By Sarah Pridgeon
Judy McCullough has announced that she will run for the Senate District 1 seat on the Republican ticket. Having lived in all three counties of the district and passionate about ensuring government at all levels follows the Wyoming and U.S. Constitutions, McCullough’s life-long interest in politics has led her to this decision.
“I think it’s time for a change. I’m running so I can hopefully vote the way that the Republican platform is set up and I can vote the way the people would like me to,” she says.
“I can try to keep taxes down, try to keep their independence and try to keep government small.”
“There are fewer of them. I think a person can really be a good influence and it seemed to me that the Senate needed good people who would listen to the people,” she nods.
“I understand what’s right and I’m tough enough to stand up for it.”
Currently a rancher near Moorcroft, McCullough says she has a diverse background that includes leadership positions, educating the public, running a business and public speaking – all vital ingredients, she notes, of strong representation for District 1’s constituents.
Among her accomplishments, McCullough has served on the Crook County Weed and Pest Board, is a graduate from the University of Wyoming with a BS degree from the College of Agriculture, has worked as a teacher and was a University of Wyoming educator for Johnson County. She has also served on the R-CALF USA animal ID committee and was one of the founding members of the Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming.
“I think what qualifies me is partly my age – I’ve been around a few times,” she laughs.
“I’ve had to make my own living and I’ve been a boss, and I see one of the failings in our Legislature is that they’ve never been a boss.”
As well as possessing this ability, she says, she has been involved in politics for most of her life.
“I have been to Cheyenne to testify many times on behalf of either ICOW, which I helped organize, and also before that. I’ve testified at hearings in front of Congress,” she says,
“I keep up on all of it. I read the papers, I check my email, I stay informed and I have a pretty good feel for what people think – if you walk around the county and listen, you can get a real good feel.”
McCullough believes that state politics requires more people who have a firm background of beliefs and standards.
“I have those, because I truly feel there is right and there is wrong. I really, truly feel that one of the biggest things we’re facing is federal government encroachment – we’ve got to stop it,” she explains.
“The federal government has encroached on these states using the dollar: they buy them off. I would like to see addressed that we use the taxpayer’s money for things that government should be used for, and not to go in somebody’s pocket.”
McCullough would like to see taxpayers given only the programs they need. She would like the state to spend for the needs of the taxpayer and the state, not for the wants of “some environmentalist back in Washington.”
She also feels that Wyoming needs to develop its resources responsibly and thinks the state can do that without federal intervention.
“One thing that’s concerning me is this attack on coal and I realize that, in order for Wyoming to stay viable in the coal industry, they’ve got to be able to sell that coal out of state or sell the power,” she elaborates.
Further, she believes that not taking federal dollars could actually lower the cost of running the state, because fewer employees would be needed specifically to meet federal mandates.
“Just as an example, if you look at your department of education, there’s probably dollars being spent to meet federal mandates that we could save to do it the county, district and state’s way,” she explains.
McCullough has a strong belief in power for the people and says that one of her goals is to provide freedom to voters so that they can enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as prescribed in the Declaration of Independence.
“Really, the way they set our government up in the beginning was that power belongs to the people. If they don’t abdicate it and give it away, it’s theirs – they need to use it, and they need to stay informed,” she says.
“It takes time to stay informed and understand the issues because the problem I see now is that your government lies to you, and a government that lies to you is not a government to be trusted. You’ve got to be open and honest with the people so they can make wise decisions – right now, to stay informed, you have to be able to see through what they’re doing.”
McCullough would also like to see agriculture protected. She believes that it has great importance for the State of Wyoming and does not necessarily play second fiddle to tourism.
“This is where I’m coming from. I’m giving the voters a choice and when it’s done we’ll know what they want,” she says.
McCullough is eager to speak with residents in Weston, Crook and northern Campbell Counties and encourages anyone who would like to discuss their issues and concerns to contact her by phone at 307-756-3249 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also available to speak to groups.
“I want to hear from people and I want to get around and meet them. I can also use all the help I can get, if they could tell their neighbors about me – make my name a household word!” she laughs.