Former Cody state representative Scott Court is looking to return to the position he held for one term two years ago.
“I should never have got out when I did,” he said. “I really enjoyed it.”
He declined to defend his seat two years ago due to his mother’s health, at which point Rep. Sandy Newsome won the seat. Now he’s challenging her and former Hot Springs County Clerk Nina Webber.
“The more people, the better,” he said of the race. “And when you’re an incumbent, you need (to be) challenged too.”
Court is a longtime resident, having grown up in town and graduated from Cody High School.
He attended Northwest College and the University of Wyoming, graduating with an education degree.
He worked as a field tax auditor, an unemployment claims taker for the State of Wyoming in Kemmerer, Rawlins, Laramie and Cheyenne, an insurance agent in Rawlins and Casper, and a human resource representative for Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center in Cheyenne.
He earned his master’s degree in public administration from UW and moved back to Cody in 2011. Since then he’s worked at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
He defeated Newsome, then running as an independent, in 2016.
“During the 64th Wyoming Legislature, I made friendships and working relationships with fellow legislators from around the state,” he said. “These friendships and working relationships that form among the legislators are vital to Wyoming in maintaining our citizen legislature.”
If reelected, he said his focus will be on the dire financial situation the state sees itself in due to huge revenue losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am not asking to represent Cody in House District 24 in Cheyenne to promote guns, personal business interests or rid the Republican Party of RINOs,” he said. “The citizens of Wyoming have been informed that the State of Wyoming has a budget shortfall of $1.5 billion dollars over the next two year biennium.
“During the Legislature in Cheyenne, I will make important decisions on reducing state agency budgets, state employees, government services, educational programs, etc.”
Court said he’s concerned about overspending in Cheyenne and wants to avoid using the rainy day fund unless other options are exhausted.
“Our rainy day account was at $1.76 billion dollars several weeks ago,” he said. “The rainy day account has been important because it has been used as cash flow the state and replace monies that are delinquent.”
He said there are only two years left before the fund runs out.
“The state can go in and spend it or make immediate cuts,” Court said.
He said the consensus of the legislators appears to be that the state will need more than Gov. Mark Gordon’s 10% across-the-board cuts, the laying off of state employees, and the depletion of the rainy day fund.
“This means that revenue increases are probable,” Court said. “Revenue increases could include sales tax, property taxes, gas tax, etc.”
He said one cent of additional sales tax would mean an additional $320 million dollars in revenue, and the benefit to increasing the gasoline tax would be that two-thirds of the tax would be paid by nonresidents.
“Cutting the general fund in education budgets will never be easy but will need to be done,” Court said. “Increasing revenues will be my last resort. We in Wyoming have been proud to keep our taxes low.
“As a conservative Republican, I will stand by my convictions as your representative: less government, less taxes, less regulations and definitely applying pressure on our United States senators and Congress-woman to work on reducing our national debt.”