TORRINGTON – Rob Branham was appointed chairperson of the Goshen County Democratic Party at their Monday, March 29, reorganization meeting held via the web-based teleconferencing platform Zoom.
Wyoming state Democratic Chairman Joe Barbuto opened the meeting shortly after 6 p.m. Barbuto said he was charged with opening the meeting and appointing a local chairperson as Wyoming’s Democratic Party (WDP) bylaws allow a state chairperson to open a local meeting to appoint a local chairperson when there is not one.
Barbuto appointed Rob Branham to the position of Goshen County Democratic Party chairperson. He said the chairperson is required to live in the precinct they represent, and once appointed, they are charged with the duty of voting on behalf of the county.
Barbuto thanked Mike Gibson and Simon Lozano for their service as former chairpersons for the local party and expressed how challenging being a Democrat in Wyoming can be.
“Feels like pushing water uphill with a fork,” Barbuto said of being a Wyoming Democrat.
He told the meeting attendees Wyoming Democrats are the “only people standing up and defending the working people.” He said he has always felt Wyoming has had strong groups dedication to moving the state forward in Goshen County.
“With their location and what they put up with make them the toughest Democrats,” Barbuto said of Goshen County Democrats.
Barbuto then introduced some of the Wyoming state Democratic Party staff after Branham’s appointment. He introduced Joohee Muromcew, party affairs and finance for WDP, Sarah Hunt, WDP executive director, and Dawn Barela, operations director for WDP.
Muromcew gave the meeting attendants an overview of her work and the work of the WDP. She told the crowd she was fired-up and inspired with working on voter access and education, has been working with local county parties regularly and is working diligently to steward the statewide voter registration initiative.
Branham said he was eager to begin but admitted he had much to learn in the process. Muromcew said there would be trainings coming up in the next month which would help him, and any other Democrat interested in holding positions within the party, to learn the basic operations of the party and its processes.
“I encourage you and the others within your county organization to figure out what you want to do and make it happen,” Barbuto said.
Barbuto expressed there were more ways to be involved than by simply voting or helping out with a campaign. He suggested getting a number of volunteers involved in letter writing campaigns and the like, to inform local citizens of what is happening in their government.
Barbuto told meeting attendees the Democratic party in Wyoming is more united that it has ever been.
“Democrats are more united than they have ever been,” Barbuto said. “It doesn’t feel like such an isolated group when you have a large family to be a part of here in Wyoming”
He also urged participants to attend the state WDP meeting April 24 at 4 p.m. on Zoom.
“Let’s go blue by ‘22,” an enthusiastic Barbuto said.
Branham said his goal is to recruit younger citizens into the party. He said it would be an uphill battle, but he hopes to be able to inspire more younger people to join the party and be involved.
He was thankful for the appointment and assured the WDP members he had the time to be committed and would be dedicating himself to the task.
“We don’t mind speaking our mind,” Branham said. “We are willing to have our voices be heard.”
During Branham’s self-introduction, he said he had strong opinions of gun control issues. He said his children owned automatic rifles and expressed his displeasure with ownership of automatic firearms.
“If I could, I would find a crusher and put them all in it,” Branham said.
Sarah Hunt urged all members of the WDP to be unafraid of being an active member in the party and serving as a committeeperson.
“We’ve seen it in the Republican Party; how they can turn a normal party into a party of crazies,” she said.
Several members of the party concurred it was a matter of education. They agreed the perception of the Democratic Party is what they have heard from their parents and grandparents.
Barbuto said there had been progress on the education front in that the WDP had money they had put towards creating billboards and advertisements to educate the public about the WDP.
“In 100 days, the Biden administration has done more for us than in the past four years,” Barbuto said. “Thank a Democrat. That is who got it done.”