Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
In my nearly forty-year career working, raising my family and serving the state of Wyoming, I’ve had many unique and wonderful experiences.
Experiences growing up on a ranch outside of Kaycee and learning the values of hard work, integrity and finishing what you start. Experiences coaching youth soccer in Buffalo and traveling around the state with my kids for 4-H and rodeo. Experiences working in the industries most important to our state – energy, agriculture and tourism. Experiences volunteering with important Wyoming boards, including the Johnson County School Board and the Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center.
I’ve also had experiences working with individuals and organizations with whom I didn’t always agree to find solutions. It didn’t always work out and my opponents have tried their best to use these experiences against me. However, these experiences have given me the skills to work with, find common ground, or at the very least, communicate with those who might not share the same point of view.
As Treasurer, I’ve had experience saving taxpayers money, working with the legislature to help Wyoming businesses and standing up to protect the Treasurer’s authorities under the Constitution, thereby ensuring your rights as taxpayers to all the checks and balances required by our founders. State funds have grown by nearly $5 billion over my tenure and we have modernized the office, setting it up for even better results going forward.
The race for Governor of Wyoming has seen many political newcomers with no experience serving in their local communities launch onto the scene, promising to bring a fresh perspective and a new way of doing business to Wyoming. And to that end, I agree. A new Governor should bring enthusiasm and energy to tackle the challenges at hand. However, you wouldn’t hire an electrician with zero experience to fix your plumbing, or allow someone who just applied to medical school to perform surgery on you.
So, should Wyoming’s chief executive have no experience governing?
A career politician I am not, but I have served as your Treasurer for five years and have a record of bringing solid business principles to bear on the functions of government.
There’s no question Wyoming is at a crossroads right now. We’re facing a lot of change here in the state, across the country, and around the globe. That’s why it is more important than ever to have a proven, conservative leader with the experience and skills needed to fight for Wyoming.
In talking about my candidacy, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle stated, “It’s clear that he has a strong understanding of the challenges Wyoming faces, whether it’s funding K-12 education, ensuring health-care coverage for all residents, or providing important infrastructure like broadband internet and commercial air service.” And they are right. I have a strong understanding of the challenges we face, because I have been working on them for many years from my seat as a business owner, a dad raising his kids, and as a public servant in Wyoming.
I’m the only candidate in this race who has spent my life raising my family and building businesses in Wyoming, while also working with local non-profits, boards and state government to deliver real results. At a critical time in our state’s history, we simply cannot afford a Governor who needs on-the-job-training. My background makes me ready to hit the ground running on day one.
On day one, there are three things I plan to do. The first is to better organize our agencies to make doing business here more efficient and effective. Second, I will work to ensure Wyoming’s small communities have the resources and tools they need to be successful. I also believe the state can be a better partner and help communities access additional resources Wyoming is currently leaving untapped.
As Governor, I will immediately recommend two legislative initiatives by expanding the range of investments Wyoming counties and municipalities can avail themselves of to make sure they can get the best bang for their buck. I will also advocate for more resources for the accounts that support our work to reform and guide federal agencies in Wyoming.
I know you have many choices in this race for Governor, and that many of my opponents have resigned themselves to attacking me in the absence of having their own records to stand on. But, while my opponents are trying to buy a title, I’m applying to do the job my life’s work in Wyoming has prepared me to do.
On Aug. 21, I hope you will look at the backgrounds and experience of all the candidates and ask yourself, who showed up ready to take our great state forward from day one? I humbly ask for your vote.
Mark Gordon is currently Treasurer of Wyoming and a Republican candidate running for Governor.