Wyoming Education Association

Fall 2018

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/1036712

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Legislative Action 3 WEA Members make a diff erence in political campaigns Much press has been given to the race for the Wyoming Legislature Senate District 19 seat. The seat, which includes portions of Park and Big Horn Counties, was held for 13 years by Sen. R. Ray Peterson. WEA staff and members organized to support long-time educator R.J. Kost, who won the race by a whopping 7.8% of the vote. RJ's 30+ year career as a teacher and administrator in both counties, his involvement on the hospital board, and his life-long residency in the Big Horn Basin made him a desirable candidate to the voters. WEA organized a fi nal push in the last days of the primary, getting members out knocking on doors, sharing RJ's story, and listening to voters. Education is always a key issue to Wyoming voters, and this race was no exception. In their support for RJ, members shared his background in education and his understanding of local school funding needs. While it is true that Senator Peterson sponsored Senate File 0117, which proposed $114 million in cuts to public education, what is not true is that WEA ran a negative campaign to unseat the senator. The educators in the Big Horn Basin were well aware of the senator's position and voting record on education funding, and in the end that is what inspired local members to canvass the county in support of R.J. Kost. In Uinta County, long-time teacher and WEA member Wendy Schuler unseated incumbent Paul Barnard in the Senate District 15 race. Wendy directed a strong door-to-door campaign, relying on friends, family, and former students to get the word out about her strengths as a candidate. Wendy's continued involvement in her community as a city council member and community leader made her name practically a household word in the county. Her years as a much-loved teacher and her life-long residency in the Bridger Valley gave her the widespread recognition a candidate needs to win a local election. WEA staff worked with the local leaders in Evanston and Lyman to generate support for Wendy, and WEA provided campaign guidance and materials which helped keep Wendy's name in front of the voters. Nancy Nelson of Greybull supporting RJ Kost for Senate District 19 by attending the candidate forum and asking questions, walking door-to-door, and researching candidate qualifi cations. by Tammy Schroeder, Government Relations Director WEA members work hard to research candidates. WEA-PACE can help by sharing our endorsed candidates list in the WEA News Magazine, on the website, and through social media.

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