November 15, 2017
CHEYENNE - The race for governor in Wyoming could have quite a primary contest brewing on the Republican side of the aisle.
The latest name to cross the speculation threshold is Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman. On Nov. 8 - almost exactly a year before Election Day 2018 - the Committee to Elect Hageman for Governor filed with the secretary of state's office.
With Gov. Matt Mead nearing the end of his second term, speculation is swirling about who will become his successor. So far, only political newcomer Bill Dahlin of Sheridan has announced his candidacy on the Republican side in an overwhelmingly red state.
The Republican field opened wide this year when former congresswoman Cynthia Lummis of Cheyenne announced she would not run for governor, which many had expected. Since then, Secretary of State Ed Murray and State Treasurer Mark Gordon have expressed interest in making a run for the office. It's possible Gordon, Murray and Hageman could all enter the race, leading to a primary battle.
Hageman, a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law, specializes in water and natural resource litigation throughout Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. She was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016, serving on the Rules Committee.
Hageman made clear, however, that she is not making an official announcement yet. The committee, she said, is exploratory at this point. The documents were filed with the secretary of state's office to ensure she is in compliance with election law, Hageman said.
"I've been traveling the state and will continue to travel the state to determine what sort of interest is out there," she said. "But at this point, I don't have a lot to say beyond it's something I'm exploring."
HARRIET HAGEMAN BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY
Harriet M. Hageman and Kara Brighton began their legal partnership as Hageman & Brighton on August 1, 2000. Since commencing business, the partners of Hageman & Brighton have handled numerous water and natural resource matters, including Nebraska v. Wyoming (an interstate dispute over the North Platte River); the “roadless litigation”; management and recovery of endangered and threatened species; challenges under the Clean Water Act to protect private property rights; a challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s management of the Canadian gray wolf population introduced into the state; the constitutional challenge to term limits; defense of Wyoming’s “open range” law; grazing decisions on BLM and private lands; water rights research and analysis; and disputes between surface water appropriators and ground water users in Nebraska. Ms. Hageman and Ms. Brighton also act as general counsel to several irrigation districts throughout Wyoming and certain Natural Resources Districts in Nebraska.
Ms. Hageman and Ms. Brighton are actively involved with addressing the impact of federal and state regulations on land and water use. They have learned through their legal work in the regulatory environment that few people understand and participate in the rule-making process, despite the fact that such rule-making often has more of an impact on real property and water rights than does the legislative process. As part of their quest to inform the general public regarding the regulatory environment, in the spring of 2004, Ms. Hageman and Ms. Brighton formed the Wyoming Conservation Alliance. The purpose of the WCA is to increase public participation at both the state and federal regulatory level. Ms. Hageman and Ms. Brighton hope to expand the WCA concept into a regional and national resource.
Ms. Hageman grew up on a ranch near Fort Laramie, Wyoming. She attended Casper College on a Livestock Judging Scholarship and received her B.S. Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming. In 1989 she graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law. Ms. Hageman has been a trial attorney for the last fifteen years.