By Renny MacKay
Laramie, WY – Former State Superintendent Trent Blankenship, who quit that job partway through his term, is running for the office again. Blankenship was elected in 2002 but left the state in 2005 to move to Alaska for a higher paying position. He says he had to leave to make more money because he was in debt. But before he left, Blankenship was criticized for nepotism and for improperly spending money. Among other things, he hired the wives of two Republican lawmakers as high paid deputies. Blankenship says those deputies were needed to truly have oversight over all of the money coming into the department.
"And I would probably do it again, but the difference is and people in Cheyenne especially won't like to hear this, I not only would advocate distributing the leadership of the Department of Ed wider, holding the individuals in the Department of Education more individually accountable, but I would distribute it across the state of Wyoming."
Blankenship incurred quite a bit of debt from his 2002 race for State Superintendent. He says this time around he will not spend any money he doesn't have. The State Superintendent is Wyoming's chief education official.