By Leo Wolfson, State Politics Reporter
Wyoming’s leading fiduciary officers were given another four years on the job Tuesday as State Treasurer Curt Meier and State Auditor Kristi Racines both won their uncontested elections.
“Not that I receive running unopposed as the voters seeing I do everything perfectly in my job and I can’t improve, but I hope it shows I have done enough to have the confidence in the voters,” Racines said.
Neither Meier nor Racines faced opponents in the general election. Meier beat Republican Bill Gallop by a significant margin in the primary election, while Racines had no opponent in that election either, but still campaigned during the primary.
“It’s a reason for us to work harder and do more over the next four years,” Meier said.
The treasurer for Wyoming oversees managing the state’s investments. During Meier’s tenure, the state’s investments grew from $20 billion to more than $25 billion. Investment funds inside the Wyoming Retirement System also grew from $5 billion to nearly $9 billion.
“Our money is green, it’s not red or blue,” Meier quipped, “and it’s always working for you.”
Meier’s office could not account for roughly $106 million dollars in state money earlier this year. He also described his office’s performance as subpar during the Wyoming Legislature’s 2022 budget session.
In October, Meier signed a letter to AT&T board of directors demanding to know if politics, and not business, were behind a decision by its former subsidiary DirecTV to remove the far-right One American News Network from the company’s offerings. Meier also donated to a number of staunchly conservative candidates representing the populist wing of the Republican Party during the primary election.
Meier said he is looking forward to returning the rate of investment back to the Wyoming taxpayers in his next term. He also said his office will work to consolidate about $15 billion in funds to get a total rate of return of $400 million over five years.
“The numbers are quite substantial,” he said.
Meier was a state senator representing Goshen, Niobrara and Weston counties for about 20 years before being elected treasurer in 2018.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Meier for the position along with Chuck Gray for secretary of state and Harriett Hageman for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat.
Within 30 days of taking office, Racines produced and turned over six years’ worth of expenditure data, a move she said eliminated barriers to transparency that had plagued Wyoming for years.
She reduced her office’s budget by 10% and personnel by 15%, while providing the same level or increased services to the public.
Racines also spearheaded the Governor’s Business, Banking and Employee COVID-19 task force during the COVID-19 pandemic, playing a role in securely distributing more than $1 billion in federal stimulus money to Wyoming families, small businesses and hospitals.
Racines said she plans to keep transparency a top priority in her office.
“Transparency, it’s not a destination, it’s a journey really,” Racines said. “I just want to keep being responsive to the voters’ wants.”