The term is four years with no term limit. Compensation is $92,000.
- What are your qualifications for the office you seek? (75 words)
Mark Gordon (R): I've been in office as State Treasurer since October 2012. I grew up in Kaycee and still ranch there. I have served as a Class B Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, have helped young entrepreneurs start ranching and construction operations of their own, had businesses on Sheridan and Buffalo main streets, served on community boards and the School board, the Environmental Quality Council and Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust.
Ron Redo (R): At Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, I took a few accounting courses and received a B.S. degree in Technical Arts. Worked over 11 years for the State Fund (workers’ compensation). The first six years were as an auditor under governor Ronald Regan. I never met him, but he had excellent people that trained me. Worked in 1989 in the Wyoming State Treasurer’s Workers’ Compensation Division. There I learned things can go wrong when a state agency is poorly run….
- Wyoming’s $1.66 billion “rainy day account” is currently in highly liquid but low yielding fixed-income investments. Would you make any changes in this? Explain why or why not. (100 words)
Mark Gordon (R): As Treasurer, I am working on changes to the rainy day account. Currently, because the Legislative Reserve Stabilization Account, or "rainy day account," which accounts for more than a billion, is not a "constitutional" fund, it can only invest in fixed income securities. Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate the economy have dampened returns on these assets meaning Wyoming is not earning all that it should. I am working to create a new trust fund to hold the lion's share of rainy day investments allowing for a more broadly diversified portfolio. These changes would assure a better and more secure return.
Ron Redo (R): Would not change “rainy day” account from safe fixed-income investments. In 1996, the state treasurer told voters his Amendment “C” was to have investment in domestic corporate stock. Most voters didn’t know the law could be changed, but by legislation it changed. Now the state treasurer invests in foreign equities and alternative assets. I would get out of what the voters didn’t ask for.
- As a member of the State Land and Investment Board, how would you address funding for capping and remediating abandoned oil and gas wells, and preventing future abuses? (100 words)
Mark Gordon (R): Unfortunately, there are few appropriate avenues for the State Loan and Investment Board to address this issue; however, another board on which we serve, the State Board of Land Commissioners can exercise some prerogative. Ultimately, it is the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that has authority over drilling including assessing operators appropriately for Plugging and Abandonment of orphan wells. I appreciate the jurisdictional and regulatory challenges for the various agencies from my chairmanship of the Environmental Quality Council and our work on CBM water discharge. We have learned lessons from that experience and need only resolve and respect to succeed.
Ron Redo (R): Written contracts on existing wells limit what can be done about remediating abandoned wells. Future contracts need to address problems found in old contracts to clarify that owners and their agents are responsible for all capping and remediation of abandoned oil and gas wells.