GILLETTE, Wyo. — County 17 has sent out a questionnaire to those running in the primary election in August. The following is the response from Eric Barlow, who is running for State Senator for District 23.
- Please introduce yourself and describe your educational and employment history. Please include your name and hometown and highlights of past Campbell County involvement.
Hello. My name is Eric Barlow. I was born in Gillette and grew up on the family ranch southwest of town. I graduated from Campbell County High School in 1984 after which I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served four years. I explored various employment opportunities after the military, including carpentry and commercial shell fishing in North Carolina and ranch work in Australia. Upon deciding I needed an education, I attended Texas Christian University and Colorado State University culminating in a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1998. I practiced food animal veterinary medicine for twenty years in throughout northeast Wyoming.
I was appointed to the Wyoming Livestock Board in 2006 and served for six years. In 2012, I was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives for House District 3; representing southern Campbell and eastern Converse Counties. I am currently in my fifth term and serve as Speaker of the House.
Kelly and I have been married for nearly 31 years. We operate the family ranch where we grow grass for the cattle, sheep and yak. Kelly is an educator and serves in numerous organizations, including the Gillette Community College Foundation, Woolgrowers Auxiliary and Cattlewomens. We are blessed with two wonderful children, Kate and Graham.
- Why have you decided to run for this office? Why would you be a great senator?
I am confident I can continue being effective for our community and Wyoming. This is also a time when experience matters. My service thus far has helped me learn many of the complex issues the State deals with. It has also provided me with the opportunity to meet dedicated and sincere folks from across the state who are also interested in finding solutions to the challenges we face. Certainly there is more to learn and with your guidance I am confident we will continue to strengthen Wyoming as a great place to raise families, start businesses, work and play for generations to come. This what I will continue to work towards on your behalf.
- Compared with other candidates running in this election, why are you the best candidate for this position?
I am running for Senate District 23 to represent the values and interests of our community and all of Wyoming. I have a record of being effective at working with others to find solutions that are purposeful, practical and fiscally responsible.
There are a few things I don’t do… No PAC money. No dark money. No candidate questionnaires. No negative campaigning. No self-serving agenda. No special interest strings. No labels. No pledges.
My ONLY interest is yours, and Wyoming’s best interest. Thank you for your consideration.
- What is your vision for the future of your district? What, if any, new initiatives would you like to implement if elected?
Senate District 23 and more broadly, Campbell County, is the breadbasket and work horse for the entire state. This makes who represents us in Cheyenne and the manner in which they do so vitally important. My approach to judging people on their character and the issues on their merits with the best interests of you and Wyoming squarely on my mind is how I have been serving and how I continue to do so.
5. How will you effectively manage taxpayer dollars? Do you plan to promote any changes to existing taxes? If so, why?
Government should only budget and spend what it actually has on hand. This approach is important because of the volatile nature of state revenues which largely depend on energy prices and production. Once implemented we would be on an unparalleled course of fiscal responsibility that allows us to adjust spending in a more thoughtful manner based on the revenues we have without raising taxes. The result will be a more sustainable path to deliver important services and programs the citizens of Wyoming need and expect. The House passed the bill I sponsored in the last Legislative session to do so. It didn’t pass the Senate but the work continues in preparation for the next session. I am ready to get this across the finish line.
If this gets accomplished and we improve our investment returns, the need for new taxes will be minimal.
6. Is there anything else voters should know about you as they determine whom to vote for?
I care. I listen. I do the work.
Update, July 18. County 17 provided State Sen. Eric Barlow the opportunity to respond to question 3, which gained relevance after County 17 published Patricia Junek’s questionnaire.