WyoFile is committed to ensuring that Wyomingites have the verifiable, factual information they need to participate effectively in civic life, including pertinent information about the candidates seeking public office in 2022, and the process by which they will be chosen. We believe voters need to know where candidates stand on important issues, and what interests might influence them and the outcome of the election. Thorough political reporting will require WyoFile to examine not only what candidates say about their priorities and track record, but also what they leave out.
In its coverage of the 2022 election, WyoFile will:
- Cover forums and debates throughout the election cycle so you know the issues candidates are prioritizing and their answers to pressing questions.
- Publish profiles of the candidates running for state elected positions and U.S. House candidates with an eye toward understanding each candidate’s background, influences and qualifications. Profiles will also focus on past behavior or involvements that might raise questions or provide insight into how a candidate will perform.
- Investigate big campaign donors to understand what interests might help decide races and influence how they govern.
- Gauge former President Donald Trump’s influence on Wyoming’s elections, which many see as a test of the former president’s grip on power. His influence is evident in the race for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House of Representatives seat. What’s his influence on other races?
- Answer readers’ questions about how elections and the voting process work. Submit a question here.
- Examine the involvement, impact and effectiveness of Wyoming’s predominant political parties and their internal behavior.
- Follow how redistricting impacts races for the Wyoming Legislature.
- Monitor the impact of Wyoming’s new voter ID law.
- Be transparent about our approach and answer readers’ questions about how we cover politics and why. Submit a question here.
Races we are watching and why:
As a statewide news outlet WyoFile focuses election coverage on congressional seats, the statewide elected positions and in some cases legislative and county races when such contests reflect broader trends or carry statewide implications. Uncontested elections like the race for state auditor, for example, will get less of our attention. Here are the races we’re following:
U.S. House of Representatives: Some politicos say this is the highest profile congressional race in Wyoming history. Largely because of Rep. Liz Cheney’s condemnation of Trump and her chief opponent, Harriet Hageman’s, ties to him, the race is considered the ultimate test of Trump’s relevance in today’s GOP.
Governor: As head of Wyoming’s executive branch, the governor oversees dozens of state agencies and their roughly 15,000 employees. He is commander-in-chief of the state’s national guard and is responsible for presenting a state budget to the Legislature. While the governor does not have the power to create law, he or she does have veto power, and the ability to direct state policy through executive orders and agency regulations.
Secretary of State: Contests for the office are taking on new urgency across the country at a moment of heightened distrust in the electoral process and in the aftermath of efforts by former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election outcome, including pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn presidential election results.
Treasurer: The treasurer’s performance overseeing the management of Wyoming’s vast sovereign wealth has enormous impact on the state’s budgetable revenue, and can help or hinder the state’s creditworthiness and the work of lawmakers and state agencies. Despite the role’s import, those seeking the job aren’t required to have financial expertise and are often under-examined and little known.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: The head of the Department of Education impacts schools from Meeteetse to Cheyenne, sets statewide priorities and can influence how the legislature shapes education policy. This is a uniquely challenging moment for Wyoming schools between looming funding deficits, persistent teacher shortages and pandemic-related mental health crisis. The superintendent of public instruction will play a role in how the state contends with these issues and influence the lives of tens of thousands of Wyoming kids.