bout Ray Hunkins
A former Marine and law enforcement officer, Ray is dedicated to conservative values. A loyal family man, Ray and Debby have three children: Amanda is a Cheyenne attorney; Blake is a teacher and coach; and Ashley works in the field of health care. Together, this family holds seven degrees from UW. Debby is a former elementary school teacher. Ray has been active in Republican causes his entire life.
As a boy, Ray wanted to ranch. His mother told him, “Get an education first. Then you can have your ranch.” Ray earned a law degree from the University of Wyoming in 1968. He has practiced law in Wheatland ever since – and has often been requested to provide advice to Wyoming’s leaders. He farms and ranches in Albany and Platte counties.
Ray instructed at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy for 15 years. He has served as president of the University of Wyoming Alumni Association and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the University of Wyoming Foundation. Ray is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He has been request by our leaders to represent the state of Wyoming on many occasions. He recently represented the people of Wyoming in the complex matter of school funding. He has a special, professional interest in the field of ethics.
“ Wyoming is more than just a state. Wyoming is a state of mind, an endless reservoir of qualities that made this nation great. Self-reliance and skepticism toward big, centralized government are as much a part of Wyoming as our majestic mountains and open spaces. I’m inspired by the independent spirit of Wyoming. Protecting that spirit will be my top priority as governor.”
Ray on His Philosophy
“I am a conservative – fiscally, socially and philosophically. My wish is to preserve, but it is coupled with a desire to reform. When solving problems, I believe in large doses of common sense.”
Ray on Wyoming
“I am running to make a difference for Wyoming. My platform is based on a deep love for this state. Wyoming is a special place with a unique culture, landscape and people. Everything done in state government must respect and preserve our way of life.”
Ray on Government
“I believe in government you can throw your arms around – small – and right next door. We must resist the growth of state agencies and insist on a leaner, more efficient – and effective – government for Wyoming.”
Ray on Development
“A vibrant economy is critical to keeping our kids in Wyoming. I will demand a dynamic, aggressive development plan that supports small business, welcomes clean industry and offers good jobs for the next generation. I will say ‘No’ to businesses that threaten our environment and way of life.”
Ray on Education
“Kids come first. So good teachers must be our top priority. I believe a quality education focuses on fundamentals, not fads. I support character training in our schools and ethics training in our colleges. And I believe that political correctness has no place in a balanced education.”
“Among the things that have influenced my life are the Marine Corps, agriculture and the rule of law. These experiences shaped my love for this country – and this state. They have helped me understand that Wyoming captures the American sense of independence – like no other place. My vision for Wyoming starts with preserving our traditions – and building on them to offer a solid future for our children and grandchildren.”
“Thanks for your support, folks. I want Wyoming to work for you!”
Born in Culver City, California on March 19th, 1939, Ray Hunkins grew up on family ranches in the southwest and in Montana; he served in the United States Marine Corps and attended college at the University of Montana and the University of Wyoming. He and his wife, the former Debby McBride of Buffalo, both received undergraduate degrees from UW and Ray went on to receive a law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1968. While going to college he worked as a law enforcement officer and is a graduate of the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. Later, he was a visiting instructor at the Academy for 15 years.
The couple have three children, all graduates of UW. Amanda is an attorney. She and her husband live in Cheyenne where he is a Principal in the Cheyenne School system. Blake and his family live in Laramie where he is the Principal at the Snowy Range Academy, a charter school. Ashley is a graduate of the UW Nursing School and is employed by Glaxo-Smith-Kline in Casper. Ray and Debby are grandparents of three children and step grandparents of three children. They are strong proponents of traditional family values. Their children and grandchildren are the best evidence of their commitment to family.
Having a desire to live and raise a family in a small town, rural Wyoming setting, the couple moved to Wheatland 38 years ago and since that time Ray has practiced law with Jones, Jones, Vines & Hunkins and ranched, and Debby has taught school.
Because of his deep commitment to the University of Wyoming, he has served the University in several capacities over the years, including on the Board of Directors of the University of Wyoming Foundation, the Board of Advisors of the American Heritage Center , as Chairman of the Advisory Council to the University of Wyoming College of Commerce and Industry and as counsel to the University Board of Trustees. In the early-1970’s Ray served on the Board of Directors for the University of Wyoming Alumni Association and was elected president of the UW Alumni Association in 1973. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Wyoming College of Law and has just completed a term on the Advisory Board for the College of Agriculture.
Professionally, Ray is a member of the Wyoming State Bar, the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association and The Federalist Society. He has served as president of the Platte County Bar and the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association. Over the years he has been appointed to numerous committees and commissions by the Federal District Court, the Wyoming Supreme Court and the Wyoming State Bar, including appointment by the Wyoming Supreme Court in 1981 to the State Bar Grievance Committee and appointment as chairman of that committee in 1985 where he served as presiding officer at disciplinary proceedings for errant lawyers. He currently is a member of the Federal District Court’s Rules Committee.
He has also served as hearing officer for many entities, including the UW Board of Trustees, Casper College, various school districts and the American Arbitration Association.
Ray has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards and has been elected to several honorary professional organizations. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and a fellow of the International Society of Barristers. In 1994 he was designated by Woodward/White as among the best commercial dispute lawyers in the United States. He currently serves as a member of the National Ethics Committee for the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Nation’s preeminent honorary legal society.
Ray has served the executive branch of Wyoming State Government in numerous capacities over many years, including service as Special Assistant Attorney General, member of the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Administration, and the Wyoming State Aeronautical Commission.
Because of his family ranching background, Ray has had a life long interest in agriculture generally and in the livestock industry specifically. Shortly after arriving in Platte County he and his family moved to the country where his children were exposed to rural values, 4-H and FFA activities. Today, Ray has agricultural and livestock interests in Albany and Platte Counties. For over 30 years he has been a member of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. He also is a member of the Laramie Peak Stock Growers and the Albany County Stock Growers Associations.
In the fall of 2005, the University of Wyoming honored Ray as a, “UW Distinguished Alumnus.” The UW Distinguished Alumni Award, according to the University, “recognizes people who have distinguished themselves in their profession or career.”
Ray is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in American Law and Best Lawyers in America. He is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations and is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of BH Inc., a manufacturing company headquartered in Wheatland.