Throughout the last week or two, we've endorsed candidates for city, county and statewide offices. Some of the endorsements were easy to make. A big chunk of them were really close calls.
With Election Day just two days away, there's just a single endorsement left. Truthfully, this one is as clear-cut for us as they come: Gov. Matt Mead is far and away the best option right now to serve as Wyoming's governor for another four years, and he deserves your vote Tuesday for re-election.
Simply put, Wyoming is better off now than when Mead took office. Our economy is strong and becoming more diverse. Jobs are plentiful. We've made efforts to improve broadband technology on a statewide level. Our sitting governor has worked with other states and countries on ensuring that there will be a robust future for Wyoming coal. Mead also has been assertive with the federal government pushing back against unreasonable EPA regulations.
It hasn't always been easy for Mead, and he's not perfect. He was extremely frank with us that he didn't exactly hit the ground running immediately after he took office. Mead also undoubtedly has some regrets about leaving money on the table during budget season, and his stances on climate change, Medicaid expansion and gay marriage have been frustrating at times. And, let's face it, the Cindy Hill/Senate File 104 situation was a nightmare for everyone.
But to us, the way he's handled his bad days and shortcomings sets him apart from his opponents. Mead is calm, thoughtful, willing to compromise when necessary and tries to keep things respectful. You can disagree with our governor, and you can tell him to his face that he's wrong. He'll explain why he thinks he's right without it getting ugly. When he's wrong, or has a change of heart, he's open about it.
Compare Mead's attitude, style and experience with his opponents. Independent candidate Don Wills' one-note government overreach platform lacks real solutions. Libertarian Dee Cozzens isn't raising funds or really campaigning in any way. A candidate who doesn't talk with voters before an election isn't serious and doesn't deserve your vote.
Finally, there's Democrat Pete Gosar. There's a lot to like about Gosar. His stances on Medicaid expansion and gay marriage were in line with ours. Gosar's "never give up" style was honorable, and we believe that his heart is in the right place. He cares very, very much for Wyomingites, and if he was governor, he'd work really hard to represent us. He's just not ready, though, for such a big office. We recommend that he stick with it, and maybe throw his hat in the ring for a different job -- think city council, county commission, state House or Senate. There aren't a lot of strong Democrat candidates for public office. Gosar has potential, and we hope he continues to grow.
That brings us back to Mead. He has four years of strong experience as governor. He's improved since Day No. 1. He's made the state better. He's willing to admit when he's been wrong, and his points of emphasis -- economy, natural resources and technology -- are the right ones.
Mead has earned your vote for re-election. Wyoming is headed in the right direction overall, and we strongly recommend voting for Gov. Matt Mead on Tuesday so he can continue his work for another four years.