Former Democratic state lawmaker Mary Throne of Cheyenne plans to announce her candidacy for Wyoming’s governor race on Saturday.
Throne is the biggest name to throw her hat in so far, and said she has secured the support of Ryan Greene, whose name had been floated as another potential Democratic contender.
Throne said her priority will be helping Wyoming escape from the energy-fueled boom and bust cycle, a process that will begin by placing all the state’s financial cards on the table.
“We still don’t have a plan for the rainy day fund,” she said in an interview. “We need to put all of our assets on the table, and the public needs to understand what we have.”
Several prominent Republicans, including former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, are expected to enter the race to succeed Gov. Matt Mead, and Wyoming in general is a difficult state for Democrats to win statewide office. But Throne said she believes Wyomingites vote based on the individual rather than the party affiliation.
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“I believe I’m the right person for the job, and I hope the people of Wyoming will agree with me,” she said.
Throne, a natural resources attorney, represented a Cheyenne district in the Legislature for nine years before losing to 29-year-old GOP official Jared Olson in November by 62 votes. She served in House leadership for six years.
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Throne said accomplishments on education, such as reducing the importance of standardized testing, was the work she was proudest of in the Legislature.
The governor’s race is expected to be expensive this year and Throne said she would be seeking contributions from across the state.
“(But) primarily votes,” she added.
Throne said that natural resources would continue to be an essential part of Wyoming’s economy but that diversifying industry in the state would require investing during downturns rather than clamping down on spending during tough times.
“We let our communities deteriorate,” Throne said. “People leave the state, and that is really not a recipe for success.”
Throne said she primarily faulted the Legislature, not Mead, for the failure to examine Wyoming’s options during the current downturn.
She announced her campaign for governor Saturday at the Kiwanis Community House in Cheyenne.
Ryan Greene won the Democratic primary for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat Tuesday night and will …
The support of Greene will likely be a boon in the Democratic field. An oil industry worker from Rock Springs, Green ran an enthusiastic but unsuccessful campaign against Liz Cheney for the U.S. House seat freed by Lummis last fall.
The other names that have been floated as potential Democratic candidates for governor include Sen. Chris Rothfuss of Laramie and the Nature Conservancy’s Wyoming director Milward Simpson. Rothfuss has said he’s likely to run for reelection to the Legislature.
Arno Rosenfeld covers state politics.