The term is two years, there are no term limits; no benefits are provided. Compensation is $105 per day of work during legislative sessions and for interim committee meetings with travel expenses reimbursed. Candidates must reside in the House District (HD) they will represent. Voters receive a ballot containing only the candidates from the correct HD, based on residence. In HDs 13 and 14 only one candidate filed; in HDs 45 and 46 only one candidate from each party filed (thus both will advance to the General Election ballot). No Democrat filed for HD 47.
Responses were received from all candidates except Jerry Paxton (R) HD 47, Encampment.
- What are your qualifications for the office you seek? (75 words)
Cathy Connolly (D) HD 13: Having lived and worked in Laramie for over 20 years, I have served on several boards including S.A.F.E. and the Whiting High School parent advisory council, and am a UW professor. I am honored to have served in the Legislature for the past three terms where I am currently the Minority Caucus Chair. I am seeking re-election to continue advocating for high quality education, economic diversity, equality, and stewardship of our natural resources.
Kermit C. Brown (R) HD14: I grew up in Casper and attended UW. I was a naval officer and served in Vietnam. I practiced law two years in Wheatland, 18 years in Rawlins and 20 years in Laramie. I have a broad range of experience in many areas that come before the legislature. I have served five terms in the Wyoming House of Representatives and currently am the House Majority Floor Leader, the number two leadership position in the House.
Charles F. Pelkey (D) HD 45: My primary qualification is a desire to serve my district and the state.Professionally, I am an attorney, who came to the career after 25 years in journalism.I covered the State Legislature for the Casper Star-Tribune and then served as Alan Simpson’s press secretary.I understand the legislative process and approach all debates with a degree of courtesy and respect for others’ opinions.
Charles (C.J.) Young (R) HD 45: I have a long history working with the local, state and federal government and I will bring this knowledge to serve my district. I have also worked in my family’s small businesses and on our ranch, growing up in Wyoming. I understand the benefits of a hard day’s work and embody the “Cowboy Ethic.” Most of all, I love Laramie and want to give back to the community that has given me so much.
Glenn Moniz(R) HD 46: With 26+ years in the fire service and 14 years running a successful business, and 3 terms being your representative, I can bring common sense, dedication, respect and leadership as your representative. My public career has given me a deep appreciation for the problems inherent in providing emergency services at the local level. My life as a business owner has provided me with a perspective on the problems dealing with government regulations….
Mike Selmer (D) HD 46: My qualifications are; a willingness to listen, a strong desire to serve the people of the 46th District, and a capacity for hard work. As a business owner for almost 40 years I learned to be efficient and effective and the importance of providing people the opportunity to improve their lives. I have valuable experience confronting many of the problems that face us today and can use that experience for the benefit of our state.
Julie McCallister (R) HD 47: I have both a bachelors in Political Science, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Wyoming. I previously worked for 6 years in oil and gas upgrading, and have a solid working knowledge of the energy industry. I also have worked, and been around small business all of my life. I willingly accept challenges and see no problem as impossible. I have the education and life experience to produce results.
- Given the thousands of people in Wyoming without medical insurance, what is your plan for providing these citizens with coverage? (100 words)
Cathy Connolly (D) HD 13: I was in favor of, and will continue to be, a vocal supporter of Medicaid expansion, a proposal that would extend medical services to over 16,000 Wyomingites with a savings of $47 million to the State. The failure of the legislature to act in the last session has meant that our citizens are going without necessary and life-saving screenings and care. This error has also resulted in a financial burden on our local hospitals that treat uninsured patients in crises. I will continue to advocate for health care reforms that place the patient at the center of our state policies.
Kermit C. Brown (R) HD14: I voted FOR Medicaid expansion which would have extended coverage to the uninsured citizens of Wyoming. My motivation for voting FOR Medicaid expansion is that the Federal Government now has many of our small hospitals in a squeeze. Hospitals must provide medical care to indigent people for free. Margins in hospitals are being squeezed by Medicaid and Medicare to the point there is no slack left in the system to fund free medical care for indigent citizens. Some smaller hospitals are screaming for relief right now. I see little practical choice if we wish to keep these small hospitals open.
Charles F. Pelkey (D) HD 45: I was disappointed that efforts to expand Medicaid coverage in this state failed, even after Senator Rothfuss offered a very reasonable compromise.I trust that I will be among those who help drive a similar measure to passage in the next session.
Charles (C.J.) Young (R) HD 45: Wyoming citizens need quality, affordable healthcare, centered on employer provided plans and not more control and regulation from the federal government. I did not and do not support The Affordable Care Act. Unlike its name, it is anything but affordable. The ACA has cost families more money for their health insurance and has led to increasingly high deductibles. Those with health insurance have seen their employee contribution levels go up, while those without health insurance are faced with plans that are too expensive for them to afford. My solution includes less regulation and more private control.
Glenn Moniz (R) HD 46: I believe we are all concerned about health care, but at whose expense? With the rollout of the ACA less than desirable, and the cost of insurance continually increasing, we must leave the government out of the business. Deadlines were missed, exemptions were granted to certain groups. Government run health care is not the solution. I prefer a Wyoming solution.We can develop a plan tailored to the needs of our citizens. We are a rural frontier state and we must utilize innovative approaches, such as telemedicine, to provide better access to care and treatment.Our solutions are different than a big city.
Mike Selmer (D) HD 46: Refusing Medicaid expansion was a mistake by our legislature. It denied many hardworking Wyoming citizens health coverage. This urgent need must be addressed quickly. By accepting full Medicaid expansion, Wyoming will best meet the need of hardworking families for health coverage and preventative healthcare. This is also the most cost-effective manner for the taxpayers of Wyoming. It will save the state money and will boost our economy. As a legislator I will push hard for the acceptance of the full Medicaid expansion.
Julie McCallister (R) HD 47: Health insurance for everyone is a great idea, but the implementation of such is a difficult solution. There is a need to look at what can be done on a state level to expand existing programs, and implement change to encourage all employers to offer insurance to employees. If someone is working for a living, they should be able to cover their family with health insurance, period. The exact changes that need to be made are immense, but these steps need to be taken one at a time. To ensure not only the interest of the employee, but the employer.
- Explain why you do or do you not support the entirety of the Next Generation Science Standards as part of Wyoming’s K-12 educational standards. (100 words)
Cathy Connolly (D) HD 13: The NGSS were developed through a collaborative, state-led process and include units on evolution and climate change. The standards were thoroughly reviewed by a panel of Wyoming parents and educators that advised their adoption by the State Board of Education (SBE). I support this decision and will support legislation that prohibits legislative interference in this SBE process. Though no standards are perfect, the NGSS are far superior to the current Wyoming standards and help provide our children the education they need and deserve for success in the 21st century. ACSD-1 has rightfully begun to implement these new standards.
Kermit C. Brown (R) HD14: Can’t we have some common sense in this debate? There are statements in NGSS that I am not completely comfortable with. So, NO I do not support the entirety of NGSS. Does that mean we have to trash the entire body of work? No. I support allowing our State Board of Education and our local boards the latitude to examine NGSS and determine what parts fit our situation. We have to have standards that are competitive and on parity with the rest of the country. To categorically rule out consideration of NGSS is wrong. Conversely, categorical adoption is also wrong.
Charles F. Pelkey (D) HD 45: I was, quite frankly, embarrassed by the legislature’s decision to impose ideologically driven “science” standards because of wide-spread discomfort with the likely economic impacts a reduction in carbon fuels consumption will have on this state’s economy.But we simply can’t fend off that economic impact by merely denying the truth.It would be far more costly to this state if we were to raise an entire generation of young people, using “scientific” education based on ideology, rather than pure science.
Charles (C.J.) Young (R) HD 45: Like all other states in the nation, Wyoming students are experiencing deficiencies in their science and math education. While ranking high in spending per student, Wyoming also ranks low in student performance. Elevating our performance includes elevating our standards. While the Next Generation Science Standards attempt to accomplish this, I believe these standards should be developed at the local level, and not from the top down. These national standards attempt to politicize education. Instead, science and math should be considered and taught as life skills that our children need in order to have the best education possible.
Glenn Moniz (R) HD 46: I do not support the NGSS in its entirety. Where is the common sense in this debate? We can develop standards tailored to the needs of our Wyoming students and still have them be competitive in the global market. I believe the State Board of Education and our local school boards should conduct an in depth analysis of each part.We must have standards that are competitive and rigorous but not a national requirement.
Mike Selmer (D) HD 46: The Next Generation Science standards were developed by science teachers and education professionals to assure that our children are being provided with the best science education so that future graduates will have the opportunity to be competitive in today’s rapidly changing world. Wyoming educators and science teachers evaluated the standards and unanimously deemed them worthy. The legislature subverted the system in place and should not have interfered. As a legislator, I will work to remove the state budget footnote prohibiting consideration of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Julie McCallister (R) HD 47: I do support the Next Generation Science Standards as a part of Wyoming’s k-12 educational standards. Because we need to make sure we are preparing our children for post secondary education at any level. This means we need to be using the best possible standards as a benchmark for our educational programs.