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2012 Primary Election: House District 3

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REPUBLICAN

Seat previously held by Frank Peasley.

 

Douglas Gerard

Age: 46.

Home: Gillette (native of Rochester, N.Y.).

Occupation: Software engineer.

Education: B.S. Computer Science, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Family: Married.

Political Experience: Led the effort to put the Health Care Freedom Amendment on the ballot since 2008.

1. What is the most important issue currently facing the Wyoming Legislature and how would you address it?

There is no single issue that is more important than jobs.

The recent announcement of the closing of the power plant in Gillette highlights this. Urged on by extreme obstructionist groups like the Powder River Basin Resource Council the EPA and other agencies are threatening the industries that we rely on for jobs.

Many Wyoming families benefit from the good jobs the energy industries provide. Wyoming must be more aggressive in dealing federal agencies that have dramatic sway over Wyoming's energy industries. When these federal agencies fail to do their duty Wyoming has the responsibility to stand up to the federal government as the federal agencies cost Wyoming jobs and tax revenue. Additionally, Wyoming must find ways to limit the harm caused by obstructionist groups that impede mineral development and cost Wyoming jobs and tax revenue.

2. What further steps need to be taken to ensure Wyoming's significant investment in K-12 education is leading to the best student performance possible?

Wyoming spends a lot on education. With per capita spending at about $16,000 per student our children should be doing better.

As of 2010 roughly two-thirds of Wyoming's third-graders don't read at grade level, 25 percent of high-school students don't graduate, and 40 percent of students who graduate from high school must take remedial classes when they reach college.

We all want our children to be well educated, but our shovel more money at the problem approach isn't working. We need to do something different.

I want Wyoming to become the first true school choice state. True school choice would empower parents by giving them far more control over the type of education their children receive. It would allow innovative parents and educators to band together and try new solutions to find better ways to educate their children.

3. Which options should be considered to increase funding for highway repairs and construction?

Wyoming families are under attack from rising food costs, stagnant wages and federal regulation that may cost them their job, so the last thing they need is new or increased taxes. Wyoming has over $1.5 billion in a rainy day account, and there is talk of continuing to add to this account even with the eight percent cuts proposed by the governor. If this is the case we need to rethink our priorities in the budget and find the funds for road maintenance and construction from sources in existing revenue streams. Wyoming families don't need to be burdened any further. Any solution must not cost Wyoming taxpayers one more dime.

4. Describe measures you would introduce or support to enhance economic development and diversity in Wyoming.

Economic diversity develops as the result of the natural growth of our communities. To promote economic diversity we must first protect our core industries and the jobs they provide for Wyoming families. If we are effective in maintaining our current industries, Wyoming will continue to prosper and economic diversity will increase as our state grows. Once our core industries are stabilized economic diversity can be assisted by keeping Wyoming a well-run state with low taxes and a predictable, limited, common-sense regulatory climate.

5. What does Wyoming need to do with the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in general is an affront to individual liberty. We must do everything we can to overturn it and establish health care reforms that are based on individual freedom.

The Supreme Court ruled that states do not have to participate in the ACA Medicaid expansion. If Wyoming were to participate in the Medicaid expansion, the cost would be paid 100% by the federal government for the first few years and then 90% thereafter. This new federal spending will only increase the burden on taxpayer's or else punish future generations. The same federal government is also threatening the very industries that provide Wyoming with much of its tax revenues. Wyoming is being asked by the federal government to pay for more while our tax revenues are dwindling.

Consequently Wyoming cannot participate in the Medicare expansion.

 

Eric Barlow

Age: 46.

Home: Gillette.

Occupation: Rancher and veterinarian.

Education: DVM, Colorado State University.

Family: Married, Kelly; 2 children, Kate and Graham.

Political Experience: Wyoming Livestock Board.

1. What is the most important issue currently facing the Wyoming Legislature and how would you address it?

The budget will require a great deal of attention. This will entail some new prioritization of expenditures and a hard look at revenues sources. Special attention will need to be focused on pension obligations, K-12, highways and impacted communities. It will be about fulfilling obligations and funding the highest priorities. Cutting the general fund portion of budget also means Wyoming will proportionately have a greater reliance of federals funds, this is concerning.

2. What further steps need to be taken to ensure Wyoming's significant investment in K-12 education is leading to the best student performance possible?

Many dedicated folks have and continue to work towards improving educational opportunities in Wyoming. Their work is appreciated. I believe the best result of an education is the ability to consider information and make good decisions, to solve problems. This is what individuals, families and communities all need to be successful. We also need to follow the money. It is paramount that the greatest majority of our educational investments make it to the classroom. The legislature should consider establishing guidance in this area. Finally, as a home school family, we have accepted much of the responsibility of ensuring our children's educational success. I will support ways to better engage families and communities in the success of Wyoming's children's education.

3. Which options should be considered to increase funding for highway repairs and construction?

All options need to be considered, including a modest increase in fuel taxes and greater fees for heavy vehicles and excessive speed. All new funds need to be directed to construction and maintenance alone.

4. Describe measures you would introduce or support to enhance economic development and diversity in Wyoming.

I am interested in simplifying the bureaucratic maze that businesses encounter in Wyoming. Also getting the entrepreneurial business community more involved in our education system is important, both for guidance and the opportunity to link students to emerging workplace opportunities.

5. What does Wyoming need to do with the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion?

We must first assess the implications of the Act to Wyoming and indentify the options available. Then, we can consider meaningful reforms with the goal being high quality, broadly accessible and affordable health care for Wyoming's citizens.

 

 

DEMOCRAT

No one filed for the seat.

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