Gillette News Record (July 31)
Near the end of 2017, Dave Dodson looked at the shape of Wyoming and the United States and wasn’t happy with what he saw. He said he grew tired of the U.S. Senate getting nothing accomplished and believed Sen. John Barrasso. R-Wyo., wasn’t putting Wyoming first.
So the 57-year-old businessman from Jackson decided to run for Barrasso’s seat, and if elected, said he intends to get things done.
Dodson, who calls himself a “Reagan Republican,” said senators have become more interested in “creating enemies” than creating solutions.
“We have 100 senators that have become experts at yelling at each other, and that’s not the America that I remember,” he said during a Monday interview at the News Record. “We used to work together. We could have different approaches to solving problems, but we always were Americans first.”
He said he wants to get things done for Wyoming families and in order to do that will have to cooperate with people who have opposing viewpoints.
“I’m not going to the Senate to go yell at the Democrats. I’m going to the Senate to work with the Democrats to get 60 votes so President Trump has something to sign,” he said.
Wyoming has a diverse economy, he said, but it lets other states benefit from the fruits of its labor.
“God gave us all these incredible endowments, and we haven’t bothered to build the rest of the house,” he said. “We grow things, raise things, pull things out of the ground and then we hand them to other states where all the value is created.”
Wyoming should be keeping those assets in-state and creating value here, he said. As far as coal goes, he believes it can be part of the clean energy solution, particularly with carbon sequestration and ultra-supercritical coal plants.
Right now, the president, House and Senate support coal, he said, but “we can’t always count on that, so we have to change the way Americans think about coal.”
Wyoming should be making the environmental argument, working with environmental groups to show that Powder River Basin coal is a cleaner option for countries like Japan and South Korea, which are part of the Paris Climate Accord but don’t have the land area to support wind and solar energy, he said.
“They need coal. They’re going to find sources of coal that configure with their coal plants and move forward,” Dodson said, adding that he wants Wyoming to be part of that conversation before those countries move on to other options.
Dodson said he believes he has “more outlines of legislation than my competitor who’s been there for two terms.”
“Where’s his immigration plan?” he said about Barrasso. “I have an immigration plan. Where’s his health care plan? I have a health care plan. Where’s his plan to make a healthier Wyoming economy? I have a plan.”
He said he watched Barrasso “complain about Obamacare for seven and a half years and have no plan. I don’t intend to make the same mistake.”
Dodson has an 11-point plan titled “The Families First Prescription Drug Act” that he believes will make health care more affordable and more competitive. Points include assisting the development of generic drugs and allowing overseas competitors to enter markets where there are limited options.
Health care should be an American issue not a partisan issue, he said, because when someone gets sick or is born with a disability, “it doesn’t matter whether they’re Republican or Democrat.”
More than anything, Dodson said, he’s tired of the divisiveness in today’s political climate, and he wants to change it.
“The biggest problem facing America is our politicians are trying to create two Americas. And I reject that,” he said. “I think we are first and foremost Americans, and we can once again learn to work together to solve problems. And I think our children and our parents are counting on us to do that.”