Sommers announces for House District 20
by Guest Editorial by Albert Sommers
May 27, 2012
For the first time in many years Sublette County will have the opportunity to elect a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives who will be elected solely by the citizens of this county. Although House District 20 does not include all of Sublette County, the citizens of this county will be assured that one of Sublette’s own will represent them in Cheyenne. I, Albert Sommers, would like to be Sublette County’s representative to the Wyoming Legislature, and for that reason I am announcing my candidacy for the Republican primary for House District 20.
I have lived on a ranch in Sublette County all 53 years of my life, and my grandparents were early homesteaders in the Green River valley. I graduated high school in Sublette County and graduated with honors from the University of Wyoming in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduating from the university I returned home to help run the family ranch. I have always been active in organizations, boards, and committees. I have been past president of the Green River Valley Cattlemen’s Association and am currently president of the Upper Green River Cattle Association. I have served three different governors of the state of Wyoming on committees, including the Tri-Governor (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana) committee that developed comments regarding the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy and the Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team. Other committee appointments include the Wyoming Sage Grouse Conservation Plan Working Group, Green River Basin Sage Grouse Work Group, and the Rock Springs BLM District Multiple Advisory Board. These committees addressed contentious issues and diverse opinions, which helped educate me in the art of diplomacy and debate.
Governor Freudenthal appointed me to the Wyoming Livestock Board, one of the few state boards that actually develops and implements state policy. As a policymaker for a state agency charged with protecting the livestock industry, I have learned a great deal about state government, including how state budgets operate. I currently serve on that board with my six-year term ending in the spring; if elected to legislature I would resign from the board a few months short of completion. I believe in finishing a job I start, but the current redistricting plan has provided an opportunity I feel compelled to pursue.
I served the Sublette County Commissioners on the Sublette County Planning and Zoning Commission for nine years, and as is its chairman from 2005 - 2011. The most important lesson I learned from working on that commission was to listen. One of the most important roles of a planning and zoning board is to listen and be respectful of citizens who wish to comment on development issues.
I believe in the power of people coming together to find solutions to the problems they face. With declining state revenues and a federal government in gridlock, Wyoming’s challenges will only increase, and solutions will be needed.
I am a solution-oriented person who sees the best government as that closest to the people. If elected, I will look for guidance from those elected bodies in Sublette County who serve its citizens, namely our county commission, the three town councils, and our two school boards. These entities have their fingers on the pulse of the community and know what is needed to keep county, towns, and schools operating effectively. However, I will value the opinion of all citizens whether I agree with them or not. I have fought battles for Sublette County’s livestock industry for 30 years, and now I would like to fight for all of Sublette County’s resources and people. If elected, I will work hard for the citizens of Sublette County and House District 20, and I would sincerely appreciate your vote in the primary election.