Two candidates for U.S. Senate and one candidate for Wyoming’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives spoke in Washington Park last week, at a forum organized by the Powell Economic …
Two candidates for U.S. Senate and one candidate for Wyoming’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives spoke in Washington Park last week, at a forum organized by the Powell Economic Partnership.
Republican Senate candidates Robert Short and Bryan Miller and Democratic House candidate Carl Beach each got three minutes to address one question: What makes you uniquely qualified to cut through the political narratives in our nation’s capital, in order to support and protect our citizens?
Short, a Converse County commissioner who grew up in Glenrock, said in his youth, he worked on a ranch for a dollar a day, which taught him the “value of hard work and the value of a dollar.”
Short said he supported diversifying the economy so that Wyoming could create opportunities for young people.
As a commissioner, he worked with Park County commissioners, and through that experience, Short said he became aware of the needs of agriculture, the outdoor recreational opportunities in the area, and the role of Northwest College in educating the state’s young people.
He praised Park County Commissioner and current state Senate candidate Tim French, saying French taught him to not be afraid to speak your mind. He said French commanded a presence inside the Wyoming County Commissioners Association that made people “aware of the importance of having diligence, dignity, grit, and trust.”
Short also spoke to his support for the state’s energy industry, which he said was vital to the nation. If elected, he would work on the national level to get more investment in Wyoming and strengthen the energy sector.
Miller described himself as a “lifelong Republican and constitutional conservative.”
“This document right here,” he said, holding up a copy of the U.S. Constitution, “is what I think needs to be considered in Washington, D.C. — and we’re not doing that right now.”
“We need people there who understand it and will live by it,” Miller said.
A retired lieutenant colonel, he flew KC-135 Stratotankers, which are midair refueling aircraft. He has two master’s degrees and worked around the world with 32 ministries of defense.
“I will bring bold, innovative leadership in Washington,” he said.
He works as a consultant for government agencies that deal with aviation or radar assets. Miler said he spent the last nine years working to protect radar systems, air defense, weather systems and ATC radar systems from wind turbines.
Miller said the federal government gives companies in the wind energy industry billions of dollars because they compete with oil, gas, and coal.
As a civilian, he said, he saved the American taxpayer more than $200 million.
“I know where all the waste is,” Miller said, adding, “I’ve been working with the people who know where the cuts need to be made.”
Beach was born in Rawlins and raised outside Saratoga.
“I think it gives me insight and awareness of the issues of a rural community,” he said — including the need for healthcare access and the problems of overreliance on a single industry.
If elected, Beach said he would support infrastructure needed to “engage in a modern economy,” including broadband, healthcare access and affordable housing.
Beach said he would also work to diversify the economy; having worked all over the world as an educator for 15 years, he has “a background to provide 21st century solutions to 21st century problems.”
As a leader, Beach said he would bring jobs to the state, which would help ensure young people want to stay in Wyoming, and that people would want to move here.
He said he’s often asked, as a Democratic candidate in a staunchly Republican state, why people should vote for him.
“Because we share common values and principles,” he said, “and I think I uphold those well.”
Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., announced last year he would not seek reelection. There are currently eight other Republican primary candidates, besides Miller and Short, vying for the seat: Cynthia Lummis, Devon Cade, Donna Rice, John Holtz, Josh Wheeler, Michael Kemler, R. Mark Armstrong and Star Roselli. On the Democratic side, there are five contenders: James Kirk DeBrine, Kenneth Casner, Merav Ben David, Nathan Wendt, Rex Wilde and Yana Ludwig.
In the race for the U.S. House, Beach is opposed in the Democratic primary by Lynette Grey Bull and Carol Hafner while the Republican incumbent, Rep. Liz Cheney, has one challenger in Blake Stanley.