Meet Narina

Narina Nunez for State Senate

I work at the University but I'm also a Laramie business owner. I am a member of the State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and am a member of the Albany County Juvenile Services Board. Several years ago I wrote and received a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant that provided money for juvenile services in Albany County. My civic passion is helping children and youth in our state.

UW Professor

Business Owner

I graduated from Cornell University in 1987. I was the first person in my family to attend college (my sister later followed) and I am the only person in my family to get a post-graduate degree. I was offered a position at the University of Wyoming, and although I had never lived in the Rocky Mountain West I accepted and started my adventure. Twenty nine years later, I am still here. To put it simply, I fell in love with Laramie and Wyoming. 

I am a professor in the Psychology Department and I study jury decision making. I've had the pleasure to work with many wonderful graduate and undergraduate students during the past 29 years. In fact, the students are the best part of my job. One of my proudest accomplishments is that I've been voted as one of the Top Ten Teachers by the graduating class 12 times.

There are many challenges facing the University today. Severe budget cuts are threatening departments and the livelihoods of good people. Strangely, however, construction projects such as the High Alititude Performance Center are moving forward. I believe that the severe pain being inflicted on the University didn't need to happen. Through a combination of revenue increases, moderate budget cuts, and a willingness to use some of Rainy Day Funds, we could have avoided a large share of the pain.
My husband and I, along with two wonderful partners, started TNT Motorsports in 1997. Our first location was at 269 N. 3rd Street and we sold Yamaha and Arctic Cat snowmobiles, motorcycles, atvs, and side-by-sides. Last year we bought out High Country Motorsports and moved our dealership to Snowy Range Road. We added Can Am, Honda, Ski Doo, and Sea Doo to our line-up. When we started, we had 3 employees and 3 owners working at the business. We now have 10 employees (plus three of the owners).
As a business person in Laramie, I understand how important the well-being of our citizens is to the success of our business. If people are out of work or having trouble making ends meet, they are less able to spend money in local businesses. The lack of raises at UW, especially for the staff, means that a large segment of our population has less to spend. They may decide that the old car will last another year, or they may forgo some dental work, or go out to dinner less. It's bad for them and it's bad for us. I will work hard to make sure UW employees, especially staff, are paid what they are worth and set up a system in which they can count on cost of living increases.

My Outdoor Interests

My Family

One of the greatest benefits to owning a motor sports business is that you have access to wonderful toys. Brian, Trey, and I love to snowmobile in the Snowies during the winter and ride our watercraft in the summer. We've also got a side-by-side that we like to ride in the mountains. 
Our love of the outdoors is one of the reasons that I feel so strongly that our National Forests need to be protected. There is a small group of people who want Federal Lands ceded to the states so that the lands can be used for commercial purposes. Some of those people are currently serving in the Wyoming legislature, and they made several attempts in the last session to push through bills that would move towards state control of federal lands. I am strongly opposed to this movement. I agree with hunting, fishing, and outdoors groups that our federal lands are a precious resource for us and we need to fight off any attempts to open them for commercial activities. Just imagine the Snowy Range closed off to the public, and sold for logging or gated off as a vacation playground for rich. 

The Medicine Bow National Forest, to the east and west of us, is a precious resource. It's a place for us to hunt, fish, hike, climb, and enjoy the great outdoors. It is also a destination spot for others, and brings a lot of revenue to Albany County. In our business, during the winter we have snowmobilers come from Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and beyond. They come ready to spend tourist dollars in our county. They aren't the only ones. Anglers, from all over the country, come in the summer because the waters of the Snowies are known to be world class for fly fishing. Climbers come for the magnificent rock formations at Vedauwoo. I will fight to protect our lands for all of us.
I have a unique background. My mother was born and raised in Germany and my father came from Puerto Rico. He joined the military when he was 18 and met my mother in Germany. I grew up as an Army Brat, and loved every minute of my childhood. We were stationed in Japan during the Vietnam War and my Dad worked at the hospital. I saw firsthand how war impacted our young soldiers. I believe in taking care of the people who served in the Armed Forces. My support for Vets runs deep. 

My husband, Brian Thomsen, works at TNT Motorsports.  If you go to TNT you'll probably find him at the Parts Counter.  My daughter, Yana Nightingale lives in Denver and works for Verizon. My son, Trey Nunez Thomsen, is a student at UW.  He's an English major, though the Mom in me sometimes wonders if his major is actually video games, since he spends so much time with them. 

My immediate family lives in North Carolina but Brian's family lives in Laramie. My father-in-law is Charlie Thomsen. Some of you might know him because he's a taxidermist and has been the owner and sole taxidermist at Laramie Taxidermy for 42 years. He may have done some of your mounts. My mother-in-law is Deb Thomsen, and she was an editor at the Boomerang for many years. She grew up in Laramie, and I think she knows everyone in town. My sister-in-law is Tonya Thomsen. She works at Mountain Valley Properties and at Tonic Salon.

We are group of people with different interests and talents. But we are family, and I am blessed to have a great one.