WPR News
6:10 pm
Tue June 1, 2010

Democratic Party Chair steps into run for governor

Laramie, WY – The chair of the state Democratic Party is taking a leave of absence from that position to run for governor. Leslie Petersen met with reporters and the public today (Tuesday) after filing to run on Friday. She says that when no one more capable or prominent came forward, she decided to get in the race.
"I knew in my heart that I had cared passionately about all these public policy questions in the state for my whole life and my husband and I were in total agreement that we should step forward and make an effort to give people a well defined choice hopefully in November if I win the Democratic primary."
There are four other people who have filed to run as Democrats. None of them has a political resume that matches Petersen's. She is a former Teton County Commissioner and she ran for Secretary of State in 1982. She was elected party chair last year.
Petersen is describing herself as a "Freudenthal Democrat," meaning she may disappoint those who want her to lean left.
"During the years that I was county commissioner I learned that there is nothing like governing to bring you to the center and try to be really be thoughtful about the needs and concerns of every element of the needs of the people of Wyoming."
Petersen says she wants to put more efforts into developing clean coal technologies and to enhancing internet connectivity across the state. She is taking a leave of absence from her position as chair of the Democratic Party, and says she will not have more access to party staffers than any other candidate.