AP NEWS

Prominent pair of long-serving Wyoming lawmakers to retire

March 16, 2020 GMT

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Two prominent and long-serving Wyoming state lawmakers are planning to retire.

Republican state Sens. Hank Coe, of Cody, and Eli Bebout, of Riverton, together have served more than 60 years in the Legislature, the Cody Enterprise reports.

They won’t seek re-election this fall, they announced jointly Friday.

Bebout was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1987-2000, rising to floor leader and house speaker.

He was elected to to the Senate in 2007, serving as Senate vice president, majority floor leader and president. Bebout has chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee for two years.

He was the Republican nominee for governor for 2002, losing in the general election to Democrat Dave Freudenthal.

First elected to the Wyoming Senate in 1988, Coe served as Senate vice president, majority floor leader and president. Coe is perhaps best known as chairman of the Senate Education Committee for 17 years, a job that put him in the center of almost every major issue facing public education in Wyoming during that time.

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon praised Bebout and Coe in a release as “conservative giants” in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Legislature adjourned for the year Thursday after a month-long session dedicated primarily to the state budget.