Laramie, WY – GOVERNOR:
The two candidates who are hoping to face Governor Dave Freudenthal faced off last night in a Republican debate aired on Wyoming Public and Television. There was little disagreement. The soft spoken John Self of Sheridan and Ray Hunkins of Wheatland focused on their own plans, with no exchanges throughout the debate. Hunkins talked about the need to save much of the state revenue stream, something Self agrees with. Hunkins stressed the need for focusing on ways to increase the workforce. Self would solve that problem by paying workers more. Neither was a fan of increasing the gas tax to pay for road improvements in the state. On the issue of attracting doctors to the state, Hunkins favors setting up an insurance company for doctors in the state. Neither was a fan of the current Governor, and Hunkins was critical of Freudenthals handling of the energy boom.
SECRETARY of STATE:
Last night the Republican candidates for Secretary of State debated. The two Republicans in the primary both have spent many years in public service. Mary Ann Collins has been the Natrona county clerk for 16 years. Max Maxfield, is State Auditor and has been for eight years. One area they differed during the debate was disclosure of information by lobbyists. Collins says it should be more accessible to the public, while Maxfield says the way it is right now is good enough. When it comes to serving on the boards overseeing state lands, buildings and investments, Maxfield says his time on those boards over the last eight years are an asset. Collins says she could benefit the state because she is coming straight from local government.
The Republican candidates for State Auditor squared off in a debate last night. When asked whether the state should send money to local communities that don't fully tax residents, Bruce Brown from Devil's Tower said taxes shouldn't be a requirement to get state money. So far the legislature has not made this a rule for getting state money. But, the other candidate, Rita Meyer from Cheyenne, disagreed with Brown. Both Meyer and Brown tout their experience in the field of auditing and management. Brown is a Certified Public Accountant, while Meyer served as comptroller for the Wyoming Air National Guard.