David Dodson, a global entrepreneur based in Jackson, announced Thursday that he will challenge Republican Sen. John Barrasso for a seat in Congress this fall as an independent candidate.
Though Dodson has no political experience, his business record is impressive.
He said that because he has developed five companies, created 25,000 jobs over the past three decades and served on the boards of several nongovernmental organizations, he can be more effective than a longtime politician like Barrasso.
Similar to Gary Trauner, another Jackson entrepreneur set to challenge Barrasso this fall, Dodson said his decision to run arose out of disgust for modern politics — hence his running as an independent.
“I’m sick and tired of living in a country where career politicians make half of the country hate the other half, just to get re-elected,” Dodson wrote in his campaign announcement. “This is not the America that put Neil Armstrong on the moon and won two world wars.”
With two degrees from Stanford University’s business school, where he teaches a course called Managing Growing Enterprises, Dodson said he would personally knock on the doors of his connections in Silicon Valley to recruit them to Wyoming.
“John Barrasso is more focused on appearing on cable news than he is on growing our state’s economy,” Dodson said. “We deserve a working senator, not a celebrity senator.”
Though economic diversification is a key part of his platform, as the son of a coal miner, Dodson also wants to protect communities dependent on coal and help them adapt to changing markets.
“I’m asking the voters to compare my record of helping to create over 25,000 jobs, against John Barrasso’s 10-year record of taking care of his donors and his own career,” Dodson said. “I have a vision for a Wyoming where our kids don’t have to leave the state to make a decent living — and I’m determined to make that happen.”
Read next week’s Jackson Hole News&Guide for a detailed look at Dodson’s history as a businessman and his policy goals heading into his campaign.