Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Cooper, Livingston seek Senate District 20 seat; Greear unopposed

 

October 29, 2020



When Wyatt Agar announced he would not seek re-election to the Senate District 20 seat, several Republicans and one Democrat announced interest in representing the district that includes all or part of five counties.

Ed Cooper won a tight Republican race in the August primary election, while Theresa Livingston was unopposed to win the Democratic party nomination. The two square off for the rights to represent the district in the Nov. 3 general election.

Senate District 20 includes all of Washakie County, all of Hot Springs County and portions of Park, Big Horn and Fremont counties.

Both candidates were sent questionnaires by the Northern Wyoming News and their responses can be found on this page.

House District 27 that includes all of Washakie County and part of Big Horn County is currently represented by Wyoming Sugar CEO Mike Greear. He is unopposed for another term in the Wyoming State Legislature. Since he is unopposed, he was not asked to complete a questionnaire for the NWN.

In House District 28, that includes Hot Springs County and part of Big Horn County, John Winter won the Republican nomination in the August primary. He is seeking his second term. He is challenged by Democrat Levi Shinkle. Both candidates are from Thermopolis.

Both responded to the NWN questionnaire and their answers are included on this page.

The general election will be Nov. 3. Absentee voting is underway. Ballots can be requested by contacting the Washakie County Clerk's Office.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the day of the election.

Early registration ends Monday, Oct. 19, although voters may register at the polls.

Senate District 20

Ed Cooper - Republican

Where do you currently live?

I currently live in Ten Sleep and have been back here since 1993.

How long have you lived in Senate District 20?

Our family has been in District 20 since 1906, involved in agriculture from Otto to Lost cabin continually for 114 years. My dad came to the Otto/Basin area in 1935. We still have extensive family there. My mother's family first came to the South Big Horn Basin in 1906, working on the railroad. Since then we have been all across the area from Otto and Dickie to Worland, Thermopolis and Lost Cabin.

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

My wife and I run a small cow/calf operation out of Ten Sleep with holdings at Big Trails and Lost Cabin. For the past 48 years I have been involved in the oil and gas business all around the world. For the past 40 years, I have operated my own small oil and gas service company. In that time, I have worked from the Arctic to South America, including Wyoming, Colorado, Montana North Dakota, Utah, New Mexico, Alaska, Texas Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. International work included the Soviet Union, Russia, Estonia, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina.

Why are you running for Senate District 20?

We are obviously facing a lot of challenges in the upcoming times in Wyoming. I feel that I can contribute my time and expertise to help us through these times.

What are your qualifications for serving as a state legislator?

Experience. As a lifelong resident of the area with many years of experience in agriculture, minerals and small business, I know the people, I know the industries and I know the problems. This election shouldn't be about partisan ideologies. It needs to be about solutions, management, optimization and leadership. My experience in management, small business, budget and operations will bring common sense and hands on experience to our legislature.

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

Having family and extensive business contacts across the district gives me the opportunity to build a great infrastructure from which I can gather information, opinions and advice. I feel that my opinion should be the least important one I listen to. I will continue to learn from the people across the area to build a better communications network.

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

Obviously, our budget issues will be the top priority in the near future. The additional cuts to services will be deep and painful. No one will be spared. I think that we need to look at these cuts as an opportunity to optimize our spending. We have been living pretty high for many years, while times were good. Now is the time to determine the differences between what's necessary and what's nice.

Increased revenue will be an ongoing challenge. No one wants higher taxes. We will have to continue to explore all avenues to develop more revenue streams into the State.

Economic diversity continues to be an issue. As the nation turns away from coal, we need to optimize our return on renewable energy. We need to go from providing the wind to providing the entire system. We need the manufacturing brought here. We need to help develop storage systems here. We need to continue our Carbon Capture program and market our coal and technology globally. We need to do a better job of selling ourselves internationally. In the next 20 years, 60% of the world's middle class will be from Asia. They will continue to want more energy, ag products and our tourism. We need to be on the path to provide our products to them. Wyoming is open for business!

Theresa Livingston - Democrat

Where do you currently live?

Worland

How long have you lived in Senate District 20?

Since January 19, 2011. I was transferred here by the Bureau of Land Management 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?

I retired from the BLM in 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 nine years. I was stationed in Texas, Germany, Spain and 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. I think it is past time that women have better representation in our state Legislature. Because I have lived in many places I have a 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 Visitors Council Board, Crisis Prevention Board, Library board presidents, until recently a Worland Aquatic Center board member, Bighorn Basic Outdoor Recreation Collaborative and Team Rubicon. I have been a Vista volunteer for doing taxes, a supporter of the community garden and recycling. I listen to what people are wanting. I have been a huge supporter of schools and believe that vocational and technical training is 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 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."

House District 28

Levi Shinkle-Democrat

Where do you currently live?

Thermopolis 

How long have you lived in House District 28?

33 years

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

I'm the collections manager at The Wyoming Dinosaur Center. I manage a 13,000-plus fossil specimen collection. 

Why are you running for House District 28?

I think it's time for new, younger voices in Cheyenne. 

What are your qualifications for serving as a state legislator?

Working in the tourism industry I see what the state has to offer outside of extractive resources and agriculture. 

As House District 28 comprises several communities, what will you do to address the needs of all your constituents?

I think many of the problems facing each of the communities are very similar. Most of them are small rural communities and the solutions will be very similar. 

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing House District 28 and Wyoming, and how would you address them? 

First and foremost we are facing an immense budget crisis. I think that the incoming legislature should look at every single solution regardless of whether it'll "poll well" with voters. 

Energy. We need to start leading the way in alternative energy the way we've led in extractive energy for the last hundred years. 

The exodus of young people from Wyoming. We need to be able to keep going talent in Wyoming by making sure that we have the industries that people are going to be working in.

John R. Winter - Republican

Where do you currently live?

I was born and raised in Cody, Wyoming and my wife, Diane, and I now live 10 miles North of Thermopolis on Kirby Creek.

How long have you lived in House District 28?

I was born in Cody, Wyoming and outfitted on the Cody and Jackson sides of the Thorofare. We moved to Thermopolis in the fall of 1999 nearly 21 years ago.

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

I sold my Two Ocean Pass Outfitting camp in 2018 so I am mostly retired. I worked for the Bureau of Land Management as a range conservationist and a wild horse specialist and was instrumental in initiating the original program when it was still in its infancy. I outfitted for 38 years, and as an outfitter, I was very involved in the industry as well as state and federal land issues.

Why are you running for House District 28?

I am running for re-election to House District 28 because I enjoyed my first term and feel I need to return in order to do justice for the confidence placed in me after my election in 2018. I have accomplished a couple of things on predator control in my first term but this next term is going to be centered around the economy where we must relearn how to live within our means.

What are your qualifications for serving as a State Legislator?

Everyone who runs for elective office feels that they have ideas and qualifications that can enhance the lives of Wyoming citizens. I believe my knowledge of agriculture and the tourism industry are such that I can benefit these all important Wyoming businesses. I have been involved in the oil and gas industry and the trucking industry over the years which are important businesses for this State as well. Our State is facing some really hard times on the economic front and we must promote those industries which are still vibrant and moving forward. Agriculture and tourism are very important to our economy and we must promote them as much as possible.

As House District 28 comprises several communities, what will you do to address the needs of all your constituents?

Fortunately for me, the communities in House District 28 are similar in their economic base and I easily relate to them and their businesses. It is really a pleasure to represent all of the folks in District 28.

What do you feel are the three most important issues facing House Dist4rict 28 and Wyoming, and how would you address them?

The three most important issues facing the communities in HD 28 at the present time are

1) The COVID-19 restrictions which have been imposed on our economy, small businesses and schools.

2) These restrictions have had a devasting effect on the agriculture and tourism industries for their viability not to mention so many other businesses in our communities. The "authorities" making all of the rules regarding COVID-19 receive a paycheck every two weeks. The folks who are expected to abide by these rules are struggling to make ends meet;

3) Our economy is going in the tank because our other primary industries, i.e., coal, oil and gas and other mineral entities are suffering to the point that their viability is questionable. To start with, we must get this State back to reality and productive again. This Corona virus has been politicized to the point that people are afraid to face things head on. We must get markets opened up again and let people take responsibility for their own lives.

 
 

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