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When Senator Dan Dockstader pulled out of the race for secretary of State and gave his support to Senator Tara Nethercott, the other candidate, Representative Chuck Gray referred to them as “insiders.” Since that time Representative Gray has continued to apply this reference to Senator Nethercott publicly and now in his mailers.
In contemplating the term “insider” and what that might mean for the voters of Wyoming, I have come to agree that Tara Nethercott is indeed an insider and thank heavens for the state of Wyoming that she is. As an insider she is familiar with our history, culture, and ethics, and as the daughter of a law enforcement officer whose conservative family has been in this great state for five generations, she fits the bill to be the next Secretary of State.
Attending elementary school as a Shoshoni Wrangler and graduating as a Riverton Wolverine she was immersed in the state’s conservative hard-working culture all through her formative years. She attended the University of Wyoming for her undergraduate work and went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming Law School. Those choices certainly put her on the inside track to step in and help move this state forward in true conservative Wyoming fashion.
Since she was elected to the Wyoming State Senate in 2017 Tara has amassed an impressive record that can only be attributed to the talents she has developed working with citizens across the state, state agencies, and her fellow legislators. In 2021 the Wyoming County Commissioners Association honored her as the legislator of the year, rewarding her for habit of listening, and her support of policies needed to maintain Wyoming’s legacy of small government closest to the people.
Do I like a public official working inside the structure of state government to provide support for our county commissioners? Yes, that is my kind of insider.
Representative Gray claims he is not an insider. This leaves us to believe he is an “outsider,” which I would again agree with.
Since Gray received his high school education in California and higher education from a liberal Ivy League university, I don’t think anyone would argue he is an outsider. And now this outsider wants to tell the citizens of Wyoming how he plans to run the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office using his embedded West-coast and East-coast influences.
Since her election, Senator Nethercott has personally sponsored 26 legislative bills with 11 of them (42%) being passed by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by the Governor. Of her 26 bills, all but five were passed by the Senate.
Only two years after being elected she was selected by Senate leadership to be the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as such, serves as Co-chairman of the Joint Judiciary Committee.
Under her chairmanship, 67% of the bills sponsored by the Judiciary Committee have been signed into law, a very high percentage considering the complexity of the topics assigned to this committee for consideration. Senator Nethercott’s intelligence, experience as a practicing attorney and her experience in establishing a small business all on her own provide a solid foundation in providing confidence to businesses in the state. These successes also send a message nationally and globally that Wyoming is open for business, with a competent, self-defined Secretary of State dedicated to protecting the interests of businesses and helping them thrive in a small-government economic environment.
Is Representative Gray an outsider in the legislature? Statistics from the legislative web site would validate he is. Like Senator Nethercott, Representative Gray was also elected in 2017 and he personally sponsored 39 legislative bills with only three being signed into law.
That’s a mere 7% success rate. Perhaps more telling that his lack of ability to pass legislation is that of the 39 bills he personally sponsored, only five made it out of the House of Representatives where he is an elected member. This show his inability to work collaboratively with a House that has a strong majority of his own Republican Party in a way that would garner support to his bills. The Wyoming legislature has historically rejected the influences of outsiders whose ideas are contrary to long-standing conservative Wyoming values.
Unlike Senator Nethercott, Gray has not been assigned to chair a committee. Perhaps this sheds some light on the lack of confidence multiple House leaders have in his leadership capacity and ability to work with others.
We call ill afford a Secretary of State who as an outsider is either not willing or does not have the ability to work with others for the benefit of Wyoming.
Join me in voting for a true Wyoming insider. Vote for Tara Nethercott to be our next Secretary of State.
Representative Lloyd Larsen