2005 Changes in Wyoming Legislative Membership

Last revised 11 October 2005

The intent of this page is to analyze what the membership changes in the legislature mean to the advancement or loss of freedom in Wyoming. Some points may be discovered by examining the Indexes from 2003 through 2005. I do not call out members who have remained consistent from year to year, as this page concentrates on changes. Nor do I pay much attention to members far down in the charts.

Negative trends in the House


Jane Wostenberg, from district 27 in Washakie County, was third best in the 2003 Index and number one in the 2004 Index, in supporting freedom. Last election she was replaced by Debbie Hammons, who earned a disastrous 56th place in the 60-member House, perhaps the worst single hit on freedom in Wyoming. One hopes the voters in Washakie County will rethink this decision.


Michael Baker, from district 28 in S Big Horn, Hot Springs and SE Park Counties, was in second place in both the 2003 Index and the 2004 Index, in supporting freedom. Last election he was replaced by Lorraine Quarberg, who also is excellent, placing 8th in 2005 (so it may be an exaggeration to call this part of a negative trend). It's hoped she can improve this rating in the future to match Baker's.


Randal Luthi, from district 21 in Lincoln County, started out at 5th place in the 2003 Index, dropped to 16th place in the 2004 Index, and is now at 30th place in the 2005 Index. At least part of this may be explicable by his advance in leadership position (now the House Speaker), which perhaps makes more difficult a firm position for freedom since a lot of deals have to be cut to keep the House running. He has been much better than the previous Speaker (Fred Parady, 50th place in 2004), and some bad bills were killed by his personal effort, which is not reflected in the ratings. Apparently it is his last term in office, because it is a tradition in Wyoming for Speakers to stay but a single term of office. He is apparently seeking the governor's office.


Some other legislators have been trending from mediocre in 2003 to just plain awful: Wasserberger, Iekel, Berger, and Hinckley are examples.

Positive trends in the House


James Hageman, from district 5 in Goshen and Platte Counties, remains in office. He placed 10th in the 2003 Index, dropped to a mediocre 27th place in the 2004 Index, and has bounced back to 5th place for 2005, a welcome improvement.


David Miller, from district 55 in Fremont County, remains in office. He placed 12th in the 2003 Index, a disastrous 52nd in the 2004 Index, and bounced back to 6th place in the 2005 Index, another welcome improvement.


Deborah Alden, from district 3 in Converse and Platte Counties, has advanced from 31st place in the 2003 Index, to 15th place in the 2004 Index, to 8th place in the 2005 Index, again a welcome improvement.


Wayne Reese, from district 11 in Laramie County, has advanced from a disastrous 55th place in the 2003 Index, to 34th place in the 2004 Index, to 10th place in the 2005 Index, a fine improvement.


Harry Tipton, from district 33 in Fremont County, took an awful 58th place in the 2003 Index. He then died, and the district had no representation in 2004. Patrick Goggles now represents the district, and he placed 15th in the 2005 Index, quite an improvement over Tipton.

Negative trends in the Senate


Keith Goodenough, from district 28 in Natrona County, was 2nd best (by a large margin over 3rd) in the 2004 Index, in supporting freedom. Last election he was replaced by Kit Jennings, who could manage only 24th place out of 30 members. Perhaps district 28 voters may take him to task for this poor showing; alternately he might work to improve it.


Rich Cathcart, from district 6 in Laramie County, placed 3rd in the 2004 index, in support of liberty. Last election he was replaced by Wayne Johnson, who earned a less impressive 12th place out of 30 members in 2005. Johnson's House scores in 2003 and 2004 were also mediocre.


Ken Decaria, from district 15 in Uinta County, dropped from 7th place in 2004 to 20th place in 2005.


Rae Lynn Job, from district 12 in Sweetwater and Freemont Counties, dropped from 8th place in 2004 to 25th place in 2005.


April Kunz, from district 9 in Laramie County, was in 9th place in the 2004 Index. She was replaced last election by Tony Ross, who could manage only a miserable 27th place out of 30 members in 2005.

Positive trends in the Senate


John Hines, from district 23 in Campbell County, went from 13th place in 2004 to 3rd place in 2005.


John Hanes, from district 15 in Laramie County, went from 15th place in 2004 to 5th place in 2005.