Democrat Kathy Karpan traces her love of politics to her youth in working-class Rock Springs, Wyo. She served as Wyoming secretary of state from 1987 through 1994, when she ran unsuccessfully for governor. During the Clinton administration, she directed the Office of Mining and Reclamation Enforcement, and now practices law in Cheyenne.
Politics & Government
Browse Articles about Politics & Government
|Cheyenne, Wyo., history of||Lori Van Pelt|
|Civilian Conservation Corps, Wyoming||Kerry Drake|
|Clark, Alonzo||Wyoming State Archives|
|Clark, Clarence Don||Barbara Allen Bogart|
|Crane, Arthur||Wyoming State Archives|
|Dawes General Allotment Act, 1887||WyoHistory.org|
|Downey, Stephen Wheeler||Tyler Eastman|
|Eastern Shoshone Tribe, 1905 Land Cession Agreement||WyoHistory.org|
|Eastern Shoshone, two Fort Bridger treaties with||WyoHistory.org|
|Eisenhower, Dwight and 1919 transcontinental motor convoy||Lori Van Pelt|
Politics & Government
Laramie lawyer M.C. Brown tried thousands of cases during his legal career. President William McKinley’s appointment of Brown to a federal judgeship in Alaska in 1900, however, proved disastrous for the attorney, who returned to Wyoming where he continued to practice law, but on a much smaller scale.
Cheyenne schoolteacher Harriett Elizabeth “Liz” Byrd, Wyoming’s first black woman legislator, served in the Wyoming House and Senate from 1981-92. She concentrated on social justice issues, and nine times sponsored a bill to make Martin Luther King day a state holiday before it was finally adopted in 1990.
In 1913, members of the Wyoming House of Representatives—almost equally split between Democrats and Republicans—came to blows during a 45-minute fracas on the House floor over who should serve as speaker.
Wyoming’s mineral taxes make a story of personalities. Democrat Ernest Wilkerson reintroduced mineral severance taxes to Wyoming politics when he ran for governor in 1966. Republican Stan Hathaway defeated Wilkerson, but eventually presided over enactment of a severance tax and a permanent minerals fund, vastly stabilizing Wyoming’s financial future.
John Campbell took office as the first governor of Wyoming Territory in 1869. A Republican appointed by President U.S. Grant, Campbell found the job plagued by partisan conflict with Democrats, an overbearing Union Pacific Railroad and by factionalism within his own party—but he left sturdy political structures behind him.