About Dave Dodson
I grew up 36 miles south of Cheyenne near Laporte, Colorado (population 500) in a good Republican family. My business career took me all over the country (creating twenty thousand good jobs across 22 states is hard work), but like all imports, I got to Wyoming as fast as I could. I settled close to the rest of my family near Kelly and that’s been my home base for the last 20 years, though until this campaign I still traveled a lot for work.
Back when I was a kid, the only difference between northern Colorado and Wyoming was where you could buy fireworks and beer. Most of our leaders were Republican, there were wide-open spaces, and the economy was based on ranching and farming.
My parents raised me to pray hard for the Denver Broncos, chew tobacco, and to shoot straight. If I was bored, they sent me out to the lake to fish for crappies. In the summer, we went to Frontier Days, and in my later years my worst habit was Red Man tobacco. Mom loved horses, so my sister and I spent our early summers riding. Later I became an Eagle Scout, and about the worst thing I ever did was smuggle fireworks into Colorado.
Mom taught 8th grade science, and because our neighbors were ranchers and farmers, it was not unusual for her to fill our freezer with livestock parts, which she’d use for her class. My dad collected guns, we hunted in the nearby fields, and to save money we reloaded our own shells.
My dad made farm equipment for the sugar beet industry, and he did well for a while, but eventually Jimmy Carter’s high interest rates caught up with him and he had to auction off his business. That left me needing to work in college to pay tuition, taking on some pretty tough jobs – including one at a slaughterhouse.
But I wouldn’t say that I started out with nothing—my parents gave me a good set of values, I had some great teachers growing up, and some luck when I needed it.
About thirty-five years ago, as Colorado got crowded, my family began the move to Wyoming. Over the years my mother, stepfather, brother, sister, and her in-laws moved to communities around Jackson—not as elites to retire, but as a family with no real money, who simply had a need to work hard and had a love for the outdoors.
My family loves Wyoming. My brother and my sister were each married here, and so were Wendy and I. My dog was buried here, and one day I will be, too.
I’m telling you this as a candidate for U.S. Senate because growing up in a small ranching and farming community is where I got my values. Later I learned some skills, which I’d like to bring to the job as well, but business and economic skills don’t matter if they aren’t governed by good values.