CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Cap City News has sent out a questionnaire to those running in the primary election in August. The following are the answers from Marcie Kindred, who is running for Senate District 7. Answers are edited only for clarity and style.
Who are you? (name, where you’re from, employment, hobbies, etc.)
I’m Marcie Kindred, A mid-western girl to the core: Born in Idaho, graduated high school in Utah, and chose to raise a family in the beautiful square state of Wyoming. I’ve spent a lot of time serving the people of Cheyenne, sometimes literally. I’ve worked as a waitress, barista, a teller at a local credit union, and the music director and director of the children’s program for my church (many of those things at the same time). In 2017 it was my love for my community and serving the people in it that led me to pursue a fulfilling career in real estate. When I’m not playing home matchmaker, you can find my husband Bo and I working on our dream “fixer-upper” home in the Avenues of SD7. Our four children (all boys) ensure our home is filled with laughter, joy, and many impromptu wrestling matches.
Why have you decided to run for office and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?
Like most Wyomingites, I believe in hard work, and honesty, and have a sincere desire to serve this community that has given me so much. The current combative political climate of our legislature is not reflective of our Wyoming Values. As your state senator, I will deliver leadership grounded in community values, not party or ideology. I will represent the people of SD7 by fostering bi-partisan relationships to bolster our economy, improve access to healthcare & affordable housing, and strengthen our education system in ways that honor and sustain our Wyoming way of life.
How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?
It starts on the campaign trail. The theme I am hearing in many of my conversations with constituents is a deep distrust of our political system. We do not feel listened to or represented by our elected officials, and with good reason. This campaign is focused on re-inventing politics as a community-based public service. We believe in a politics that can bring us together, not tear us apart. The people of SD7 are building this campaign together and what we are building will last far beyond election day. As a state senator, I look forward to being the voice of a connected and engaged constituency and fighting for things that matter most to our community.
What experience do you have that qualifies you for the office you are seeking?
In today’s climate, many have a deep distrust of systems meant to represent us. We see the same politicians avoiding the work of finding real solutions, pushing the same issues down the road. We watch our kids grow up wanting to leave the state. Change feels impossible. I am not intimidated by the impossible. In 7 years, I’ve gone from a struggling waitress on food stamps and a rent voucher to a top producer in a successful real estate brokerage, a homeowner, and a business owner managing my own rental units. I know the way forward requires showing up, working hard, and listening to all stakeholders. I’ll represent my district with the same work ethic, honesty, and humility because that’s how the job gets done.
Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?
Absolutely. The journey from poverty to a comfortably middle class has given me an innate sense of needs vs wants. I am skilled in making tough decisions on the best use of limited funds and how to invest what we have in order to sustain our future.
On the issue of transparency, where do you stand on ensuring all public business is conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public attendance?
Transparency is a key component of good governance. This means sharing information with the constituents of Senate District 7 about upcoming bills, issues, and other legislative concerns. It also means listening to my District and making sure that their voices are heard in our Capitol. I will achieve this by maintaining a presence through my website, interacting with constituents on social media, and attending events around the city. Being present and available for my constituents is one of my top priorities.
Do you believe the office or board position you seek has been open and honest with the public? If yes, how can the entity remain open and transparent when conducting public business moving forward? If no, what changes would you implement to ensure that all future dealings are open and transparent?
I believe the Wyoming legislature does a decent job in its efforts to remain open and transparent to the public. The problem lies in the level of citizen engagement. As a senator it would be my responsibility to foster relationships and encourage participation from the people I represent. I will achieve this by being present, available and approachable to the people of my district.
If you are presiding over a meeting and a topic was being discussed that you didn’t fully understand, would you ask for a more detailed explanation during the meeting or would you seek the information after the meeting?
Legislators should do as much preparation and research beforehand to be prepared and respectful of everyone’s time. Informed governance is essential. Asking questions is an important part of the process. At times it would be appropriate to request more information after a meeting. There will also be situations where it would be my responsibility to ensure I was fully informed before making decisions or casting a vote. I would absolutely seek clarification during a meeting in this case.
Should you be elected, or re-elected, do you plan on seeking any major policy changes in your chosen office? If yes, what would those changes be? If no, why not?
Expanding Wyoming’s Medicaid Health Insurance program will improve access to healthcare in Wyoming. Expanding Medicaid makes healthcare available to 24,000 Wyomingites without insurance. Rural hospitals currently struggling to offer basic services will be supported, healthcare jobs will be created, and premiums for private health plans will decrease. When a proposal benefits so many it should be a priority for everyone serving in public office. I’ve worked with coalitions and grassroots advocacy groups throughout the state working on this issue. The efforts created overwhelming support for this common sense legislation in every corner of our state. The time for Medicaid Expansion is here. It’s time to elect leaders to get the job done.
Marijuana legalization, or at the very least decriminalization, is on the minds of the public and public officials alike. Where do you stand on marijuana legalization? What would your office’s stance be if marijuana was decriminalized?
Last year, Marijuana was a 2.22 billion dollar industry for our neighbors to the south, no doubt many of those sales came from Wyomingites who would rather contribute to the local economy. With data from many states across the nation, we now know that decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana adds value to local economies and frees up law enforcement of focus on more serious crimes. Its time for the Wyoming Legislature to revisit this conversation, as so many Wyomingites would like to see marijuana legalized in our state.
Should you be elected, or re-elected, where do you stand on the issue of constitutional vs. community policing
Sweeping federal standards imposed on law enforcement would be inappropriate for our rural state. We should all support advances in the practices of policing, training, recruitment, policy and culture that ensures Wyoming law enforcement has the ability and resources to protect and serve all of its citizens. It’s not a secret that our police officers are being tasked with many things that should not be their responsibility. We need to implement measures like more and better mental health counseling, drug rehabilitation, and homelessness prevention that will lift many of the societal burdens police officers are asked to address.