Keith Goodenough’s latest door-to-door campaign has earned him a spot as an independent candidate for Natrona County commissioner on November’s ballot.
The current Casper City Council member filed 490 valid signatures with the Natrona County Elections Office, County Clerk Renea Vitto said Thursday.
That’s 24 more than he needed, and that’s good enough for him.
“That’s obviously a boost to the campaign, to have people nominate you for the ballot,” Goodenough said.
“[Commissioner] struck me that it’s a more hands-on position,” Goodenough said. “City Council is largely a staff-driven institution. And I see the county commissioners being somewhere where they are more involved in day-to-day details.”
Filing as an independent candidate is an option for anyone able to collect signatures from at least 2 percent of Natrona County residents who voted in the last election for the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Even though it’s readily available, it’s very rarely used,” Goodenough said. “[Running as an independent] is a way to prove that I was serious about my beliefs that the two-party system is a big part of our problem.”
For Goodenough, animosity between Democrats and Republicans is one of the worst plagues on politics nationwide. The current “us” versus “them” mentality, he said, leads only to a lack of progress on real problems.
“Lack of compromise is not what we need in the political atmosphere,” Goodenough said.
Thus, his “party of one” is built on a hybrid platform of what he sees as the best of the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian philosophies. Goodenough said he supports Second Amendment rights and local decision-making, as well as social assistance programs for the truly needy.
Goodenough cited his 14 years with the state Legislature and six years of City Council service as ample experience to qualify him for a commission seat. And with two years as a lobbyist for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Goodenough said he is familiar with how, exactly, to propose legislation that would benefit Natrona County.
“My lobbying experience would be very helpful to the county commission, because funding to the county is entirely dependent on legislative action,” he said.
Goodenough said his strict, self-imposed campaign finance policy meant he never accepted money from any political action campaign, and that he limited individual donations to $100. He plans to continue this policy for the rest of his campaign.
November’s race sports a politically diverse roster. One Democrat, two Republicans, two Constitution Party candidates and Goodenough are vying for two open seats.
“It’s an interesting race,” Goodenough said. “It offers a lot more choices than most races in the state.”