Senators announce retirement
Published on March 21, 2020
Cheyenne – Wyoming State Sens. Eli Bebout, Senate District 26, and Henry “Hank” Coe, Senate District 18, who combined have served in the State Legislature for 60 years, announced they will not seek re-election this fall.
“Serving in the Wyoming State Legislature has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” said Sen. Bebout. “The people who are a part of this important process – from the legislators, to the staff and volunteers, to the citizens who come from every corner of the state to advocate for issues important to them – are the best of the best and I’ve been proud to work alongside them.”
He continued, “I’ve always believed in leaving things better than we found them, and after four decades in the legislature, I hope that I have. I look forward to watching the next generations of Wyoming leaders usher our great state into the future.”
“The Wyoming Legislature continues to be one of the most effective and civil deliberate bodies in the nation. It is my sincere hope that this tradition will continue and Wyoming can be an example to the rest of the nation,” said Sen. Coe. “Serving in the Senate has been a true honor and a privilege. I’m eternally grateful to the people of Park County who put their faith in me to represent them for so many years. To my community, friends, family, fellow lawmakers and the exceptional legislative staff, I say thank you.”
“Over the last four decades, Sen. Bebout and Sen. Coe have been conservative giants in the Wyoming legislature,” said Gov. Mark Gordon. “Wyoming’s small businesses and energy leaders have had no greater ally than Sen. Bebout. He has worked diligently to clear the way for our main street businesses to thrive and cut through the bureaucratic red tape that kept much of our natural resources under lock key.”
“As Chair of the Senate Education Committee for the past 17 years, Sen. Coe has led the charge to improve the quality of education here in Wyoming. His legacy will be felt in Wyoming for generations,” Gordon continued.
“I join the people of Wyoming in thanking both Sen. Bebout and Sen. Coe for their tremendous service,” Gordon concluded.
Senate President Drew Perkins and House Speaker Steve Harshman also had praise for their colleagues.
“Sen. Bebout and Sen. Coe are the very definition of Wyoming statesmen,” said Perkins. “They’ve made a lasting mark on not only the Senate, but the entire state of Wyoming. I’m proud to call them both mentors and friends, and speak for the entire legislature in thanking them for their service. They will be missed.”
“Service is a value deeply ingrained in all of us in Wyoming,” said Harshman. “Sen. Bebout and Sen. Coe have made service to our great state a priority throughout their entire lives, setting a high bar for all who follow. For their service, knowledge and love of Wyoming, I thank them.”
A Fremont County native, Bebout was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1987 to 2000 where he served as house majority floor leader and speaker of the House. He was elected to the Senate in 2007, where he also served as vice president, majority floor leader and Senate president. For the past two years, Bebout has been chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
He currently serves on the Air Transportation Liaison Committee, Capitol Building Restoration Oversight Group, Select Committee on School Facilities and Energy Council. Bebout was the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in 2002.
Coe was first elected to the Wyoming Senate in 1988. He served as Senate vice president, majority floor leader and president. He has been Chair of the Senate Education Committee since 2003. In addition to the Education Committee, Coe also chairs the Air Transportation Liaison Committee and is a member of the Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee, Select Committee on Capital Financing and Investments, Energy Council and Council of State Governments-West Education.