Trade associations and public interest groups have begun to announce candidates they endorse for Wyoming governor.
Generally, endorsements carry little weight, said University of Wyoming political scientist Jim King.
"Endorsements reflect the organization's members' political leanings rather than serving as a voting cue for uninformed voters," he said. "It is extremely rare for an organization to endorse a candidate not in line with the memberships' predispositions. This is especially true in highly visible contests such as a gubernatorial race, where voters have access to information about the candidates from a variety of sources."
The Wyoming Association of Realtors, which has more than 2,000 members in the state, has endorsed Gov. Matt Mead in his re-election bid.
“We do not need to know, meet or interview any potential opponents as we have found Gov. Mead’s record on our issues impeccable,” said Laurie Urbigkit, the association’s government affairs director, in a statement sent. “He is solid on private property rights, low taxes and building our economy. These are all key issues for Realtors in Wyoming.”
The 1,000 member Wyoming Stock Growers Association has endorsed Mead. It was formed in in 1872 and is Wyoming’s oldest trade association.
“Governor, you have stepped forward at critical times to address challenges faced by Wyoming ranchers,” Jim Magagna, the organization’s executive vice president, wrote in a letter. “Successful delisting and state management of wolves stands as a highlight of your success.”
Republican Taylor Haynes, a Cheyenne rancher and physician, won the endorsement of the Wyoming State Shooting Association. The organization’s mission is to promote the right to use firearms, to promote sportsmanship and to educate and train people on the safe and efficient use of small arms.
“Dr. Haynes fully understands the Constitution, and the meaning and seriousness of the oath of office, and the power of the governorship,” the organization’s president Mark Spungin wrote to members in a newsletter. “At no time has a man with this understanding been more needed.”
Republican candidate Cindy Hill did not return a message inquiring whether she had any endorsements.
Democrat Pete Gosar said his supporters will be people who want Medicaid expansion, a higher minimum wage and education that isn't tampered with by politicians.
“I think ideas matter in the campaign, not endorsements," he said.