State candidates cite need for jobs, diversified economy

State House of Representatives candidates cited jobs and the need for diversification as critical issues for Wyoming. (Photo by Pat Blair)

In addition to a projected $1.5 to $1.7 billion budget deficit, candidates for two of Sheridan County’s four seats in Wyoming’s state House of Representatives cited a need for jobs and a diversified economy as critical issues facing the state in the coming year.

The candidates spoke at a forum earlier this week.

John Heyneman, who’s running against incumbent Mark Jennings for the District 30 seat, said there’s a need for a diversified economy and to maintain a top-notch education system. Heyneman said the third critical need that he sees is healthcare.

Mark Kinner, who’s running for re-election to represent District 29 in the state House, said one of the critical issues he sees facing the state is jobs.

Kinner said high-speed broadband is another critical issue for the state, to attract businesses.

And a third issue, he said, is quality of life, so people can live, work and play in Wyoming and enjoy the state lands and the recreational opportunities they provide.

Ken Pendergraft, who is running against Kinner for the District 29 seat, said he still contends that Wyoming has more of a spending problem than an income problem.

Jennings, the House 30 incumbent, was unable to attend the forum but sent a letter to be read by Cody Sinclair, moderator for the event. In the letter, Jennings thanked the people of House District 30 for giving him what he called the “great privilege” of representing them and said he would be honored to continue representing them.


  1. Once again Rep. Mark Jennings is a no show at the candidate forum. This is the third election cycle that Jennings has not participated in the public candidate forums. Having observed the legislature in person, Rep Jennings does a good job of representing the far right republicans and not the people of House District 30. During these tough times it is important to have an engaged representative and one that will work for the people not the party.

    • Mr. Jennings If you can’t show up for forums, to face your voter’s questions, if all you can spout is no new taxes, if all you can do is vote “NO” on everything, then you are not taking part in solving Anything in these VERY tough times. Wyoming needs representatives who want to be part of creating the solution.

  2. I appreciate Rep Jennings for the representation he offers. I found his reasoning for not being present to be sound and show wisdom and concern for the other candidates. Getting my vote!

  3. I am concerned about John Heyneman running for office as a Republican. I have listened to him at a couple of venues and found him to be dismissive of the Republican platform and saying he wasn’t going to go through any “purity test” and didn’t know how many times he’d voted as a Democrat.
    I found him registered as a Democrat several times since 2010. He registered Democrat in 2016.
    One could think he has ” identity confusion,” but after listening to him, I think he would be better suited to run as a Democrat, on their platform.
    I could respect that.

  4. Ronald Reagan {my political hero} was once a registered democrat. Donald J. Trump has changed party registrations 5 times {gave political support AND big money to the Clintons}, he only became a Republican very late in his life, that’s real “identity confusion”. What is a” purity test”???? A way to confine the candidate’s vote to a platform??? Sad indeed, to force a representative to vote solely along nebulous party lines.

  5. Rep. Jennings has been to most of the Chamber Forums, Eagles Forums and several others including Sheridan County Republican Forum July 23rd. I didn’t find the article about it on Sheridan Media, but the video is found on Facebook, Sheridan County Republican Party. There is a sharp contrast between conservative Mark Jennings and his liberal opponent as clearly seen in the video. Voters have a choice between a candidate who has a record of voting low tax, small government, pro 2nd Amendment, family, life, and a liberal candidate. There are several questions that reveal this difference such as voter ID. Republicans support this protection for a valid election.

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