WYOMING STATE SENATE DISTRICT 20 CANDIDATE PROFILES

 

August 13, 2020



Ed Cooper - Republican

Where do you currently live?

I live just out of Ten Sleep. I was raised in Ten Sleep and Worland. I have

spent some time living in other parts of Wyoming, but when it was time to raise my family, I knew home in the Big Horn Basin was where I wanted to be.

How long have you lived in Senate District 20?

I was born in and raised District 20 and have been here continuously for the past 30 years. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and live all over the world, but choose to be here in Wyoming, close to my roots and family.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I have been self-employed been since 1981. I own and manage an Oil and Gas Consulting firm as well as our family ranch. I am very well-known and respected in the Oil and Gas Industry and know that this knowledge will help to shape our state’s future.

Why are you running for Senate District 20?

With the issues facing Wyoming and the nation, I

feel we need a proven leader with a Wyoming, mineral and agriculture background. In order to help find solutions to the questions facing us, we need to fully understand the questions and issues at hand. I think it is imperative that we have someone deeply involved in minerals, agriculture and our long-standing Wyoming values.


What are your qualifications for serving as a state legislator?

Experience.

Experience as a lifelong Wyoming resident. My family ties here go back to 1906 when there was nothing here but sagebrush and opportunity. I grew up here on sheep and sugar beets. This is my home, always has been and always will be.

Experience in minerals. I have been in the oil and gas business for 48 years. In that time, I have worked all over the world, responsibly managed billion-dollar budgets and extremely large workforces. I am a proven leader and problem solver.

Experience in agriculture. My wife and I own and operate a family ranch across the south Big Horns. Our family has been continuously involved in agriculture across the entire district, from Otto to Lost Cabin for the last 90 years.

Experience in business. I have owned and operated my own firm since 1981. We have operated several smaller firms, as well as the family ranch. I have years of international business experience, working from Siberia to South America.

Experience in life. I have personally witnessed Communism and Socialism at their absolute worst. I was working in Siberia when the Soviet Union collapsed. Those folks had absolutely nothing with no hope of improvement. I witnessed them pulling themselves up by their bootstraps to build a better life for their families. I was working in Venezuela when Chavez came into power. I witnessed the complete destruction of the middle class, with nothing left but the ultra-rich and absolute poverty.


These experiences, in all of their different forms, make me the best candidate to help find the solutions we will need over the next few years here at home in Wyoming.

As Senate District 20 comprises several communities, what will you do to address the needs of all your constituents?

I will listen. As a Senator for District 20, I feel the least important opinion is my own. I will use my business and family network across our District to reach out to the people that elected me into office. I value and respect their trust and as their representative, I will have a fiduciary responsibility the voters and their families. I have a great group of people from every community that I know and trust to help me listen to the concerns and ideas available, and I am looking forward to expanding that network during my time as State Senator.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Senate District 20 and Wyoming, and how would you address them?

Values. Preserving and protecting our Wyoming Values and Wyoming Way of

Life will be among our biggest challenges as our nation finds its way out of the

issues that are weighing heavily in other areas. This is our home. We must and

will do what is necessary to keep our legacy strong. My family has thrived here for over 100 years and I intend for that to continue for the next 100 years, along with your families.

Revenue and spending. We will have to make deep and painful cuts in all areas, but the cuts alone will not be enough. It will be necessary to identify and implement other sources of revenue. I see opportunity for additional areas to develop those revenues with the least impact to the local taxpayers.

Economic Diversity. We have been and will continue to be dependent on minerals for our life blood revenue in Wyoming. As we move forward, we need to draw more diverse businesses and industries to our state. We have some of the strongest assets in the nation right here. We need to actively and aggressively seek the clean, common sense industries needed and sell ourselves to them as a strong partner in the future.

Linda Weeks - Republican

Where do you currently live and how long have you lived in Senate District 20?

My husband Charlie and I live in Basin and have lived there for 5 1/2 years. We are proud to be a part of such a thriving community where the people are warm and friendships are plentiful.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am the Marketing and Sales Supervisor for RT Communications in Worland.

Why are you running for Senate District 20?

Wyoming District 20 has been fortunate to have Senator Wyatt Agar represent the district’s eleven communities in the Big Horn Basin. For the past four years Senator Agar has proven to be accomplished, dedicated, and passionate about the prosperity and

well-being of the district. Wyatt has served our communities extremely well by building relationships with his constituents along with alliances with other Senators in the state. Due to the success of his first term I was sincerely disappointed to learn of his decision to decline a 2020 second term campaign. However, I respect Wyatt’s commitment as he puts his family at highest priority. Contemplating the upcoming election, I realize we need a candidate who supports Wyatt’s values, and maintains and builds on what he has accomplished for the area.

I have never aspired to be a candidate and spent a great deal of time considering whether I should run. But after 12 years of helping behind the scenes in the political arena, it’s time for me to step up to serve the State of Wyoming and most importantly the constituents of District 20. After many years of visiting, my husband Charlie and I fulfilled our dreams and moved to Wyoming. We feel blessed to live in a beautiful area with wonderful people, with whom we have built life-long friendships and are surrounded with a flourishing community of good folks - This is our home! We love Wyoming and it is time to give back.

What are your qualifications for serving as a state legislator?

I work daily in many of the communities in District 20 as RT provides telephone and internet services to some of these towns. Over the past four years I’ve developed an understanding of our rural communities – their strengths and their challenges. I have over 35 years of retail marketing and business experience working as the Director of Marketing for large Fortune 500 retail organizations. I’ve managed small and large teams of people

as well as multi-million dollar budgets. I know how to reach people and communicate with them. I excel at working with people in order to accomplish an objective which is a necessary skill when working in the legislature. As we approach a budget crisis in Wyoming, many difficult decisions will have to be made. It will be critical to have someone that understands how to negotiate, stay within our budget, think outside of the box and have the best interests of District 20 at heart.

I have been endorsed by the current Senator Wyatt Agar.

As Senate District 20 comprises several communities, what will you do to address the needs of all your constituents?

Both career and my involvement with politics, saturating large areas is a strength of mine. I’ve been in marketing and communications for over 35 years, I know how to reach people in order to communicate with them. Covering large areas, I have learned to build relationship with people, sense the heartbeat of the community, and hear their needs on concerns. Face to face is always my preferred means of relating with people and communities. However, I will use all forms of social media and regular emails for quick, far-reaching communication. I will be accessible by cell phone, email and any other forms of communications. I will attend local events and plan on holding meetings in town on a

quarterly basis. The nature of my career has provided me the opportunity to frequently visit most of the communities of the district. My time in each community has also enabled me to be acquainted with the residents in each town and become aware of the challenges and issues unique to each of these towns.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Senate District 20 and Wyoming, and how would you address them?

#1 Preserve our conservative values and constitutional rights.

An elected official should reflect the community they represent by advocating for their values while in office. It is critical to stand for the conservative values that we in District 20 hold dear. Those values include the right to life, protecting our religious freedoms and our

Second Amendment rights. I would oppose any bill that did not preserve our values and our constitutional rights.

#2 Fight for low taxes.

In Wyoming we are proud to believe in limited government and low taxes. While the recent budget shortfalls will cause many challenges, I believe there are ways to streamline costs without cutting programs or raising taxes. We need structural spending reform. The Governor must go through each agency’s budget line by line and look at what is being spent and determine how to deliver programs for less dollars. A fast recovery will not occur if we decide to raise taxes by instituting a corporate income tax and a state income tax. Not only do increased taxes impact Wyoming families but it will discourage people and companies from relocating to Wyoming. I would vote NO on any new taxes in Wyoming!

#3 Promote economic growth.

While I know oil, gas and agriculture are important industries in Wyoming and

will always be, they are cyclical by nature. For example, when oil is up our economy is great but when it’s not, like what we are experiencing now, things are not so great. I believe we must diversify by attracting other industry/companies to

Wyoming in order to flatten out the highs and lows economically. Wyoming has much to attract out of state businesses – no corporate tax, no state income tax and a wonderful way of life for workers. We live in a beautiful state with an outdoor lifestyle that is very attractive to many people. Additionally, we have a workforce that believes in hard work, dependability and reliability. We need to aggressively seek out companies to move here, in order to broaden the tax base and increase revenue.

Roland Luehne - Republican

How long have you lived in Senate District 20?

Since I was ten years old in 1975.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work?

I am a self-employed small business owner. My family and I have owned the Star Plunge since 1975.

Why are you running for Senate District 20?

I am running to save my family business. The State of Wyoming wants to purchase and take my family business away, with no compensation. Though all of us candidates have the similar platforms of being pro farm, pro rancher, pro business and pro Trump. My difference is that I am fighting to keep socialism out of our state, as I have seen first hand the damage it can do.

What are your qualifications for serving as a state legislator? I have successfully owned several small businesses, built businesses from the ground up and redeveloped properties to better our community.

As Senate District 20 comprises several communities, what will you do to address the needs of all your constituents?

I am centrally located and have had contact for the last 45 years with the people in our community everyday. I understand their struggles of the larger, overbearing state government. I will listen to their needs, I will be there to represent them and will not change who I am for special interest groups.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Senate District 20 and Wyoming, and how would you address them?

1.Equal rules and regulations for all farmers and ranchers. I would fight to have no new rules or overbearing regulations put in place for anyone.

2.Our struggling economy. I would like to help businesses seek relief, whether it is in loans or grants, to help our local economy. I would use my 45 years of experience in building and sustaining a business through lean times to help develop infrastructures to ensure continued economic growth within our District. Tourism is an upcoming major economic role for our state, and I am the candidate with the experience to help us grow.

3.The rights of the people of District 20. I will fight for District 20 to keep socialism and overbearing rules and regulations out of our state. I will write legislation that states that government is not allowed to take farms, ranches, private land or businesses from the people.

Theresa (Terry) Livingston - Democrat

Where do you currently live?

Worland, WY

How long have you lived in Senate District 20?

Since January 19th, 2011. I was transferred here by the BLM from Cheyenne. Before that I lived in Lander. I have 28 years in Wyoming. I have lived in several other states.

What type of work do you do, and where do you work? Retired from the BLM May 2016. I worked in customer service and in minerals and Lands. I was in the US Air Force as a Medical Lab Tech for 9 years. I was stationed in Texas, Germany, Spain, & Turkey. I also lived in Taiwan. I worked in schools for 14 years as a paraprofessional. I also lived in Alaska, New Mexico, Montana, and California.

Why are you running for Senate District 20?

It’s time there was more than one choice on the ballot. I come with an open mind and from living lots of places I have varied knowledge of other ways of doing things. I believe there is always a better way.

What are your qualifications for serving as a state legislator?

Community involvement. I have been involved in the community since I moved here and have gotten more involved after I retired. I am on the Visitor’s Council Board, Crisis Pevention Board, Library board presidents, until recently a WAC board member, Bighorn Basic Outdoor Recreation Collaborative, and Team Rubicon. I have been a Vita volunteer for doing taxes, a supporter of the community garden, & recycling. I listen to what people are wanting. I have been a huge supporter of schools and believe that vocational & technical training are in the best interest of our state.

As Senate District 20 comprises several communities, what will you do to address the needs of all your constituents?

This is a huge spread out district. I am meeting with different groups to find out what they want for their communities. I want to be the voice of the people, their needs and wants. What do you feel are the three most important issues facing Senate District 20 and Wyoming, and how would you address them?

Revenue, Schools, jobs. I think great answers come from the people. We need to listen to their ideas. We need to get the people involved. “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

 
 

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