By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Councilman seeks senate seat


September 19, 2018

Independent candidate Ted Barney has officially announced his candidacy for Senate District 13.

Barney, currently a Green River City Councilman, is running against incumbent Democrat John Hastert and Republican Tom James. Since Barney is running as an independent candidate, he had to obtain 76 signatures of registered voters to be included on the November ballot.

Barney said he made sure to obtain way more than that in case some on his list weren’t registered when they thought they were. He said all of the voter’s information must be up to date in order for it to count.

Obtaining the signatures didn’t come easily. Barney said he thought he was doing everything correctly because he followed the information provided on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website. He didn’t realize that he needed to fill out a special form and get approval prior to obtaining signatures. By the time he had discovered the mistake, he had already collecting signatures for two months.

“All the signatures I collected for the first two months didn’t count,” Barney said. “I was just frustrated and tossed them.”

After he obtained approval, he started the signature process over again. With signatures in hand, Barney went to Cheyenne to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office to delivery the signatures. He could have mailed them in, but thought better of it.

“I didn’t want them to get lost,” he said.

After 10 days, Barney received an email from the Secretary of State’s office letting him know his name would be on the ballot.

Why he’s running

“I’m sick and tired of party politics,” he said.

Barney was a human intelligence collection specialist for the military prior to becoming an investigator with the public defender’s office. He said his careers have been based on finding the facts and providing people with those facts, which is why is upsets him when decisions are based on what the party wants and not what the facts show.

“It’s about politics and power,” he said.

There are four main areas Barney would like the state to pursue: improving education, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, diversifying the economy and clarifying and updating criminal codes.

“They are butchering our education system,” Barney said.

Barney said he was raised to respect parents because they gave him life and teachers because they gave him knowledge.

As for the legalization of medical marijuana, Barney said a University of Wyoming poll on the issue showed 81 percent of the state was in favor of legalizing it for medicinal purposes.

When it comes to the economy, he said Wyoming has to find a way to expand it. The international market is what drives the oil and gas economy. He said the state needs more businesses like Church and Dwight to take local resources and manufacture it into something the country needs. He never understood why a glass company hasn’t located near one of the trona mines.

Since Barney has worked in criminal justice for the past 18 years, he sees a need to update certain criminal codes. A couple of examples were the kidnapping and burglary charges.

Even though he has these as some of the things he would like to see changed, he’s open to suggestions.

“It’s just the simple desire to actually listen to people and represent them,” he said.


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