum on U.S. soil. In Denver, that directive is being carried out in a series of group hearings, designed to decide cases in less than a year.

Andrea Clifford Campaign

Wyoming may be the reddest state in the nation but even the Cowboy State felt a ripple from the blue wave in this month's midterm election.

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee will discuss on Wednesday landmark legislation that aims to address the crisis of missing and murdered women in Indian Country.

After a controversial year Park County School District #6 has four new trustees on its seven-member school board.

The district, which includes Cody, debated and eventually passed the CKA policy, which allows certain teachers and staff to conceal carry, and dealt with the logistics behind removing a book from the school system.

Now the newly elected trustees want to move on to other issues. John McCue is a Cody native and a new trustee. He said he was motivated to run to ensure these policies would not remain the focal point and concentrate on things like teacher morale.

Liz Cheney

Wyoming U.S. Representative Liz Cheney admits that Tuesday was a bittersweet night for her. While she says she's delighted to represent Wyoming for two more years, she's disappointed it will be as a member of the minority party. Cheney predicts rough sledding for Republicans as Democrats likely try to put themselves in position to win back the Presidency in two years.

In an effort to keep Wyoming issues on the forefront, Representative Cheney is seeking the number three leadership position among House Republicans. One thing that Cheney says needs to change is discourse that is leading to violent acts. She spoke about that and other topics with Bob Beck.

Courtesy of TV Gals Media

A film company recently toured Wyoming, stopping in Jackson, Moorcroft and Cheyenne, screening a pilot of a TV show on civil discourse. Each episode of "High Noon in America" will visit a new state and pair people on opposing sides of the political spectrum to get them talking.

Almost half of eligible Americans voted nationwide in this year's midterm elections, making it the highest voter turnout in almost 50 years.

Colorado ranked fifth in the nation in voter turnout with 59.7 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. Montana came in tenth with a 56.6 percent voter turnout.

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.

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