Tyler Lindholm has announced that he will seek to retain his House District #1 seat in the upcoming election. If Crook County’s voters choose to retain him as their state representative, he says, he will endeavor to build on the momentum from his freshman term in Cheyenne.
“It’s been an extremely rewarding process as far as being able to work with local leaders throughout House District #1. The most rewarding experience by far, and what I think has motivated me to keep on going, was working with the youth,” he says, mentioning his work with Hulett students to pass a bill nominating a state shrub and his intern, Dugan Hughes, from the University of Wyoming.
“Those types of things are really where I felt most effective and that we need to sustain the momentum we’ve got and keep going.”
As a first-time senator, Lindholm believes his greatest success so far has been the Wyoming Food Freedom Act.
“The rest of the United States is talking about Wyoming and what we did with our local agriculture and our local artisan foods,” he enthuses.
“The Wyoming Food Freedom Act has changed the outlook for food and local food production in the State of Wyoming and we’ve got a lot of states trying to copy it. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to match that in years to come, that’s a big one to top off for a freshman.”
Lindholm’s first term was a learning curve, he says; for anyone who jumps into state politics, much of the journey involves forming personal relationships and figuring out how things work.
“We learned a lot on that local dump situation just by demanding that certain agencies do certain things,” he nods. “It’s turned out pretty good so far and I think we’re definitely on the right course and looking better and better each year.”
The landfill question is also an example of the local issues on which Lindholm believes legislators can make a big difference. This ties in to one of his highest priorities, he continues: working with local leaders to prepare for the future.
“The State of Wyoming is facing huge revenue issues right now with the downturn in coal, oil and gas and all of those compound at the local and county level. What we’re seeing at the state level is nothing compared to what we’re seeing at the county level,” he explains.
“The counties and cities don’t have a revenue stream…in the way that the state does.”
When you get down to the county level, Lindholm explains that a downturn within the much smaller portfolio of available revenue items can have an immense effect.
“That’s definitely going to be a point that I focus in on: trying to do as much as I possibly can for the local municipalities and counties as far as looking at the revenue stream,” he says.
“I’d really like to have some input from the voters around the area on how they feel and what would be their requests as far as revenue solutions for these local towns and counties.”
Lindholm plans to host town hall meetings soon to hear input from voters and share his own thoughts. Ultimately, he continues, he would like to assist communities in becoming financially independent.
“We’re looking at a situation where towns and counties have survived off money from the State of Wyoming, during the boom years particularly. We’ve got to find a situation where they can survive on their own without that money coming in from the state continually, because we’re getting to a situation where the state can no longer provide that source of income,” he says.
“I think that, if the facts are laid down for the voters, they’re going to be able to figure this out pretty quickly, hand in hand with their leadership in the local towns and counties. If I can help along the way, that’s going to be my goal.”
Why should voters re-elect Lindholm? The easy answer would be to look at his voting record, he says, which he believes to be one of the top in the state, especially among freshmen.
“But like anybody else who works a job for a living: do they have personal relationships with their co-workers? Are they effective in getting things done?” he says.
“I think I’ve really proved over the last two years that I am effective at getting things done. I’m effective not only at passing legislation but at getting things done at the state level for the towns and counties.”
Lindholm also pledges to continue his push for transparency. If re-elected, he will again publish his voting record on his website, now as a spreadsheet that his intern helped him create.
That spreadsheet made it easy to keep a running tally of his votes as the session went on, Lindholm explains. He believes other legislators have picked up on the trend.
“That’s kind of a boon for the state, if we start collating that information ourselves and turning it over to the voters, who are essentially our bosses,” he says.
Lindholm will also continue to vote for all aspects of the Bill of Rights, he says.
“I’m going to vote liberty. I’m 100 percent sure that the Wyoming Liberty Index is going to come out showing me at the top again this year and my votes can be seen,” he says.
“Not only that, but also the introductory votes, which, in a budget session, are paramount. Lots of bills come and go very quickly under that guise and those votes aren’t really collated, but my votes are there.”
To find out more, search “Tyler Lindholm for House District #1” on Facebook, call him at 282-0968 or visit his website at www.tylerlindholm.org.