Roscoe won't run
Wilson Democrat rejects independent run after filing wrong address.
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
June 13, 2012
Rep. Jim Roscoe said Tuesday that he doesn’t plan to run for a third term in the state House.
The Wilson resident, a Democrat, doesn’t plan to launch a write-in campaign, nor does he have any intention of running as an independent — the two paths available to him after his application for office was rejected because of an incorrect address.
“After four years of service, there are people I need to be responsible to,” he said Tuesday on his way to Jackson from the Grand Canyon. “I need to keep my construction company going.”
Roscoe missed the chance to run nearly two weeks ago when his election filing papers were invalidated because he listed an inaccurate home address. He put down an address on West Indian Trails, which isn’t a street in Teton County.
Roscoe submitted his application, then set off for a float trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
“I guess I was in a hurry to get on the river,” he said.
Roscoe said he has lived in the apartment he sought to reference in his filing papers for only about six months. He thought he checked the street name but simply wrote it down incorrectly, he said.
His apartment is on West Paintbrush Trail, not West Indian Trails.
Though he has lived in Wilson for decades, Roscoe is going through a divorce and moved into a new apartment. He said separation from his wife was not a reason for not running again.
State elections officials, Democratic leaders and friends tried everything short of sending a helicopter into the Grand Canyon to reach Roscoe and get him to correct the application before the filing deadline. The information finally made it to him, via a friend who hiked into the canyon to join the trip, but it was too late.
Roscoe said he called the secretary of state’s office on a satellite phone to rectify the error but had missed his window of opportunity.
“I understand they have to do that,” he said. “The address wasn’t correct, and I missed the deadline. If I was serious about running, I would have taken care of it a long time ago.”
Roscoe’s decision clears the way for Etna Republican Marti Halverson to make a run for the House District 22 seat.
Halverson, 62, is the only candidate who filed for the district within the official filing period — ending June 1. Other candidates still could launch write-in campaigns or run as independents and still get on the November ballot.
Halverson said she wants to be part of the Wyoming Legislature to “defend our state against Washington, D.C., encroachment into our lives.”
“I want to get real Republicans in the Legislature,” she said in an interview earlier this month. “In the event that President Obama is re-elected, I would like the theme of next year’s legislature to be protecting our frontier.”
Halverson retired from a job with a medical equipment manufacturer. She said she worked in the durable medical device industry.
While Roscoe said he doesn’t plan to seek another term in the state House, he does plan to stay involved. He said he “would consider running in two years quite easily.”
Roscoe mentioned several bills he hopes to work on this year. One would offer state subsidies to pay for school bus fleets to be converted to run on natural gas.
Another would create incentives to get school districts to conserve energy. Roscoe said the bill would allow school districts to keep money they save from decreased energy use.
Though he won’t be in Cheyenne to help shepherd these bills through the legislature, Roscoe said he hopes others will carry the pieces of legislation.
Roscoe is a member of five House committees this year that deal with issues ranging from contractor preference laws to regulations for mineral development. He sits on the Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee, the Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee, the Select Water Committee, the Natural Resource Funding Committee and the committee reviewing contractor preference laws.
Roscoe said he will be interested to see which committees Halverson will serve on. As one of the few Democrats in the state Legislature, he had the ability, he said, to sit on an array of committees, especially ones that pertain to Teton County and surrounding areas.
Roscoe declined to comment on Halverson but said she will have to find the balance between natural resources extraction and recreation and wildlife preservation. She will also have to watch for falling revenue from natural gas prices, he said.
“If we want to keep the taxes low on our citizens, we have to make sure we’re getting the proper amount of revenues from our citizens,” Roscoe said.