SHERIDAN — Sheridan area resident Kenneth Allen announced his intent to run for Wyoming House District 29 on Monday evening.

Allen was born and raised in Wyoming and has lived in Sheridan seven years. Allen said his campaign will focus on three major issues in the state: education, energy and health care.

“I don’t think education should have been the first (budget) to be cut,” Allen said. “Education’s highly prized in Wyoming, and I think we need to give the best that we can to the students.”

Rep. Mark Kinner currently represents District 29. 

Allen has worked as an EMT for nearly a decade, and currently works with Rocky Mountain Ambulance Service. He has also worked other jobs in the health care industry, including a position as a sterile technician in an operating room. His work led him to develop a love for health care, which he said now needs some work. Allen is in favor of overturning the Affordable Care Act and said he thinks there’s potential for all sides of the political realm to work together to develop a plan that works.

Allen also said it’s time the state start looking beyond fossil fuels for energy resources such as wind energy and waste-to-energy systems.

Allen currently serves as secretary of Wyoming Equality, which provides education, advocacy, support and services to Wyoming’s LGBT community, of which he is openly a part. Allen recognized that running as a Republican, his sexual orientation may be one of his biggest obstacles, even though he doesn’t think it should be.

“I may have different views on some social aspects, but the majority of my ideals are conservative,” Allen said.

“… Diversity is good, and I think if you can keep in line with the reason you’re there, to help people, and not lose focus, then I don’t think it should be an issue.”

While Allen said he’d continue to fight for equality, inside and outside of the Wyoming Legislature, he said there are other issues in Wyoming that also need attention.

Allen has spent the last few months preparing for his campaign, including attending a four-day campaign training in Seattle, Washington, and recruiting committee members.

Committee treasurer Christina Askins has known Allen since 2013. She said while Allen is taking on big issues, she believes he has the drive to fight for what he believes in.

“I believe in his cause and I believe that he’ll do very well and he speaks for the people, not just for his ideals,” Askins said.