Like most things in America's least populous and most Republican state, this one flew under the radar for a bit. But the Republican primary for the Gubernatorial race we had pegged as the sleepiest in America got a bit more interesting today:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill says she will run for Governor of Wyoming in 2014... Governor Matt Mead this week signed into law a bill that essentially strips the superintendent’s office of leadership of the state Department of Education, reassigning those duties to a person appointed by the governor.
Hill already has one supporter in State Rep. Stephen Watt of Rock Springs, and has ties to the Tea Party movement. That said, she was just the subject of a radical demotion in her authority by the legislature. I still don't understand this situation completely, but apparently the department was missing legally required benchmarks on new educational standards. Education tends to be one of the murkiest areas of policy in general; it's hard to tell right now if Hill is portrayed as the victim of a coup, or a bad manager disgruntled with getting her commupance. Consequently, I'm unsure if Hill is going to be regarded as a non-factor in the race or can galvanize any discontent with Mead that exists on the right. But tonight we can say one thing for sure - Wyoming is no longer home to America's most boring governor's race.
The other domino to fall here concerns the superintendent's position, one of four statewide officials in Wyoming, which has now been demoted to ceremonial status. Expect a push for a constitutional ammendment to eliminate it entirely - though these useless offices can hang around for quite some time (just ask Doug LaFolette, the Wisconsin Secretary of State - who has managed to prevent the elimination of his position, which now amounts to an elected notary, for decades)
Elections have consequences -- from the race for President to the race for one seat on a city council. The political economist Max Weber wrote that the state possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. But in the United States, the state is divided into myriad federal, state, and local entities. And the elections to fill those entities are the products of the fascinating interactions between campaigns, party affiliations, voter turnout, and the media spotlight. Red Racing Horses analyzes those elections -- from a Republican-leaning perspective -- to keep a close eye on the process of electing officials, and to offer our perspective on the election-related issues of the day. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog.
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