1. After having long considered how I should make my contribution to our political process, our state’s recent budget cuts, made while denying Medicaid expansion which could have eased the burden, made me decide that running for office was the way to go. This decision was made easier due to the fact that no other Democrats were running in my district whom I may have supported and I knew that the Republicans were driving the activities I chose to fight against. As for the qualifications that make me the best choice for the office, there are none. We are meant to have a citizen legislature in our state and our nation, making the only relevant qualifications any candidate may have citizenship and a desire to improve our government. As such, I am the best choice for those people who want our government to serve its people as I do. Those who would prefer to limit our government by any and all means available may find a different best choice in my general election opponent.
2. Rather than focus on the top three issues our state faces, I’d rather address the top three issues of my campaign which are campaign finance reform, Medicaid expansion, and a livable minimum wage.
On the first, a national issue which must be addressed by the states collectively, I plan on introducing a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. To date, five states have called for an Article V constitutional convention on the issue which is necessary because national politicians depend on big money to stay in office and will do nothing to address it. Once 34 states have done so, they won’t have control over the matter and I hope to add Wyoming to the list of the needed 34 next year.
On the topic of Medicaid expansion, the Republican opposition to expansion has been purely political and has done nothing but hurt our state and its people for no reason other than opposing an unpopular president wherever possible. Medical concerns are a driving factor of poverty in America, one which I have personal experience with, and our state refuses to give the poorest among us the means, provided by the ACA at no/little cost to us, to mitigate an issue which keeps many in poverty. Further, refusing to expand Medicaid is actually costing our state more money both in expenses that would be covered by the federal government if we were to allow expansion, and in depressing our economy by preventing low income workers from contributing to it.
Finally, while our state has long been opposed to increasing minimum wage, this is the wrong choice for us. I’ve set an arbitrary goal of $10 an hour for the minimum wage because that is the amount necessary to cover my financial needs, but more would be preferred. A person cannot contribute to our state’s economy if they are struggling, or failing, to meet their basic needs. As a result, the low wages in Wyoming depress our economy at a time when the downturn in the mining industry has already done severe damage. While it’s true that raising wages may be harmful for any individual employer, raising wages for all low income workers would result in greater spending in our state which would benefit our economy and all of our businesses collectively.