(Casper, Wyo.) - Wyoming's only House of Representatives seat is up for grabs, and 10 candidates are in Casper tonight to fight for the seat during moderated debates.
To kick off the party, two Wyoming Democratic candidates faced off with previous Democratic Wyoming Governor Mike Sullivan as the moderator.
Wyoming's Charlie Hardy and Ryan Greene took center stage and addressed the crowd. The two debated about increasing the federal minimum wage which is a matter both agreed needs to be addressed.
"This is an area that we definitely need to address," Ryan Greene said. "It has not been raised since 2009. We need to help the workers and not cripple small businesses. Not everyone is Wal Mart, I think we should start the conversation at $10.00 an hour."
With a quick rebuttal, Hardy felt that the minimum wage should be raised to $15/per hour.
The candidates were also asked how or if the US House would assist coal job loss in Wyoming.
Hardy commented, "The large fossil fuel companies had an opportunity to prepare and putting 500 people out of work is not fair. They saw it coming and failed to prepare. Coal companies did not plan for the decline; they have shifted their responsibilities on to the government."
Greene felt that the government should compensate those who lost jobs, as Wyoming did with Uranium job losses in the past. He discussed sending them to trade schools and giving them alternative options.
Ryan Greene concluded the debate commenting, "Wyoming will elect Democrats with Wyoming values, just like former Governor Sullivan. I believe in energy development with conservation."
Charlie Hardy wrapped it up: "I started this campaign with only volunteers. I have never compromised my beliefs. Ryan Greene is a nice guy, but he does not have the experience that I have had. I have traveled the state of Wyoming and heard the cries of the citizens. We need to get money out of politics."
The US House Debates continue at 5:30 pm at the Wheeler Concert Hall at Casper College with Republican candidates Heath Beaudry, Mike Konsmo, Paul Paad and Jason Adam Senteney.
Following this debate, Republican candidates Liz Cheney, Leland Christensen, Darin Smith and Tim Stubson will continue at 7:00 pm.
Both Republican debates will have former Governor Jim Geringer as the moderator.
You can watch the live debates Here.
Sponsors would not allow cameras or recording devices at the debates.
Feature image from the PBS livestream
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