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WYO Candidates Share Their Side of the Story

July 19, 2010

JACKSON, Wyo. - Shaking hands, kissing babies and answering a few questions. That's what's on tap for candidates for mayor, town council, county commission and state legislative seats this week in Jackson at one in a series of meetings around Wyoming designed to educate and motivate voters.

The non-partisan Wyoming Conservation Voters Education Fund is coordinating the events, and Forrest McCarthy, a Fund board member and public lands director with the Winter Wildlands Alliance, is assisting the project. He says they know from surveys in Teton County about what's important to the public.

"Seventy-three percent put wildlife and preserving open space as their first priorities. So this is a real opportunity to see how our future elected plan on representing this public interest."

The events will help candidates and voters connect on the different values around the state. McCarthy says that, while oil, gas and coal development is a driver in much of the state, Teton County relies on a different economic base.

"What drives our economy is all the visitors that come here to see our wild lands and wildlife, and it's also the attribute that's the reason why, I believe, a majority of us do choose to live in Teton County."

He adds that those elected to local office also make important decisions about things that affect day-to-day life, such as trash pick-up, parks, traffic and, of course, taxes.

The Jackson candidate meet-and-greet and forum is free and open to anyone, on Thursday, 5-9 p.m., at the Jackson Hole Middle School Commons.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY