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MEET PATRICK FITZGERALD

  • WHY AM I RUNNING FOR OFFICE?

I’m running because I believe the community deserves a strong advocate to represent its values, interest and concerns in the state legislature. We deserve a representative more concerned about elevating the community’s voice and less about themselves. One who listens first and then acts on behalf of the community’s best interest.

Wyoming’s cowboy and pioneering spirit still thrives today. This is a state where lending a helping hand to neighbors and strangers as well as an appreciation and reward for hard work is still commonplace. I believe this is something unique and worth protecting.

 

  • SERVING -IT'S A PASSION.

It was instilled from an early age the importance of serving and helping others. Over time, this lesson taught by my faith and my parents has turned into a life purpose -this is what I enjoy doing, as a Christian it's what I'm called to do and serving is what I want to do.

Currently I serve the Cheyenne community as a nurse practitioner at HealthWorks Clinic and while I enjoy the work and helping others, this position also gives me a front-row seat to some of the shortcomings of our current health care system. 

My work in both a rural Wyoming hospital and now here in Laramie County gives me a unique perspective. I believe my constituents, along with the state legislature, would benefit from having a representative with this type of health care perspective on the floor of the legislature. 

My wife and I have been blessed with the opportunities Wyoming provides us and it would be a privilege to serve my constituents and the state in the role of state representative. 

 

  • Where did i come from?

I grew up in rural Arkansas with similar values I've found here in Wyoming. From an early age I was taught the importance of faith, family and helping others. Every chore and work around the property was used by my father to instill the values I carry with me everyday; the importance of self-reliance, doing more with less, pride in work, work hard towards your goals and be an ethical sportsman.  My mother taught selfless love, forgiveness, perseverance, and serving others. These experiences and lessons are priceless, which leaves me forever indebted to my parents, it’s my strong foundation which guides me in life.

I originally came to Wyoming for a new adventure and the opportunity to work in a coal mine for a summer as a haul truck driver. But by the end of the summer I came away with two new loves, Wyoming and a Wyomingite - my now wife Rebekah. 

 

  • What's my background?

After a brief stint working in the ministry in an interim role at my home church in Arkansas, I came back to Wyoming in 2010. I was called back to Wyoming the same way the early pioneers were, a chance to better themselves and start a new life. 

I began studying nursing at Sheridan College and later continued on to the University of Wyoming where I received my bachelor of science degree in nursing.

My wife Rebekah and I purchased a home in Cheyenne and I had the opportunity to commute to Douglas for work. I served the Douglas community as registered nurse at Memorial Hospital of Converse County before being accepted to Western Kentucky University where I graduated with my masters degree as a nurse practitioner.

While the opportunity for career advancement took us out of Wyoming for a time, we kept our Wyoming home because we knew we wanted to find a way back to Cheyenne and we did.

We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to make it back and contribute to making Cheyenne and Wyoming stronger however we can. 

 

  • What are my top issues?

Health Care. The health care budget in Wyoming is nearing 2 billon dollars and the current system isn't working. Wyoming needs more healthcare professionals in the state legislature. As a nurse practitioner, I am uniquely prepared to identify waste, areas of improvement and where/if to expand to ensure Wyoming people can get health care they need but also in a fiscally responsible way. 

Economy. Rising unemployment affects us all. First, continuing to fight the federal government’s damaging regulations however we can, including in the courts, is a must. Second, empowering students and the workforce by preparing them for today and tomorrow’s economy through apprenticeship programs, skills training, advanced degree programs and a continued commitment to the Wyoming education system. Third, continual cultivation and advertising of Wyoming’s business friendly environment should encourage local, national and international business development within Wyoming. Fourth, continual support of our top revenue and job creators: tourism, energy and agriculture.  Working through the these four points will help diversify our economy and provide more jobs and revenue for Wyoming.

Budget. Wyoming's current decline in revenue can mostly be contributed to falling energy prices. However, due to Wyoming’s fiscal conservatism the state is well positioned to weather this downturn. During good fiscal times money was saved and now we must face the reality of current revenue forecasts and trim our budgets. Budget cuts and conservative usage of the reserve fund should allow Wyoming to recalibrate and come out of this bust stronger and better prepared for today and tomorrow’s economy.