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Hill explains early announcement for governor

Feb 1, 2013 - By Bob Moen, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- Two days after being stripped of most of her official duties, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill announced she will run for governor in 2014.

"I believe our state could actually listen to our people, and I don't think that they're being listened to right now," Hill said Thursday.

Both Hill and Gov. Matt Mead are Republicans.

Mead hasn't announced his election intentions for 2014.

"With the Legislature in session, with the urgent needs of the Department of Education, Gov. Mead does not feel this is the time to launch a campaign for an election that is roughly two years away," Renny MacKay, the governor's spokesman, said in a statement.

Hill announced her intentions on Cheyenne radio station KGAB on Thursday, two days after Mead had signed into law legislation stripping Hill of most of her power as state superintendent.

Hill has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Hill was elected superintendent in 2010 after beating incumbent Republican Jim McBride in the primary.

But in the first two years of her four-year term, Hill has clashed with state lawmakers and others over how she was running a department with a $1.9 billion two-year budget and 150 employees.

She has been accused of improperly spending state money on programs not authorized by the Legislature and hindering legislative education reform efforts to better prepare Wyoming students for college and careers.

Hill has defended her administration of the agency and denied obstructing education reform laws.

Legislation replacing Hill as head of the Education Department with a director appointed by the governor sped through the Legislature last month and was signed by Mead on Tuesday.