Mark Gordon (politician)

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Mark Gordon
Mark Gordon Headshot.jpg
29th Treasurer of Wyoming
Assumed office
November 1, 2012
Governor Matt Mead
Preceded by Joseph Meyer
Personal details
Born (1957-03-14) March 14, 1957 (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sarah Hildreth Gilmore (1981–1993)
Jennie Muir (2000–present)
Children 4
Education Middlebury College (BA)

Mark Gordon (born March 14, 1957) is the treasurer of the U.S. state of Wyoming. A Republican, he was appointed to the position by Governor Matt Mead on October 26, 2012, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Joseph B. Meyer.

Background[edit]

Gordon is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Crawford Gordon, ranchers from Kaycee[1] in Johnson County in north central Wyoming. Reared on the Gordon Ranch, Gordon is still affiliated with the 48 Ranch Partnership in Kaycee.[2]

He graduated from St. Paul's School, an Episcopalian boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire, and Middlebury Collegein Middlebury, Vermont, where he met his first wife, the former Sarah Hildreth Gilmore. The couple married on March 7, 1981 in the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, Massachusetts, where her parents resided.

After graduating from college in 1979, he returned to Wyoming and worked on his family ranch before starting his own operation. Mark ran several successful businesses in Buffalo and Sheridan including two operations focused on outdoor recreation and tourism. He later worked in the oil and gas industry. After his wife was killed he focused on raising his two daughters who were four and two-years old at the time.

Gordon met his current wife, the former Jennie Muir Young, in 1998 and they were married in 2000. Together they own the Merlin Ranch east of Buffalo, also in Johnson County, Wyoming. In 2009, their ranch received the Society for Range Management Wyoming Section "Excellence in Rangeland Stewardship" award.[1] They have four grown children: two sons and two daughters.

Gordon has been volunteering and serving in leadership positions for important Wyoming causes for nearly forty years. He is currently on the boards of Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, Ucross Foundation and Willow Park Reservoir Company. He was previously on the Johnson County School Board, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, Wyoming Stock Growers Tax Committee, Wyoming Environmental Quality Council, Wyoming Council for the Humanities, Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center, Powder River Conservation District, Johnson County Republican Party and the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture Sheridan Research and Extension Center Advisory Board.[2]

Congressional race[edit]

In 2008, Gordon was an unsuccessful candidate in the Republican primary for the United States House of Representatives for the at-large seat now held by fellow Republican Cynthia Lummis, also a former state treasurer and the wife of a Democratic former state representative, Alvin Wiederspahn.[3] Former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson of Cody, considered a moderate Republican, defended Gordon's candidacy though he stopped short of an outright endorsement because he is also friendly with Lummis. Nevertheless, former U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop did endorse Gordon as did the late Joseph B. Meyer, who was serving as state treasurer at the time.[4]

In the primary, Gordon garnered the endorsements of the Wyoming's two most prominent statewide newspapers: The Casper Star-Tribune[5] and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.[6] Though polls and the financial advantage rested with Gordon in the primary campaign, he nevertheless lost the party nomination to Lummis.[7]

Appointment as state treasurer[edit]

Governor Mead said that his selection of Gordon as the state treasurer over two other candidates proposed by the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee is based on Gordon's financial background and his long-term commitment to the state. The treasurer manages the state's $15 billion in investments. Severance taxes on energy production are particularly important to the state budget.[3][8]

Gordon was sworn in as treasurer on November 1, 2012, by Wyoming Supreme Court Justice William Hill.[8][9]

Gordon was elected to a full term as treasurer in the 2014 Republican primary election.[8]

Under Gordon's leadership, Wyoming's portfolio has grown from $15 billion to nearly $21 billion.[10] Nationally, Mark was elected to serve as Western Regional Vice President of the National Association of State Treasurers. He has earned recognition three years running for his leadership and expertise.[2] The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute named him one of the "Top 100 Most Significant and Impactful Asset Owners and Public Executives." [11] In 2016, under Gordon's leadership, Wyoming's portfolio was ranked 3rd in the world for transparency by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.[12]

As State Treasurer, Gordon has had success modernizing and professionalizing the Office of State Treasurer. Working with voters and the Wyoming Legislature, Gordon helped craft an amendment to Wyoming's Constitution which would allow the Legislature to designate certain funds of the State to be invested in stocks as well as bonds. The amendment passed in 2016.[13]

Gordon declined to run for Cynthia Lummis's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, the same seat he ran for in 2008, and is instead eyeing a run for Governor in 2018 when Incumbent Matt Mead retires.

Electoral history[edit]

Wyoming Congressional At-Large District Republican Primary Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cynthia Lummis 33,149 46.24
Republican Mark Gordon 26,827 37.42
Republican Bill Winney 8,537 11.91
Republican Michael Holland 3,171 4.42
Wyoming Treasurer Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Gordon (inc.) 75,095 88.09
Republican Ron Redo 9,945 11.67
Republican Write-ins 206 0.24
Wyoming Treasurer Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Gordon (inc.) 138,831 99.10
Write-ins Write-ins 1,262 0.90

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Meyer
Treasurer of Wyoming
2012–present
Incumbent