Matt Mead

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Matt Mead
Matt Mead.jpg
32nd Governor of Wyoming
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dave Freudenthal
U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming
In office
2001–2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Dave Freudenthal
Succeeded by Kelly Rankin
Personal details
Born Matthew Hansen Mead
(1962-03-11) March 11, 1962 (age 52)
Jackson, Wyoming, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carol Mead
Children 2
Residence Governor's Mansion
Alma mater Trinity University
University of Wyoming
Religion Episcopalian[1]

Matthew Hansen "Matt" Mead (born March 11, 1962) is an American politician who has served as the 32nd Governor of Wyoming since 2011. A Republican, he is a maternal grandson of Governor and U.S. Senator Clifford Hansen.

Early life and career[edit]

Mead, the son of Peter Bradford Mead and Mary Elisabeth Hansen Mead, was born and reared in Jackson, Wyoming. Mead received a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a law degree from the University of Wyoming at Laramie. After law school, he served as a county and federal prosecutor and also practiced in a private law firm.

U.S. Attorney[edit]

In 2001, Mead was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming by President George W. Bush. He served until June 2007, when he resigned to seek the Senate seat vacated by the death of fellow Republican Craig L. Thomas.[2] His resignation was required under the Hatch Act of 1939.[3]

In accordance with the Wyoming state law, the Republican party selected the three candidates from which Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal could make his selection. On the third ballot, The Republican State Central Committee, by fourteen votes, eliminated Mead from consideration. Freudenthal chose state Senator John Barrasso; the others he considered were former State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis of Cheyenne and former Republican State Chairman and lobbyist Tom Sansonetti, who had been an aide to Thomas.[4]

Governor[edit]

2010 Election[edit]

Mead visiting Guantanamo Bay

In 2010, Mead won the Republican gubernatorial primary with 30,272 votes, defeating State Auditor Rita Meyer, who polled 29,558 votes, despite Meyer's endorsement by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.[5] Fort Bridger rancher Ron Micheli finished third, with 27,592 votes; State House Speaker Colin M. Simpson finished fourth with 16,673 votes.[6]

With Freudenthal not running for a third term, because of term limits,[7] Mead was a heavy favorite in the general election; Wyoming is heavily Republican.

Mead's campaign emphasized his support for gun rights. He opposed gay marriage, and said was against abortion, but that there should be exceptions to allow a woman to choose the procedure when her health or life is at stake and in cases of rape and incest. On November 2, 2010, Mead easily defeated Leslie Petersen, the former chairwoman of the Wyoming Democratic Party, receiving 72% of the vote to Petersen's 25%.[8]

Actions in office[edit]

On October 26, 2012, Mead named Buffalo, Wyoming businessman and rancher Mark Gordon as the state treasurer, to succeed Joseph B. Meyer, who died in office.[9]

2014 campaign[edit]

In late January 2013, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill, a Republican, announced that she would be a candidate in Wyoming's 2014 governor's race. A Tea Party favorite, Hill is likely to face Mead in the Republican primary scheduled for August 19, 2014.[10] Earlier in January, Mead had signed legislation sharply reducing the responsibilities of Hill's office, making the position largely ceremonial.[11]

To supersede Hill, Mead named Rich Crandall, a moderate Republican member of the Arizona State Senate and a political ally of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, to fill the newly established position of "director" of the Wyoming Education Department. The Wyoming Supreme Court in January 2014 rebuffed Mead and declared that the legislature had overstepped its constitutional powers when it stripped Hill of most of her office duties. Mead is appealing the decision, and Hill has thus far not resumed her constitutional duties. The court did not address Crandall's status.[12]


Family[edit]

Mead has an older brother, Bradford Scott "Brad" Mead, a Jackson attorney, and an older sister, Muffy Mead-Ferro of Salt Lake City, the author of Confessions of a Slacker Mom.[13]

Mead's mother, Mary, was the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 1990. Considered an expert horsewoman, she died in 1996, on her 61st birthday, in a horseback accident while working cattle in Grand Teton National Park. In 2003, Mead and his brother and sister put their family ranch in the park up for sale; the price was said to be $110 million.[14]

Mead and his wife Carol have two children.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strauss, Valerie (July 17, 2012). "Matthew Mead (R)". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ "Mead Seeking Seat". Jackson Hole News & Guide. June 12, 2007. 
  3. ^ Angus M. Thuermer Jr. (June 8, 2007). "Mead quits federal post". Jackson Hole News & Guide. 
  4. ^ "Wyoming Names Senate Replacement". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ Linda Feldmann (July 30, 2010). "Sarah Palin anoints a new 'mama grizzly': Does it make a difference?". CSMonitor.com. 
  6. ^ "It's Mead by a Hair". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. August 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ Tom Morton (January 23, 2010). "Former U.S. Attorney Mead running for Wyoming governor". Casper Star-Tribune. 
  8. ^ "Wyoming: Matt Mead elected governor; Democrats win no statewide offices". USA Today (Associated Press). November 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ Trevor Brown. ""Mead selects treasurer"". Wyoming Tribune Eagle, October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ John Celock (February 1, 2013). "Cindy Hill, Demoted Wyoming Schools Boss, Running For Governor". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ John Celock (February 28, 2013). "Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead Not Focused On Cindy Hill's Primary Challenge". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ "State asks court to reconsider Hill ruling". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  13. ^ Mead-Ferro, Muffy (2004). Confessions of a Slacker Mom. Da Capo Lifelong. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7382-0994-4. 
  14. ^ Angus M. Thuermer Jr. "Mead Ranch on the Block". Jackson Hole News,. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  15. ^ Bill McCarthy (January 23, 2010). "Mead officially running for governor". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Ray Hunkins
Republican nominee for Governor of Wyoming
2010
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Dave Freudenthal
Governor of Wyoming
2011–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joe Biden
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Wyoming
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise John Boehner
as Speaker of the House of Representatives
Preceded by
Butch Otter
as Governor of Idaho
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Wyoming
Succeeded by
Gary Herbert
as Governor of Utah