Constitution Party of Wyoming chair Jennifer Young
In an unusual presentation, the Fall National Committee (Sept. 28) meeting of the Constitution Party heard a presentation about the federal education program known as “Common Core” by Wyoming’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Cindy Hill, a Republican. Hill, elected in 2010, also announced her intention to run for Governor as a Republican next year. When asked why she would is seeking office on the Constitution Party line, Hill citied her allegiance to the GOP state platform, “one of the most conservative documents in the nation.” She asserted that her candidacy would ensure it would remain that way. At the same time, Hill declared she is backing Wyoming Constitution Party state chair Jennifer Young’s bid for Secretary of State in 2014. Young and Hill forged an alliance to overturn the Governor and state legislature’s action that stripped most administrative duties from the conservative Hill and placed it in the hands of the moderate Republican Governor. Hill called Young “a patriot in every sense of the word,” and that she was “proud to call her my friend.”
Jennifer Young led the newly-formed Constitution Party’s effort to place a referendum on the ballot that would restore the Secretary of Education’s duties by meeting Wyoming’s ballot petition requirement of 15 percent of votes cast in the previous year’s general election — the signatures of 37,606 registered voters were needed, one of the toughest stipulations in the country. No citizen-led measures have made it to the ballot since 1996.
Given just 65 days to gather signatures, the effort failed but an impressive 22,000 names were collected, honing the organization skills of the Constitution Party and earning Jennifer Young widespread positive media coverage and a coalition of allies.
Young’s talk about her ballot access campaign was well received, and her candidacy for Secretary of State brought Constitution Party delegates to their feet. One National Committee member said Young represented “the future of the party;” another predicted her race will be one of the most visible for the party next year.
The Wyoming Constitution Party collected more than 7,000 signatures to get on the ballot in 2012 and scored more than two percent in the 2012 Congressional campaign which guaranteed a line on the 2014 ballot.
Wyoming’s incumbent Secretary of State, Max Maxfield, has been in state government since 1987. He directed two cabinet level State departments, was elected twice as Wyoming’s State Auditor and is in his second term as Secretary of State — he faced no opposition in 2006, and won with 80% of the vote in 2010. He sued the state as a private citizen last year and was successful in having Wyoming’s two term limit overturned — he is seeking a third term as Secretary of State next year. No Democrat has expressed interest yet in the race.
Young says she already has a core group of dedicated activists in every county of the state, and intends to build her campaign from the bottom up. She stated that, “what we started in the referendum battle is just the foundation,” and joked, “the only way to go is up since now we have a little more time than 65 days to mount a campaign.”