Dave Freudenthal

David Duane Freudenthal (/ˈfriːdənθɔːl/;[1] born October 12, 1950) is an American attorney, economist, and politician who served as the 31st Governor of Wyoming from 2003 to 2011.

Dave Freudenthal
Dave Freudenthal speech
31st Governor of Wyoming
In office
January 6, 2003 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byJim Geringer
Succeeded byMatt Mead
United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming
In office
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byRichard Stacy
Succeeded byMatt Mead
Personal details
David Duane Freudenthal

October 12, 1950 (age 68)
Thermopolis, Wyoming, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Nancy Roan
Alma materAmherst College
University of Wyoming


Education and early life

Dave Freudenthal was born in Thermopolis, the seat of Hot Springs County in north central Wyoming, the seventh of eight children, and grew up on a farm north of town. He graduated in 1973 from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, with a bachelor's degree in economics. After graduating he joined the Department of Economic Planning and Development as an economist and later became the state planning director for Governor Edgar Herschler.

Freudenthal entered the University of Wyoming College of Law, receiving his law degree in 1980, and went into private practice.

Political career

In 1994, he was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming upon the recommendation of then-Governor Mike Sullivan. Freudenthal left the post of U.S. Attorney in May 2001.

Freudenthal was elected Governor of Wyoming on November 5, 2002. He was reelected to a second term on November 7, 2006, beating his opponent by nearly 40%. Freudenthal announced on March 4, 2010 that he would not attempt to seek a third term as governor.[2]

Despite being a Democrat in one of the most Republican states in the country (John McCain had won 65% of the vote in the previous presidential election[3]), Freudenthal remained consistently popular with his constituents throughout his tenure. As governor he often took rather conservative positions, leading to squabbles with federal officials and environmental groups.[4] His two terms also oversaw an enormous energy boom and surpluses in government revenue, although later on Freudenthal called for cuts to state agencies as growth slowed.[5] In fact, Freudenthal and his eventual Republican successor, Matt Mead, notably held similar positions on various issues.[6]

On April 2, 2008, Freudenthal endorsed Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois for the party's presidential nomination, having cited "Obama's style of leadership and openness to discussion." Obama won the Wyoming Democratic caucus by a 61.44-37.83 margin over then U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

After retiring as governor, Freudenthal briefly worked at the law firm of Crowell & Moring as Senior Counsel in the firm's now-defunct Cheyenne, Wyoming office.[7]

Personal life

Freudenthal is married to Nancy D. Freudenthal, a native of Cody, who serves as a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. They have four children: Donald, Hillary, Bret, and Katie.

Electoral history

Wyoming Gubernatorial Election - 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Dave Freudenthal 135,516 69.89% + 19.93
Republican Ray Hunkins 58,100 29.97%
Wyoming Gubernatorial Election - 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Dave Freudenthal 92,662 49.96%
Republican Eli Bebout 88,873 47.92%
Libertarian Dave Dawson 3,924 2.12%


  1. ^ "Montana Pronunciation Guide". Ap.org. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  2. ^ "US News - Mar 04, 2010 - Wyoming Gov. Freudenthal won't seek third term". RealClearPolitics. 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  3. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/15/AR2009021501918.html
  4. ^ http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/outgoing-wyoming-gov-dave-freudenthal-credits-success-to-family-co/article_8d7553bd-07d3-5554-88e4-54352dc8a0fb.html
  5. ^ https://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/us_news/2010/Mar/04/wyoming_gov__freudenthal_won_t_seek_third_term.html
  6. ^ http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/outgoing-wyoming-gov-dave-freudenthal-credits-success-to-family-co/article_8d7553bd-07d3-5554-88e4-54352dc8a0fb.html
  7. ^ "Dave Freudenthal". Crowell & Moring. Archived from the original on August 24, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Vinich
Democratic nominee for Governor of Wyoming
2002, 2006
Succeeded by
Leslie Petersen
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Geringer
Governor of Wyoming
January 6, 2003 – January 3, 2011
Succeeded by
Matt Mead
2002 Wyoming gubernatorial election

The Wyoming gubernatorial election of 2002 was held on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Republican Governor Jim Geringer was barred from seeking a third term in office, thereby creating an open seat. Former United States Attorney Dave Freudenthal and former Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives Eli Bebout both emerged from competitive Democratic and Republican primaries, respectively, and faced off against each other in the general election. Despite Wyoming's strong inclination to elect Republicans, a contentious race ensued, with Freudenthal ultimately edging out Bebout by fewer than 4,000 votes.

2006 Wyoming gubernatorial election

The 2006 Wyoming gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal won re-election over Republican Ray Hunkins. As of 2019, this is the most recent election in which a Democrat was elected Governor of Wyoming and the most recent time that a Democrat carried every county in the state.

2008 United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming

The 2008 congressional elections in Wyoming was held on November 4, 2008. The election coincides with the 2008 U.S. presidential election, as well as with two United States Senate races.

Wyoming has one seat in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Its 2007-2008 congressional delegation consisted of one Republican. That remains unchanged although CQ Politics had forecasted the district to be at some risk for the incumbent party.

2008 United States Senate special election in Wyoming

The 2008 United States Senate special election in Wyoming took place on November 4, 2008, at the same time as the regular election to the United States Senate in Wyoming. There was a special election to fill the remainder of the unexpired senate term of the late Craig L. Thomas. Republican John Barrasso was appointed by Governor Dave Freudenthal, and won the Republican primary unopposed, and went on to win the general election to fill the remainder of the term.

2010 United States gubernatorial elections

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 2, 2010 in 37 states (with a special election in Utah) and two territories. As in most midterm elections, the party controlling the White House lost ground. Democrats did take five governorships from the Republicans, and Republicans took 11 governorships from the Democrats. An independent won one governorship previously held by a Republican. A Republican won one governorship previously held by an independent. Republicans held a majority of governorships for the first time since before the 2006 elections. One state, Louisiana, had no election for governor, but did feature a special election for lieutenant governor.

Most gains were made in races where no incumbent was running (either due to term limits or voluntary retirement). Ted Strickland (Ohio) and Chet Culver (Iowa) were the only two sitting governors who lost re-election. One sitting governor was defeated for primary renomination, Republican Jim Gibbons of Nevada.

These elections coincided with the elections for the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives as well as other state and local elections.

2010 Wyoming gubernatorial election

The 2010 Wyoming gubernatorial election was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 to elect the Governor of Wyoming, who will serve a four-year term to begin in January 2011. Party primaries were held on August 17.

While it was initially thought that term limits would prevent incumbent Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal from running for re-election, the constitutionality of the term limit law has been questioned, leaving the possibility that if Freudenthal had successfully challenged the law, he might have been able to run for a third term. On March 4, 2010, Freudenthal announced he would not run for a third term.Republican candidate Matt Mead defeated Democratic candidate Leslie Petersen in the general election.

Freudenthal won all counties in 2006, this was reversed in this election when Mead won all counties.

2012 United States Senate election in Wyoming

The 2012 United States Senate election in Wyoming took place on November 6, 2012, alongside a U.S. presidential election as well as other elections to the United States Senate and House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John Barrasso won re-election to a first full term.

The primary elections were held August 21, 2012.

2014 United States Senate election in Wyoming

The 2014 United States Senate election in Wyoming took place on November 4, 2014, to elect a member of the United States Senate for the State of Wyoming. Incumbent Republican senator Mike Enzi won re-election to a fourth term in office. Enzi held Democratic nominee Charlie Hardy to just 17.5 percent of the vote – the lowest percentage of the vote for any major party nominee in Wyoming U.S. Senate electoral history out of the 39 races conducted during the direct election era.

2014 Wyoming gubernatorial election

The 2014 Wyoming gubernatorial election was held on November 4, 2014, to elect the Governor of Wyoming. The election coincided with elections to other federal and state offices.

Incumbent Republican Governor Matt Mead ran for re-election to a second term in office. Mead won the election with 59% of the vote, defeating Democrat Pete Gosar, Independent candidate Don Wills and Libertarian Dee Cozzens.

2016 United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming

The 2016 United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming was held on November 8, 2016 to elect the U.S. Representative from Wyoming's at-large congressional district, who will represent the state of Wyoming in the 115th United States Congress. The election coincided with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the House of Representatives, elections to the United States Senate and various state and local elections.

The seat is currently held by Republican Liz Cheney.

The filing period for candidates lasted from May 12 to 27, 2016, and the primaries were held on August 16. Republican attorney Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, and Democratic energy executive Ryan Greene won their respective primaries.

2020 United States Senate election in Wyoming

The 2020 United States Senate election in Wyoming will be held on November 3, 2020, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Wyoming, concurrently with the 2020 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

Elections in Wyoming

The results of elections in the state of Wyoming have tended to be more conservative than liberal or than in most of the United States due to Wyoming being a rural state which usually vote for the Republican Party.

Democratic voters, in the minority, are concentrated in more urban areas such as Teton County. Despite the imbalance in registration, Wyoming voters have elected relatively Democrats to local, state and federal offices such as the thirty-first governor Dave Freudenthal.

Electoral reform in Wyoming

Electoral reform in Wyoming refers to efforts to change the voting laws in this U.S. state. Because Wyoming has only one Congressional district, gerrymandering is not a consideration in federal races. In March 2003, Governor Dave Freudenthal signed a bill to allow people convicted of a non-violent first-time felony to apply for restoration of voting rights five years after completion of sentence. Wyoming also has a "no-excuse" absentee ballot policy, meaning that citizens need not provide a reason for requesting an absentee ballot.


Freudenthal is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Axel Olof Freudenthal (1836–1911), Finland-Swedish philologist, politician and racist.

Dave Freudenthal (born 1950), American politician

Franz Freudenthal, Bolivian physician known for several medical inventions

Hans Freudenthal (1905–1990), Dutch mathematician

Heinrich Freudenthal, founder of Deutsche Pentosin-Werke GmbH

Jacob Freudenthal (1839-1907), German philosopher

Karl Freudenthal (died 1944), Nazi lawyer and SS officer

Nancy D. Freudenthal (born 1954), U.S. district judge

Thor Freudenthal (born 1972), American director and screenwriter

List of Governors of Wyoming

This is a list of the governors of Wyoming, beginning with Territorial Governors. Wyoming Territory was organized in 1868, and the state was admitted to the union on July 10, 1890.

Nancy D. Freudenthal

Nancy Dell Freudenthal (born February 5, 1954) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. She is the first female judge to serve in the District of Wyoming. Freudenthal was also the First Lady of Wyoming from January 6, 2003 to January 3, 2011.

Scott W. Skavdahl

Scott Wesley Skavdahl (born December 17, 1966) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming.

Term limits in Wyoming

In the U.S. state of Wyoming, the state legislature passed a bill limiting the office of Governor to two consecutive terms after Democratic Governor Edgar Herschler served three terms into the mid-1980s. Then in 1992, voters approved term limits by ballot initiative.Neither action constituted an amendment to the Wyoming Constitution. Twelve years later, two state legislators challenged the term limit law in a lawsuit; the Wyoming Supreme Court invalidated the limits in a unanimous decision, ruling that a constitutional amendment would be required to establish such a law.The ruling did not apply directly to statewide executive positions (including the office of Governor), but it was expected in early 2009 that popular Governor Dave Freudenthal might challenge that law on the same grounds.

Tom Sansonetti

Thomas Lawrence "Tom" Sansonetti (born May 18, 1949), is an attorney and a former government official from the U.S. state of Wyoming. He now resides in Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

After graduation from high school, he earned an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and his Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. In 1989, he became legislative director for newly elected U.S. Representative Craig L. Thomas, and shortly afterwards was chosen to be his chief of staff. In 1991, he became Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he served until 1993. He then joined the Cheyenne law firm of Holland and Hart, where he worked until being appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department. He is considered to be a strong conservative but has never held elective office.

Sansonetti received the most votes from the GOP central committee to succeed his former mentor, Senator Thomas, who died on June 4, 2007. He advanced as one of the state GOP's three party nominees for senator. Governor Dave Freudenthal appointed State Senator John Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon from Casper.

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