On Wednesday, three of the four candidates in the Republican primary for Wyoming governor showed up at the weekly "Politics in the Park" event in Washington Park to answer questions from a crowd of around 80 people.

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The event, hosted by the Natrona County Republican Women group, has been happening every Wednesday since June 15 and features a variety of candidates running in the upcoming primary.

Before the governor's forum was held, State treasurer Curt Meier answered some questions from the audience about the work he hopes to continue as treasurer.

His one opponent, Bill Gallop, did not attend and the organizers for the event said they were not able to get a hold of him.

Sam Haut, Townsquaremedia
Sam Haut, Townsquaremedia

Of the four Republican candidates running for governor, incumbent Mark Gordon, Brent Bien, James Quick, and Rex Rammell, everyone except for Quick showed up to talk about their vision for Wyoming.

Throughout the evening, candidates were asked a variety of questions by Dr. Joe McGinley, the moderator, who screened questions submitted by members of the audience.

The questions ranged from how the candidates would handle another pandemic, to energy policy, how to combat increasing property taxes, to how to diversify the Wyoming economy.

John Petley and Jeannie Powll both showed up wearing shirts representing Gordon but were open to hearing what the candidates had to say.

Petley submitted a question asking how the candidates would address veteran suicide in Wyoming.

Wyoming has had the highest suicide rate per capita across the country for the past three years.

Bien said that he wants to make sure that veterans are more aware of the services that are available and that they need to have that tough talk sometimes because it can be hard to tell if someone's in crisis.

Gordon said that there needs to be more support for the boots foundation, he pointed to his recent governor's challenge and that there needs to be a coach and not a therapist available for everyone that needs one.

Rammell said that everyone has been touched by suicide and that the solution is to have more people working because they have more hope than if they are not working.

Petley said that he appreciated the responses from Gordon and Bien, but thought that Rammell did a poor job answering the question.

"He just really didn't answer the question. He's right, trades do help with mental help, 100%," Petley said. "But as far as putting a plan in action, which one of these guys will be the first one to do it? And there are things I like about all candidates, like some of things they all said. But on the forefront, you're probably never going to have a candidate that's never going to make you 100% happy. What's important to me right now is veteran suicide and I appreciate their answers, two candidates, the governor of course and Bien, were pretty candid and semi-had a plan."

Still to come over the next three Wednesdays are the candidates for Secretary of State and unopposed House candidates on July 27, US House candidates on Aug 3, and candidates for the Superintendent of Public Instruction on Aug 10.

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