Zook announces commissioner candidacy

Pinedale resident and local business owner Andrew Zook has enthusiastically registered as a candidate for Sublette County Commissioner. Zook, a lifelong Wyoming resident, served 15 years with the Laramie Police Department and owned a catering company and athlete development facility. He currently owns Geared Up bike shop and Sweet Creams.

Andrew’s interest to run for office was inspired by his late grandfather, Larry Bourret, who was a county commissioner and lobbyist for the Farm Bureau Federation, leading the fight against the Yellowstone gray wolf reintroduction. Andrew and his wife, Jennifer, have three children.

Zook’s vision is to create more dependable revenue for the county through a stable budget. By diversifying and reducing spending in areas that are not reliable investments, we can save taxpayer dollars and stabilize revenue. His platform is deliberate progress, involving changes to the county’s operational procedures. One is creating a procurement process. Currently, the county does not have a one, which is bad business.

Sublette County must be protected while accepting and accommodating growth benefiting all residents. The critical piece is electing commissioners that choose to take advantage of the head start. It must benefit everyone, not just a select few.

Zook’s decision to run stems from a desire to make Sublette County attractive for residents and visitors while maintaining the quality and standards of life residents enjoy.

He spent eight years in Sublette County, including five working in the oil and gas industry. He witnessed the rig count diminish and the accompanying economic decline.

As a business owner, Zook recognizes the “amazing opportunity” for recreation as a resource in addition to energy. Sublette County needs to take inventory of all resources and focus on ones that will ultimately not be affected by boom and bust cycles. We as a county must prepare for these highs and lows.

“As commissioners, we must focus on the future, not restricting growth based on fear of change, but accepting growth and having a thoughtful, intentional plan to manage change. There is no question the decisions affecting the next 5-10 years need to be made to accommodate the inevitable economic downturn and influx of new residents and visitors. The challenge is to ensure these decisions create success for future generations.”