Why are no Democrats running for Wyoming Governor?

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May 16, 2014

By Garrett Fortin


In the 2014 election for Governor of Wyoming, there are no Democrats running. All the gubernatorial action is on the Republican side, where several candidates including the current Superintendent have lined up to challenge Gov. Matt Mead. There is only one Democrat running for any statewide executive office: Mike Ceballos, one of two candidates in the election race for Superintendent. The deadline is two weeks away, on May 30, but local Democrats are not confident that anyone will file for their nomination.

In a conversation with the Casper Tribune, the executive director of the Wyoming Democratic Party, Robin Van Ausdall, outlined the reasons for this situation. She noted that it is difficult to win statewide as a Democrat in Wyoming and that the things it requires, including an early start and significant fundraising, have likely already passed by any potential candidate. Van Ausdall also noted that the geographic size of the state also poses a logistical hurdle to any candidate.[1] In a smaller or more compact state, it might be possible for a statewide candidate to run their campaign on a lower budget. In Wyoming, the population is widely spread in many small towns, so a successful candidate would need to spend more money on either travelling or advertisements to spread their name around.

It is possible for a Democrat to win statewide in Wyoming. In fact, Matt Mead's predecessor was a Democrat: former Governor Dave Freudenthal served as Governor of Wyoming for two terms from 2003 to 2011. But Wyoming Democrats are looking elsewhere in 2014. Van Ausdall is more interested in the Democrats who are already running, such as Ceballos and their state legislative candidates, where she sees better prospects.[1]

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