SHERIDAN — Hollis Hackman, a retired Sheridan Veterans Affairs Medical Center employee and Army veteran, filed to run for the state Senate District 21 seat currently held by Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, as a Democrat Friday.
Burns has announced he will retire at the end of his term.
Hackman said, if elected, said he would work to protect investments into public services from cuts.
“Even though our needs have grown, Wyoming is operating under the smallest budget in 15 years,” Hackman said. “Legislators are forcing colleges to raise tuition at a time when Wyoming families can least afford it. Legislators are forcing $100 million in cuts on public schools when our kids need a quality education to be successful in this competitive high tech world. This is not to mention deep cuts to healthcare and other essential workforce and family services.”
He added that the Legislature could avoid cutting those services by drawing on the state’s reserves.
“The true tragedy is that legislators chose to leave $20 billion in funds relatively untapped, including the ‘Rainy Day’ fund,” Hackman said. “When it’s raining, those funds can stop the economic downpour from washing away your communities. Basically, they kept the state’s fat bank accounts high and dry while our workers, families, businesses and communities got soaked.”
Hackman is the only Democrat who has filed to run for the Senate District 21 seat.
Three Republican candidates have filed their candidacy: Rep. Bo Biteman, R-Sheridan, Dave Clarendon and Dustin Looper.