May 5, 2014 - From staff and wire reportsIncumbent Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead emphasized his accomplishments over his past three years in office in an address Saturday to Republican delegates to the state convention in Evanston. Challengers Cindy Hill, the state superintendent of public instruction, and Cheyenne rancher and retired physician Taylor Haynes, meanwhile, said they could do a better job.
Hanging in the air as all three candidates spoke at a high school gym plastered with political placards was the unresolved question of whether delegates would endorse a proposal to censure Mead.
The final vote on censure was 145-132 against.
The censure proposal, which originated from Platte County Republicans, would have express displeasure over Mead's approval last year of a bill that stripped Hill's office of its authority over the Wyoming Department of Education.
The Wyoming Supreme Court earlier this year ruled the law was unconstitutional and a lower court recently returned Hill to office.
The censure resolution passed a delegate committee vote on Friday by a margin of 15-6.
Both Hot Springs and Platte counties voted to censure the governor at their county conventions earlier this year.
Mead addressed the crowd with his wife Carol Mead by his side. Gov. Mead said the state cares deeply about education.
Mead said the purpose of last year's bill was to seek a process and a structure that provided success and accountability to Wyoming education.
"What was sought was a structure that prevented what's happening now, with the feds looking under the hood to see what has gone wrong," Mead said.
If applause from the audience is used as the standard for approval, Hill's speech was the crowd's favorite. The governor was interrupted by applause twice, while Hill paused for an ovation from the crowd 14 times.
The primary election is Aug. 19. No Democrats have announced yet. The official filing period begins later this month.
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