Listen below to an interview with the candidate and SweetwaterNOW
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have lived in Green River most of my life. My dad was a road construction superintendent and I would spend summers with him in different towns all over Wyoming, then come back to Green River to go to school in the fall. I went to work at FMC (now Genesis) in 1977.
I started in the mine in a conventional panel (cutting , drilling, blasting). Back then there were almost 500 people underground, today technology advancements have reduced that number to around 185 to 190 hourly workers producing what 500 did in 1977. I spent 39 years underground but still work at the mine as a cager ( some mines call it the top lander) and blaster. I was appointed to the Wyoming State Mining Council by Governor Freudenthal and reappointed by Governor Mead, and I am still on the board.
I have three children, two stepchildren and 13 grandchildren. I got involved in coaching baseball with my two sons when they started playing. I coached baseball all the way up to American Legion ball (16 to 19 year old’s). Around twenty years altogether – loved every minute of it. While in Little League I served as the President for four years. Green River hosted the State Tourney in 2000. Little League had more than three hundred kids playing, so I had the pleasure of talking with more than six hundred parents. In between that I coached youth league football, and Senior Jazz Basketball. I did a lot of umpiring of little league , babe ruth , American legion baseball and girls softball. In the fall I refereed junior high and junior varsity football. More recently I served on the board of directors for the United Way of Sweetwater County (4 years). I was awarded the Outstanding Citizen of the Year in Green River, 1992. Around 2002 I started doing quite a bit of lobbying at the Wyoming Legislature for workers safety and pay issues.
I traveled to Washington D.C. to testify at a United States Senate hearing on behalf of Trona Miners. It was around this time that I got very involved in sportsmans efforts to protect some of our wildlife and recreational interests. Lobbying in Cheyenne and two times In Washington D.C. to help the late Senator Craig Thomas pass the Wyoming Legacy Act. I received an award from the Wyoming AFL.CIO for Labor Leader of the Year 2013, and was awarded the Citizen Involvement Award from the Wyoming Outdoor Council in 2017. I am at this time the acting spokesman of Citizens for the Wyoming Range.
What do you see as the most important issues in your candidacy and how will you address them?
Good jobs, healthcare, and school funding. The pandemic and the decline of coal are killing jobs all across the state. Displaced coal miners need help, this industry is being killed and Wyoming has done very little to help these workers. We should be aggressively recruiting companies and looking for solutions. Perhaps as an incentive for a business to relocate to Wyoming offer a tax break with a sunset clause that is tied to hiring these Wyoming workers first. (The US Post Office has preferential hiring for ex-military).
We must continue to fund our schools. Our children need and deserve a good education to compete in this world. Quality teachers and facilities are crucial to make this happen. Not everyone is bound for college, robust vocational classes should be available to prepare them for the industrial world they will enter upon leaving school. Healthcare: Wyoming people pay the highest prices for insurance and a very high rate for medical procedures.
WHY? This is only getting worse as the pandemic takes it’s toll on people that are losing insurance along with their jobs. Wyoming workers need options and we should use the help that the federal government has offered to get a hand up, not a hand out as some may say.
How can voters contact you?
My cell 307-871-6340 and I am working on a web site still in progress. Email is email@example.com