NEW YORK – A fundraiser, hosted by John Catsimatidis, Father Alexander Karloutsos, and Andy Manatos was held on June 14 for Greek-American Sam Galeotos who is running for governor of Wyoming. The event took place at Bobby Van’s Restaurant in Manhattan and brought out a select group interested in supporting the businessman and philanthropist in his election bid.
As Galeotos told The National Herald, there are not many Greeks in Wyoming, and the people have some trouble pronouncing his name, but his campaign is doing well in the state where there is a great deal of interest in electing a businessman for governor. When asked how the Greek community has received him, he told TNH that the Greek community has been very supportive of his campaign. Galeotos’ mother’s side is from Thessaloniki and his father’s side from outside of Tripoli.
He told TNH that his grandfather came to the United States with his two brothers early in the 1900s in search of a better life. They followed the railroads, he said later, adding that they then herded sheep, and eventually like all Greeks, they opened a restaurant. Today, the family owns a restaurant called Uncle Charlie’s.
Andy Manatos who gave the welcoming remarks noted the need for more Greek Americans in office, adding that there is also a senior senator who will be up for re-election in a few years and may or may not run. “Going from the governorship to the senate would be fantastic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a Greek-American back in the Senate? We’ll be thrilled to have him as governor of Wyoming,” Manatos said.
“We are planning in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a big Hellenic event, for those of you who haven’t been to Jackson Hole, it is spectacular.”
Catsimatidis said, “I am happy that everyone came out today to support one of our fellow friends here. We need more Republican governors. We need common sense governing without common sense governing, things go out of control. A businessman has common sense that qualifies him.”
Fr. Karloutsos noted that “it is very important to have common sense governing, but from my Greek Orthodox world, and I’ve heard from so many people about you [Galeotos] being such a person of faith, a person involved in the Greek Orthodox Church life, so I’m so happy to see that kind of person going into that governorship, because it brings affirmation and honor to our community and everything you’ve done you bring honor to your father’s name, any time you bring honor to the name then you know you are carrying on the great legacy, so we want you to be the kind of role model that our young people can aspire to so we can continue to pursue excellence as our Greek forebears used to talk about… it’s the name, the legacy, the integrity and that’s what you’re giving to Wyoming and that’s what you’re giving to the community.”
“And you brought another Greek Orthodox into the world,” Fr. Karloutsos added, referring to Galeotos’ wife Stacey who converted.
She told TNH that her heritage is “mixed, mostly German.” The Galeotos’ two daughters, Isabella and Nicolette, are also excited about their father’s campaign wearing the new t-shirts promoting his run for governor.
In his introduction to Galeotos, Manatos noted that “he is an extraordinary Greek Orthodox who has done a lot for the church, an extraordinary CEO for some major companies, and he could really do a lot as governor,” calling Galeotos, “the Governor to be.”
Galeotos then thanked everyone for their presence, noting that “it’s very humbling that you would take the time to be here today,” and then asked how many had been to Wyoming. When most of the people raised their hands, Galeotos was impressed, adding that for those who haven’t visited, “we have to get you there.”
He then gave some facts about Wyoming, noting that it is “the tenth largest state in the union size-wise, it’s 98,000 square miles, and it only has 580,000 people, it’s the least populated state in the nation. Seventy percent of the state’s revenue is generated from the energy industry, mining, minerals, coal.”
Galeotos said it is “a very conservative state, we have two of the greatest National Parks Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, Devil’s Tower National Monument, our second industry is Travel and Tourism… other than government that is the largest private employer in the state.”
Wyoming’s “billion dollar deficit has created pressure on everything in the state,” he said, “our education system, our state agencies, all of our services we provide to people and on our local communities and people are searching for an answer and there is no answer.”
He then spoke about how he “was approached by a group of people from around the state who wanted to get a businessman to lead the state and hopefully, create economic growth for it. I literally drove around the state meeting with politicians and legislators to identify what it is that needs to be done, and the more I learned, the more I became motivated by the prospects that we have to fix the state of Wyoming. It is a unique situation- we’ve never had a Greek-American lead our state. We’ve never had an Orthodox Christian lead our state… We started at zero, nobody knew the name Galeotos much less how to say it, and we’ve received numbers this week that we’re neck in neck with our state treasurer, Mark Gordon.”
Galeotos added that there are six candidates for the Republican nomination, and the primary election is August 21. Wyoming, he pointed out does not have run-offs after the primary, so a candidate can win by even by just one vote.
More information on Sam Galeotos is available online at: www.samforgovernor.com.