Loucks says resignation from Wyoming House due to COVID-19 pressures on his business - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Loucks says resignation from Wyoming House due to COVID-19 pressures on his business

Rep. Bunky Loucks, R-Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Bunky Loucks resigned from his seat in the Wyoming Legislature effective June 30. He had held the House District 59 seat since 2011.

Loucks told Oil City on Monday, July 6 that work was behind his decision to resign with the Wyoming Legislature looking at possible special sessions between now and the end of the year.

“I can’t try to keep my business alive and put the hours in that we are going to be in for special session and do a good job at both so that’s the basis of my decision,” he said.

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He added that work for the legislature surrounding the May special session required a lot of his time online.

“I never ever participated in a Zoom meeting before May 4,” Loucks said. “I printed it off and had well over 100 hours in the month of May.”

Loucks owns Wyoming Office Products & Interiors and says that COVID-19 has had a big impact on the business.

“I’ve been doing the same thing for 42 years and I’m 62 years old,” he said. “I’m too old to start over. I thought I’d have a company that would be sellable and would retire in the next few years but things have changed just drastically. We are down huge, huge amounts.”

Loucks said it was a difficult decision to resign but felt that he had to for his business. Prior to his resignation, Loucks had not filed to run for re-election in the fall.

He said he’s hopeful a replacement candidate can be found to take his spot for the remainder of the term and serve on the legislative committees on which he served.

Loucks was a member of the Wyoming House’s Mineral Business & Economic Development Committee and Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Committee.

Natrona County Republican Party Chair Joseph McGinley outlined the process to fill the vacancy left by Loucks’ resignation in a Monday press release.

“Those applying must be a qualified elector in HD59, registered as a Republican,” McGinley wrote. “The current Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen in HD59 will choose three persons from those applying whose names will advance to the Natrona County Commissioners.”

“The Commissioners will then hold interviews and appoint one to finish the election term ending December 31, 2020.”

Initial interviews with replacement candidates will be held at 6 pm Wednesday, July 15 in the Ramkota Hotel’s Theatre Room.

“Due to current health restrictions, seating will be limited to under 50 people,” McGinley added. “The meeting is open to the public, but only current precinct committee members of HD59 will be allowed to vote.”

“If you are interested in applying, your request must be received by Monday July 13th, 12:00pm via email at ncrpchairman@hotmail.com.”

McGinley also pointed people to Wyoming Statute § 22-18-111(a)(iii) for details on the rules for replacing a county elected official.  

Loucks sponsored the following bills during the 2020 legislative session, according to the legislative service office:

  • HB0082 Contract brewing
  • HB0086 Removal of elected municipal officials
  • HB0183 Municipal elections-political parties
  • HB0217Wind turbine blades
  • HB0246 Made in Wyoming
  • HB0247Child support forgiveness

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.