A former state legislator who joined Wyoming’s Republican Party several years ago has signed up to seek the state’s open superintendent of public instruction job.
Keith Goodenough, a former Democrat who served in Wyoming’s House from 1989 to 1992 and in the Senate from 1995 to 2004, said he is trying to make a point with his application for the job left open with the resignation of Jillian Balow.
“My main interest is in making the point of what a true conservative is,” he said. “Because most of the people involved with the leadership of the GOP are not actually conservatives, as that term has been politically defined for 100 years.”
The central committee of the Wyoming Republican Party is to meet Saturday to select three finalists to interview for the job left vacant when Balow resigned to take a similar position in Virginia.
Goodenough and 11 others filed applications for the job prior to Saturday’s meeting. Other nominees may submit their names for consideration during the meeting.
Gov. Mark Gordon will select one of the finalists to take over the superintendent’s job.
Goodenough said he wants a chance to tell the central committee that being a conservative means supporting the Constitution and not supporting expressions of violence against political opponents.
“If you think about the bedrock of what conservatives are, they are historically supportive of the Constitution, they do not support violence in government, they do not support attacking the Capitol and they do not support bullying appointed and elected officials,” he said. “They have veered off-course on that.”
Goodenough said the main plank in his campaign for the position is to give all control over schools to local school districts.
“While obeying court decisions, of course, and obeying state law,” he said. “But there are things that can be done to chip away at the centralized system.”
Goodenough was a Democrat while serving in the Legislature, but he noted several other legislators have changed affiliation over the years, such as former Senate President Eli Bebout.
Bebout started his years in the Legislature as a Democrat and changed parties.
Goodenough described himself as a “Cheney Republican.”
“That’s a member of the GOP who is willing to tell the truth about Donald Trump and the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021,” he said.
Goodenough said he is not sure how his message will be received by the central committee.
“They are not as friendly as they used to be,” he said. “But I figure I’ll make my point and be done with it. It needs to be said.”