'Reagan Republican' to Run as Independent Against Barrasso in Wyoming Senate Race

CHEYENNE — After months of speculation, Wyoming’s U.S. Sen. John Barrasso finally has a Republican challenger. Sort of. Jackson businessman and Stanford University lecturer David Dodson announced Thursday that he will run against Barrasso in this year’s Senate race as a “Reagan Republican.”

But he’s planning to run as an independent, meaning he won’t challenge Barrasso in the GOP primary this summer. Dodson’s party affiliation is listed as “unaffiliated” according to the Teton County Clerk’s office and he donated $1,000 to Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential race.

(“I didn’t vote for the guy, I just thought I’d make a little trouble for Hillary,” Dodson said in an emailed statement.)

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Wyoming Businessman Challenges Barrasso

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A businessman who says he's prepared to spend at least $1 million of his own money announced Thursday that he's running against Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso as an independent.

"That's what I got authorized by my wife, but if she's not looking the other way I will do whatever it takes," Dave Dodson said of putting his own money into the campaign.

Barrasso, a Republican, filed a statement of candidacy last year but hasn't formally announced a campaign. Barrasso's campaign manager, Tom Wiblemo, declined to comment Thursday but said Barrasso would continue working with President Donald Trump's administration on priorities including tax cuts.

"Our campaign is prepared to hit the ground running hard later this year. In the meantime, Sen. Barrasso will continue doing the job he was elected to do," Wiblemo said by email.

Dodson, 56, called himself a "Ronald Reagan-Alan Simpson Republican" but said he's grown disillusioned with the GOP. Republicans are too beholden to special interests, Dodson said.

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Local Entrepreneur Enters Senate Race Against Barrasso

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Jackson Hole resident David Dodson announced his intention to run for the US Senate, challenging John Barrasso’s seat. Dodson says he will run as an Independent.

A self-made entrepreneur with an impressive track record of growing companies and creating jobs, Dodson will focus on Wyoming’s economy, which he claims is the weakest of all 50 states.

“That’s unacceptable, and it makes me mad,” Dodson states in his campaign platform. “We’ve had lousy economic leadership from John Barrasso, and I intend to give everything I’ve got to do something about it.”

Part of the problem, according to Dodson, is a rigged system that works against the middle class and for the wealthiest. He is running as an independent candidate to distance himself from DC politics that focuses on money instead of getting things done.

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Dodson Announces US Senate Bid

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.”

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Dodson Announces Run for Barrasso's Senate Seat

SHERIDAN — David Dodson, a Wyoming investor and entrepreneur, announced Thursday morning that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.

Though he describes himself as a “Reagan Republican,” and, if elected, said he plans to caucus with Republicans, Dodson will be running as an independent.

“I want to see the Republican Party return to where it was when it was a party that could get things done,” Dodson said. “I am a Republican, but I’m forcing this into the general election so all of Wyoming has a chance to decide who their next senator is.”

Dodson said he was motivated to enter the race because he felt that Wyoming’s representatives in Washington were not doing enough to address the state’s struggling economy.

“We fell to last place economically while John Barrasso has been our senator and last year we had the greatest percentage of people have to leave the state to find jobs,” Dodson said. “I decided I was tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching this happen because it doesn’t have to be this way. I’m not a career politician and I don’t plan to be a career politician, I just want to get in there and fight for Wyoming, because I don’t see anyone fighting for us.”

The claim that Wyoming is ranked last economically is based on the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States, which combines data on employment, mortgage delinquency, personal income, tax revenue, home prices and equity index.

Dodson is especially critical of the tax overhaul passed in December 2017. When Barrasso spoke at the Sheridan Rotary Club last week, he credited the tax bill with increasing wages in Wyoming.

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An Open Letter to
Senator John Barrasso

Now is the time to Put Wyoming First.

The President is proposing an infrastructure plan. It is time for Wyoming to insist that we be treated appropriately, and I urge you to do so on behalf of our state.

In the past, Wyoming has been taken for granted because of a two-party system where the Democratic Party ignores Wyoming, and the Republican Party takes our loyalty for granted. The current infrastructure bill, which you support, favors urban communities, at the expense of the energy and farm belt regions of our county.

We are the leading state for clean energy generation. Wyoming is fourth nationally in natural gas production, is home to 40% of the nation's clean coal, is the country's largest producer of uranium, and is positioned to become the national leader in solar and wind.

We keep the lights on in America, and it is time our state receives credit for that contribution.

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