Mark Gordon (born March 14, 1957) is an American politician serving as the 33rd governor of Wyoming since January 7, 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as state treasurer; he was appointed to that position by then-Governor Matt Mead on October 26, 2012, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Joseph Meyer.

Early life and education

Gordon was born in New York City, the son of Catherine (née Andrews) and Crawford Gordon, both ranchers from Kaycee, Wyoming.[1] His paternal grandmother was philanthropist Louise Ayer Hatheway. His paternal great-grandfather was industrialist Frederick Ayer, founder of the American Woolen Company. Gordon is also a great-nephew by marriage of General George S. Patton and a first cousin once removed of Major General George Patton IV.[2][3] He was raised on his family’s ranch in Johnson County, Wyoming. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Middlebury College in 1979.[4]

Career

2008 congressional run

In 2008, Gordon was an unsuccessful candidate in the Republican primary for the United States House of Representatives for Wyoming’s at-large congressional district seat held by Barbara Cubin, who was retiring. His main opponent was Cynthia Lummis, also a former state treasurer and the wife of a Democratic former state representative, Alvin Wiederspahn.[5] Former U.S. senator Alan K. Simpson of Cody, considered a moderate Republican, defended Gordon’s candidacy but stopped short of an outright endorsement because he was also friendly with Lummis. Former U.S. senator Malcolm Wallop endorsed Gordon, as did the late Joseph B. Meyer, who was serving as state treasurer at the time.[6]

In the primary, Gordon garnered the endorsements of Wyoming’s two most prominent statewide newspapers, The Casper Star-Tribune[7] and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.[8] Though polls and the financial advantage rested with Gordon in the primary campaign, he lost the nomination to Lummis.[9]

Treasurer of Wyoming

Gordon was Treasurer of Wyoming from 2012 to 2019. He was sworn in as treasurer on November 1, 2012, by Wyoming Supreme Court Justice William Hill,[10][11] after being selected by Governor Matt Mead.[5][10]

Gordon was elected to a full term as treasurer in 2014.[10]

Governor of Wyoming

Election

Gordon declined to run for Cynthia Lummis‘s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, the one he ran for in 2008, and instead ran for governor of Wyoming in 2018. He won the Republican primary on August 21 and the general election on November 6, defeating Democratic state representative Mary Throne.[12] Gordon was inaugurated on January 7, 2019.

Tenure

Gordon was sworn in on January 7, 2019.

Amid a November 2020 spike in coronavirus cases, Gordon imposed some restrictions on indoor and outdoor public gatherings. He did not implement curfews, temporarily close any businesses or initially impose a statewide mask mandate.[13] Gordon and his wife, Jennie Gordon, contracted COVID-19 later in the month.[14] In December 2020, Gordon imposed a statewide mask mandate.[15] In February 2021, he extended that order until the end of the month.[16] On March 8, 2021, he announced that he would lift the mask mandate on March 16.[17] On March 16, the mask mandate was lifted.[18] As of March 30, Gordon has no plans to reinstate the mask mandate.[19]

In November 2020, Gordon proposed $500 million in cuts to the Wyoming budget to account for declining revenue from the fossil fuel industry (particularly coal mining), which is crucial to Wyoming’s economy.[20] On April 2, 2021, he signed a budget passed by the Wyoming legislature that cut $430 million instead of the $500 million Gordon proposed,[21] due to improved budget forecasts for the year of 2021 and supplemental money from the American Rescue Plan Act[22] signed by President Biden. The budget Gordon signed decreases the amount cut to the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Department of Health.

In 2021, a New York Times investigation revealed that Gordon had been targeted by hard-right conservatives, such as Susan Gore, the heiress to the Gore-Tex fortune. Gore funded secret operatives who targeted Gordon.[23]

Personal life

Gordon met his first wife, the former Sarah Hildreth Gilmore, at Middlebury College. They married on March 7, 1981, in the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, Massachusetts, where her parents resided. In 1993, she died in an automobile accident.[24] They had two daughters.

In 1998 Gordon met his current wife, the former Jennie Muir Young, and they married in 2000. Together they own the Merlin Ranch east of Buffalo in Johnson County, Wyoming. In 2009, their ranch received the Society for Range Management Wyoming Section “Excellence in Rangeland Stewardship” award.[25]

On November 25, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gordon tested positive for the virus on the same day his office was to be reopened after an employee of his had tested positive earlier. Gordon’s office remained closed temporarily for deep-cleaning after his diagnosis.[26]

Electoral history

Gordon in 2019

Wyoming Congressional at-large district Republican primary election, 2008
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanCynthia Lummis33,14946.24
RepublicanMark Gordon26,82737.42
RepublicanBill Winney8,53711.91
RepublicanMichael Holland3,1714.42
Wyoming Treasurer Republican primary election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanMark Gordon (inc.)75,09588.09
RepublicanRon Redo9,94511.67
RepublicanWrite-ins2060.24
Wyoming Treasurer general election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanMark Gordon (inc.)138,83199.10
Write-insWrite-ins1,2620.90
Wyoming Gubernatorial Republican primary election, 2018[27]
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanMark Gordon38,95133.0
RepublicanFoster Friess29,84225.3
RepublicanHarriet Hageman25,05221.2
RepublicanSam Galeotos14,55412.3
RepublicanTaylor Haynes6,5115.5
RepublicanBill Dahlin1,7631.5
n/aUnder votes1,2691.1
RepublicanWrite-ins1130.0
n/aOver votes460.0
Total votes118,101100.0
Wyoming Gubernatorial general election, 2018
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
RepublicanMark Gordon136,41267.12%+7.73%
DemocraticMary Throne55,96527.54%+0.29%
ConstitutionRex Rammell6,7513.32%N/A
LibertarianLawrence Struempf3,0101.48%-0.93%
Write-in1,1000.54%-4.52%
Total votes203,238100.00%N/A
Republican hold

References

  1. ^ “Finding a Balance”. St. Paul’s School. June 19, 2021. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  2. ^ “Harvard Alumni Bulletin”. December 8, 1945. Retrieved December 8, 2020 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ “Mark Gordon”. National Governors Association. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  4. ^ “Meet Mark – Mark Gordon for Wyoming Governor”. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  5. ^ a b “Trevor Brown, “Mead selects treasurer”. Wyoming Tribune Eagle. October 27, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  6. ^ “Sen. Wallop endorses Mark Gordon”. Wyomingpublicmedia.org. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  7. ^ “Gordon has Edge in Republican Primary”. Casper Star Tribune. August 17, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  8. ^ “US House (GOP) Recommendation”. Wyoming Tribune Eagle. August 11, 2008. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  9. ^ “Marguerite Herman, “Gordon’s run for Congress draws criticism”, May 2008″. Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c “Mark Gordon takes oath as Wyoming treasurer”. Gillette, Wyoming, News Record. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  11. ^ “Doug Randall, “Gordon sworn in as treasurer”. kgab.com. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  12. ^ Reynolds, Nick (November 7, 2018). “Wyoming governor-elect Gordon outlines vision for his first year in office”. Casper Star-Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  13. ^ “Wyoming governor sets gathering rules, forgoes mask mandate”. AP NEWS. November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Freiman, Jordan (November 25, 2020). “Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon Tests Positive for Coronavirus”. CBS News. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  15. ^ “Wyoming governor announces statewide mask order, other restrictions”. KTVQ. December 7, 2020. Retrieved March 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Hughes, Morgan (February 11, 2021). “Wyoming extends mask order, will loosen restrictions on restaurants, gatherings”. Casper Star Tribune. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  17. ^ “Wyoming will lift mask mandate next week”. Casper Star Tribune. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  18. ^ Kudelska, Kamila (March 15, 2021). “Most Health Restrictions Lifted Tuesday, Including Mask Mandate”. Wyoming Public Media. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  19. ^ “Wyoming governor: No plans to reimpose COVID-19 mask mandate”. Associated Press. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  20. ^ “Wyoming governor announces additional $500M in budget cuts”. Casper Star Tribune. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  21. ^ Erickson, Camille. “Wyoming governor signs supplemental budget passed by Legislature”. Casper Star Tribune. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  22. ^ Reynolds, Nick (March 29, 2021). “With help of federal relief, legislature finds budget consensus”. Wyofile. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  23. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Goldman, Adam (June 25, 2021). “They Seemed Like Democratic Activists. They Were Secretly Conservative Spies”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  24. ^ “Sarah Hildreth Gordon”. geni_family_tree. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  25. ^ “Merlin Ranch sponsors Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt – Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt”. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  26. ^ Powell, Tori B. (November 25, 2020). “Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Refusing to Implement Mask Mandate”. The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  27. ^ “Statewide Candidates Official Summary Wyoming Primary Election – August 21, 2018” (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by

Treasurer of Wyoming
2012–2019
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Governor of Wyoming
2019–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by

Republican nominee for Governor of Wyoming
2018
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

as Vice President

Order of precedence of the United States
Within Wyoming
Succeeded by

Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by

Preceded by

as Governor of Idaho

Order of precedence of the United States
Outside Wyoming
Succeeded by

as Governor of Utah