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Tom Jones, who served as a Park County lawmaker three decades ago, wants to return to politics.

On Tuesday, the 68-year-old announced he is running as a Republican for state House District 42, which comprises northwest Laramie County, including Cheyenne. He has lived in Laramie County for more than 25 years, he said.

Rep. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne, currently serves the district. She did not return telephone and email message from the Star-Tribune.

“I’ve been a little disappointed with the representation we’ve had in this district, and I think I can do a better job,” said Jones, who declined to go into specifics but said they’ll be clear once his campaign gets going.

During debate on bills for same-sex marriage and same-sex domestic partnerships in 2013, Hutchings, then a freshman, said she didn’t like how gays were “carpet-bagging on our civil rights movement.” Hutchings is black.

“Science does not evidence a genetic involvement to homosexuality,” she said. “It is but a choice. Being black is involuntary; it is not a choice. Homosexuals may choose who they want to be.”

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Jones did not want to discuss his position on gay rights. He said civility is going down the drain at the Wyoming Capitol.

“I think the Legislature needs to get back to working together,” he said. “We don’t have to agree. The person who is your opponent today is your best friend tomorrow. You don’t carry on about things.”

Jones original stint in the House of Representatives was from 1977 to 1986. He was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He left because he needed to focus on his work as an attorney, he said.

That career led him to Cheyenne, where he was a lobbyist for clients and was able to continue to observe the House and Senate. He has recently retired.

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Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at laura.hancock@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

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