Campbell County Candidate Questionnaire: Patricia Junek for State Senator for District 23

Patricia Junek is running as a write-in candidate for State Senator for District 23. (Patricia Junek)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — County 17 has sent out a questionnaire to those running in the primary election in August. The following is the response from Patricia Junek, a write-in candidate running for State Senator for District 23.

  1. Please introduce yourself and describe your educational and employment history. Please include your name and hometown and highlights of past Campbell County involvement.

Hello, County 17 readers! My name is Patricia Junek. I am a WRITE-IN candidate for the Wyoming Senate District 23 seat. My background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Education with additional studies in Administrative Management and related business fields. I was a college-level teacher of business and business English and specialized in employment skills – resumes, interviews, job-hunting techniques, etc. I am especially proud of introducing additional curriculum addressing KEEPING the job once you are hired!

For over 20 years I was the owner of a small business that grew from 500 customers when purchased to over 5,000 customers when it was sold. Managing several employees, exceeding customers’ needs and expectations, and contributing to the local community were the highlights of owning a small business. Dealing with government overreach and all the regulations attached was definitely not a highlight; however, it was a good education for the position I am now seeking.

I was born and raised in a small rural community surrounded by wheat farms. Following college I moved to a bit larger community in the middle of fruit orchards. And now I live in the best place of all – a similar-sized community in the middle of ranches and more – where the deer and the antelope DEFINITELY roam. My entire life has been spent amidst people who truly appreciate the value of hard work and being good stewards of God’s blessings!

I am a wife (married to Mark Junek for six years), a mother (three daughters and a son-in-law), and a grandmother (BEST JOB EVER!). I have been active in several local conservative organizations and have been a staunch state-wide supporter for election integrity.

Retirement – I have been told by many that the word ‘retirement’ is not in the Bible, and so it seems to be I am being called out of retirement to do the most important job I never, ever thought would be me – representing many of the wonderful citizens of Campbell County, Wyoming, with complete focus to the absolute best of my ability!

 

  1. Why have you decided to run for this office?

Running for Wyoming District 23 Senator was never on my life agenda plans. However, it seems to be the desire and will of countless people who have been prodding me for the last couple of months. It would have been a WHOLE lot simpler and easier to have just filed to run. But, as with most of us, we always think, ‘someone else will do it.’

But no one else did.

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It appeared to be that Mr. Barlow, Speaker of the House, would continue unopposed in this Senate race. With Mr. Barlow’s very poor conservative record as a Representative and as Speaker of the House, it was quite alarming to true conservatives that he would sail through the election process and continue his anti-conservative stance.

So, after much prayer and prodding – I think they were using an honest-to-goodness cattle prodder! – I said, “Yes,” agreeing to launch the hard and difficult process of running a write-in campaign.

 

  1. Compared with other candidates running in this election, why are you the best candidate for this position?

I am the best candidate for Senate District 23 because I TRULY care for the individual people of Gillette, of Campbell County, and of Wyoming. The words “conservative,” “common-sense,” “transparent,” etc. seem to have become generic, common-place terms. People use those terms to tell people what they want them to hear, but their actions too often prove those phrases to simply be empty words.

It’s time for a change! It’s time for the grassroots people to STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, AND TAKE ACTION! It’s time for people who have no agenda other than to listen to the people and act/vote accordingly to (in the words of my favorite President! 😊) “drain the swamp” right here in Wyoming.

I have done my homework, I continue to do my homework, and I have surrounded myself with incredible proven-conservative people who not only support me but who also mentor me. Not everyone knows everything, but when you work together with like-minded people you can move mountains i.e. drain the swamp and do what’s actually the best for the people.

 

 

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  1. What is your vision for the future of your district? What, if any, new initiatives would you like to implement if elected?

Coal and minerals are our number one asset and our number one priority. The war on coal started by a previous presidency(ies) and continued by the current administration is abhorrent. I sadly watched Jay Inslee rise through leadership to the position of Governor of Washington State. I will be first in line to back a lawsuit and open the transportation lines and ports to share our much-needed coal power with the world.

As I said before, I have personally experienced horrendous government overreach and the detrimental effects taxes and regulations have on small businesses specifically. We have a great example from President Trump in reducing that overreach, so we know it CAN be done. I would say new initiatives I would desire to implement would involve REDUCTIONS rather than MORE bureaucracy.

Certainly there is much that needs to be done, and it all starts by taking that first step!

 

  1. How will you effectively manage taxpayer dollars? Do you plan to promote any changes to existing taxes?

The only thing that should be added to “tax” is how to make it a 4-letter word. But, as an English teacher, that probably won’t work, will it?!?😊 Certainly, there are cases where taxes are a necessary evil. My goal will ALWAYS be to reduce taxes. One reduction to tackle first, in my opinion, is property taxes – obviously, those are handled by various levels of our government – so whether that reduction is done by my own vote or by working together with local officials, it will still be a priority. I am blessed to be surrounded with top-ranked conservative legislators who have proven track records. We are definitely all on the same page – Senator McKeown, Representatives Bear, Fortner, Knapp, Hallinan, Neiman, Jennings, and many more. As I said before, all of us working together makes for an incredibly strong group!

 

  1. Is there anything else voters should know about you as they determine whom to vote for?

In Harriet Hageman’s words, “The people of Wyoming are FED UP!” For the past year and a half I have been traveling around Wyoming attending legislative committee meetings, meeting various legislators and state officials, speaking up along with countless others, and being flat-out ignored! Many of our legislators, including my opponent, vote as if THEIR opinion is more important than OURS; as if they are telling us what we SHOULD think rather than listening to us and voting according to what we DO think. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t set well with me.

 

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My Beliefs and my Agenda . . .

  • Serve God, serve my family, and serve MY CONSTITUENTS – the people of Wyoming.
  • Restore the state of Wyoming as the nation’s leader in conservative values.
  • Uphold the United States and Wyoming Constitutions.
  • Restore limited government.
  • Serve YOU with truth, honesty, and integrity.
  • STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, AND TAKE ACTION to return our state to its foundational roots of independence and freedom.

 

Yes, I AM FED UP!  If you feel the same, please WRITE-IN PATRICIA JUNEK for Senate District 23 (and please spell it correctly for your vote to count!).

Mary Stroka is the Community Reporter for County 17. She's new to Wyoming and has loved getting to know the area. She covers crime, education, faith, government, and policy for County 17. Feel free to contact her at mary@county17.com with your news tips and ideas.