This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.
|32nd Governor of Wyoming|
January 3, 2011 – January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Dave Freudenthal|
|Succeeded by||Mark Gordon|
|United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming|
October 12, 2001 – June 7, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Dave Freudenthal|
|Succeeded by||Kelly Rankin|
Matthew Hansen Mead
March 11, 1962
Jackson, Wyoming, U.S.
|Education||Trinity University, Texas (BA)|
University of Wyoming (JD)
Matthew Hansen Mead (born March 11, 1962) is an American lawyer, businessman and politician who served as the 32nd Governor of Wyoming from 2011 to 2019. A Republican, he is a maternal grandson of Governor and U.S. Senator Clifford Hansen.
Mead, the son of Peter Bradford Mead and Mary Elisabeth Hansen Mead, was born and reared in Jackson, Wyoming. Mead graduated in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in radio/television from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas where he was a member of the Bengal Lancer fraternity among other pursuits. He earned a J.D. degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law at Laramie. After law school, he served as a county and federal prosecutor and also practiced in a private law firm.
In 2001, Mead was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming by President George W. Bush. He served until June 2007, when he resigned to seek the Senate seat vacated by the death of fellow Republican Craig L. Thomas. His resignation was required under the Hatch Act of 1939.
In accordance with Wyoming state law , the Republican party selected the three candidates from which Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal could make his selection. On the third ballot, The Republican State Central Committee, by fourteen votes, eliminated Mead from consideration. Freudenthal chose state Senator John Barrasso; the others he considered were former State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis of Cheyenne and former Republican State Chairman and lobbyist Tom Sansonetti, who had been an aide to Thomas.
In 2010, Mead won the Republican gubernatorial primary with 30,272 votes, defeating State Auditor Rita Meyer, who polled 29,558 votes, despite Meyer's endorsement by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Fort Bridger rancher Ron Micheli finished third, with 27,592 votes; State House Speaker Colin M. Simpson finished fourth with 16,673 votes.
Mead's campaign emphasized his support for gun rights. He opposed gay marriage and abortion, but stated that there should be exceptions to allow an abortion when the woman's health or life is at stake and in cases of rape and incest. On November 2, 2010, Mead easily defeated Leslie Petersen, the former chairwoman of the Wyoming Democratic Party, receiving 72% of the vote to Petersen's 25%.
In late January 2013, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill, a Republican, announced that she would be a candidate in Wyoming's 2014 governor's race. A Tea Party favorite, Hill would face Mead in the Republican primary on August 19, 2014. Earlier in January, Mead had signed legislation sharply reducing the responsibilities of Hill's office, making the position largely ceremonial.
Mead named Rich Crandall, a moderate Republican member of the Arizona State Senate and a political ally of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, to fill the newly established position of "director" of the Wyoming Education Department, a position that had most of the powers formerly held by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. In January 2014, the Wyoming Supreme Court rebuffed Mead and declared that the legislature had overstepped its constitutional powers when it stripped Hill of most of her office duties. Mead unsuccessfully appealed the decision, and Hill resumed her duties in May 2014, just a few weeks before the beginning of the gubernatorial primary campaign.
Meanwhile, two Republican lawmakers who said they had no ties to Hill called for a special prosecutor to investigate Mead's conduct in the matter. Representatives Gerald Gay of Casper and Stephen Watt of Rock Springs said that Mead abused the powers of his office and used funds prior to legal authorization to discredit Hill.
Gay said: "I am in possession of information and internal email correspondence that gives rise to the concern that the governor has used state monies to manufacture allegations against a political opponent. ... The public knows an abuse of power when they see it, and this (is) one of the most egregious examples of abuse of power in Wyoming history. ... I believe there were political motivations because of the timeline that was involved. ... The things I have found are egregious enough that they have to be stopped immediately and to make sure they never happen again."
Gay claimed that a special prosecutor was needed because he did not trust Wyoming Attorney General Peter K. Michael, a Mead appointee, to conduct a fair probe. Michael said that his office does not prosecute crimes except in rare situations, and would not in this particular matter.
Mead handily won re-nomination in the 2014 Republican primary, with 53,626 votes (55 percent), compared to Dr. Taylor Haynes' 31,490 (32 percent), and Hill's 12,443 (13 percent). In the November 4 general election, Mead handily defeated Pete Gosar, the former Democratic Party state chairman and the brother of a Republican U.S. representative from Arizona, Paul Gosar. In the same election, Republican Jillian Balow, backed by Mead, won election to succeed Hill as the education superintendent.
On February 17, 2015, Mead vetoed legislation intended to prevent the state from permanently confiscating an individual’s property through civil forfeiture until after a felony conviction had been attained. The legislation, Senate File 14, gained strong popular support and passed through the Wyoming Legislature, with majorities in excess of 2/3 in both houses. An attempt to override the bill failed.
Mead's mother, Mary, was the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 1990. Considered an expert horsewoman, she died in 1996, on her 61st birthday, in a horseback accident while working cattle in Grand Teton National Park. In 2003, Mead and his brother and sister put their family ranch in the park up for sale; the price was said to be $110 million.
Mead and his wife Carol have two children.
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matt Mead.|
| Governor of Wyoming
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of Wyoming