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Three Yards Up the Middle

Jonathan Lange

January 23, 2024

“Every single day is .06 percent of our term,” said Wyoming’s Secretary of State, Chuck Gray. “It’s like an hourglass just trickling down. . . every day is a treasure that we need to take full advantage of in representing you.” He was speaking at a town hall in Evanston, last Thursday (January 11, 2024). “I tell our guys: ‘We need to have at least a three-yard run up the middle every single day.’” 

His drive to make the most of every moment flows from decades of watching Washington and Cheyenne. Gray reminded the gathered crowd of a litany of excuses from GOP party leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Mitch McConnell, and President George W. Bush. Opportunities to fulfill promises made to the American people are regularly squandered. 

That’s not Chuck Gray. Now is always the time to advance the ball. If one door is closed, another is opened. Faithfulness to the people who elected you means that you figure out your options and take positive steps every day. The Secretary of State has numerous tools at his disposal, ranging from requesting legislation to administrative rulemaking to directing judicial filings to setting department priorities. He uses them all. 

Thursday night’s discussion covered a wide range of issues. Many of them were raised by alarmed citizens who see federal overreach on an unprecedented scale. Over and over again, audience questions went beyond partisan interest in securing short-term federal largess. They asked, rather, about existential questions concerning the survival of our democratic republic. 

The people of Evanston were remarkably well-informed on the details and implications of federal policies, ranging from the Rock Springs Land Use Plan coming out of the Bureau of Land Management to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s radical proposal for “ Natural Asset Companies.” They are acutely aware of globalist interference in local matters through international finance operations, whether it be ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investments that starve Wyoming legacy energy companies of the capital needed to operate or the injection of “ Zuckerbucks” that illegitimately meddle in local elections

Gray did not respond with a promise to “have his staff look into it.” Rather, no matter how arcane the issue, he was well ahead of the curve. He not only understood the minute details but had already thought through the philosophical underpinnings and the future consequences. In most cases, his office had already taken substantial proactive measures. 

For instance, when people asked about protecting Wyoming’s industry from ESG financiers, Gray spoke of British Common Law on the definition of “fiducial responsibility,” and told the audience about the administrative rule changes that his office proposed and which are now awaiting the governor’s signature. When people raised the issue of the BLM land grab, he spoke of the detailed comments that his office filed months ago. 

Election integrity was another issue that loomed large in the discussion. From the multi-state push to expunge Donald Trump from their ballots to the Wyoming legislature’s lagging behind the rest of the nation in responding to private funding of election operations to next Friday’s hearing on voter-residency rules, Gray was on it. 

His office has successfully thrown out the frivolous lawsuit from Tim Newcomb to deny Wyoming voters their right to vote for the leading presidential candidate and their own sitting senator. And his office has worked with other states to file amicus briefs in parallel cases in other states. He has also been working with the Joint Interim Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee to introduce legislation that would bring Wyoming in line with multiple states that have barred “Zuckerbucks” in order to keep foreigners from unconstitutionally exerting direct influence over Wyoming election processes. 

To citizens who are routinely dismissed as know-nothings, and denigrated as “ knuckleheads” for common-sense views, Gray is a breath of fresh air. Wyoming citizens are busy with lives of their own. They should not be forced to ride herd on every issue that robs them of freedom and diminishes Wyoming’s ability to reach its full potential. Citizens should expect their elected officials not only to monitor the situation but proactively to do whatever can be done to protect Wyoming's interests. 

In Secretary Gray, they have just such a champion. Evanston’s citizens left the town hall feeling represented. They were universally grateful for Gray’s deep understanding of the issues and for his daily efforts to make “a three-yard run up the middle.” 

It is always more fruitful to encourage the good that is being done than to complain about the bad. It is also more joyful. Visit to inform yourself of the many issues that the Secretary of State is addressing on your behalf. When you have been informed, write, call or show up at next Friday’s hearing. Tell him what you think. He is genuinely interested in hearing you.

Jonathan Lange is a ​Husband to one, father to nine, pastor of two churches, and co-leader of the Wyoming Pastors Network.