Joe Barbuto, a resident of Rock Springs, was recently elected chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party.
Barbuto said during his two-year term he hopes to implement new strategies, increase messaging, and work toward the 2018 midterm elections.
“My main priority is to put into place a strategic plan, a road map that is going to set some goals for us moving forward to help raise people, raise dollars, and win elections,” Barbuto said.
Barbuto said these plans include celebrating victories, holding republican lawmakers accountable, and getting messages out to all Wyomingites.
“It’s important to convey to the voters where we stand on important issues,” Barbuto said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re on the right side of issues if we’re not getting that message to voters.”
Robert West, Wyoming Young Democrats co-chair, said Barbuto plans to bring the party together.
“We want to make sure there’s a common vision, a common message coming out of the Wyoming Democratic Party,” West said. “I think [Barbuto’s] idea of creating a vision of unity and a common message is definitely something that will be beneficial.
Barbuto said he is passionate about many issues that affect Wyoming, including equal representation and environmental protection.
“Growing up in western Wyoming, public land has always been an issue I’m passionate about,” Barbuto said. “I also think that we need to do more when it comes to workers’ rights and worker safety in the state of Wyoming,” Barbuto said.
Amy Wrathke, Wyoming Young Democrats Chairman, said the Wyoming Young Democrats are excited to begin working with Barbuto.
“It seems like [Barbuto] has a lot of good, new energy for democratic politics in Wyoming,” Wrathke, “We’re excited to work with him and to see how we can engage young people all around the state to get democrats elected.”
West said he hopes Barbuto will inspire other young democrats across the state to get involved in politics.
“I think that’s really exciting that we have a chair who’s a young democrat technically, and also that there is a commitment to really working with young democrats of Wyoming to ensure that Wyoming’s youth are at the forefront of these conversations and really leading the charge of how we get democrats elected,” West said.
Barbuto said , as a young democrat, he wants youth to know that their voices are being heard.
“I want to encourage [young democrats] to get involved and be a part of this process,” Barbuto said. “There really is an opportunity right now to be a part of creating change.”
West said Barbuto is sure to face challenges moving forward due to the political nature of the state.
“I think any democrat is going to face challenges in Wyoming,” West said. “[Barbuto] is not one to shy away from those challenges.”
Wrathke said that she hope UW students know that Barbuto is committed to them.
“University of Wyoming Students should know that he is invested in them as the future of this state,” Wrathke said. “He wants to find ways to reinvigorate our economy so that Wyoming remains a state that young people want to stay in rather than growing up here and moving away.”
Barbuto said he plans to achieve his goals by mobilizing people and working hard.
“Where I know the GOP can’t match us right now is in Energy and determination of people,” Barbuto said. “We’ll get a strategic plan, we’ll have strong messaging, we’ll make sure that we’re controlling the conversations about issues we’re particularly passionate about, and we won’t let anyone else define who we are or what we stand for.”