Rep. Hans Hunt, R-Newcastle, is now former Rep. Hans Hunt.
After accepting a job with Sen. Cynthia Lummis’s office as the agriculture and trade policy adviser, Hunt resigned his position as the representative for parts of Weston, Niobrara and Goshen counties after 10 years.
“It’s been the honor of my life to serve in that role,” Hunt said.
During his time in the Wyoming Legislature, Hunt served as the House majority whip from 2015 to 2016 and did a four-year stint as chairman of the joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Committee.
In addition to serving in a leadership role, Hunt also points to one piece of legislation as one of his greatest accomplishments— House Bill 187 from this past session.
This act cemented residency requirements for county assessors, county clerks, county commissioners, county sheriffs and county treasurers. The county officer has to reside in the jurisdiction they serve for the duration of their term, otherwise the office becomes vacant.
“I think that went the farthest towards solving a specific issue that counties were having,” Hunt said. “I was really happy to get that through.”
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The move to Washington D.C. represents Hunt’s first time living outside of Wyoming. His day job had been as a rancher.
Hunt’s first paid job was on the family ranch at age 9, where he made $5 a day. He later went on to attended the University of Wyoming. In fact, Hunt was elected as a representative before he was a college graduate.
When the nine-term legislator Ross Diercks retired, Hunt threw his hat in the ring with a bit more than a semester left of his undergraduate education. He won a three-way Republican primary and then the general election in 2010. With this victory, he became the youngest member in the Wyoming Legislature at the time.
Hunt and Lummis have connections beyond his new gig — Lummis was also state legislator and became the youngest woman to be elected to the body when she won her own race.
Hunt’s successor will be chosen within the next couple weeks.
Residents of House District 2 can apply to be the interim representative, and the precinct committee people who comprise the precincts in House District 2 will get together and select three candidates. These three applications will then go to the county commissioners of the counties within the district and a weighted vote will take place based on the population size of the three counties in Hunt’s district. As of the latest census, Weston County residents account for 45% of the district, meaning that the Weston County Commissioners will have more electoral power in choosing the victor.
The person chosen for the position usually runs for reelection when a lawmaker resigns, but there’s a catch this year — redistricting. The person chosen as the representative can only run for reelection in 2022 if they are still a resident of the district after the redistricting process is complete.
Resignations happen “pretty frequently,” said Matt Obrecht, director of the Legislative Service Office.
Hunt did not name any specific people he hopes to see in the role, but he did offer some hopes for whoever it may be.
“I hope that they find it as rewarding and life changing as I’ve found it,” Hunt said. “I hope they’re struck by the same sense of awe as I was when they go into office.”
Although the longtime rancher is moving to Washington D.C., he was adamant that he’ll be back in the Cowboy State often.
Follow state politics reporter Victoria Eavis on Twitter @Victoria_Eavis