Hoeft runs for House District 25

Posted 5/16/24

As Paul Hoeft was encouraged to run for the Wyoming Legislature, he initially protested that he was “just an everyday guy.”

“And then I realized, well, that’s exactly how …

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Hoeft runs for House District 25


As Paul Hoeft was encouraged to run for the Wyoming Legislature, he initially protested that he was “just an everyday guy.”

“And then I realized, well, that’s exactly how our government’s supposed to run, [with] everyday people,” Hoeft said.

The longtime auto service technician recently decided it was time to throw his hat into the ring, announcing his candidacy for House District 25. He’s set to face off with longtime state Rep. David Northrup (R-Powell) in August’s primary election, along with any other Republicans who join the race.

In observing last winter’s budget session, Hoeft said he found things “a little bit troubling.”

“It looked like a struggle to be, ‘who’s in charge?’ instead of, ‘Let’s get the will and the votes of the people,’” Hoeft said. “While we did have some really good bills that went through, we could have done a lot better.”

Lawmakers, he said, “should have worked a little bit harder” to get legislation to Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk sooner, or stayed in session a few days longer to address potential vetoes. 

Gordon wound up nixing several bills favored by conservatives, including new regulations for abortion providers, a repeal of most of Wyoming gun free zones and some property tax relief measures.

While the Legislature did good work in delivering relief for seniors and veterans, “we need to go a lot further,” Hoeft said Wednesday. For instance, he would like homeowners’ taxes to be recalculated on pre-COVID-19 property values.

“I’m really concerned about families and how they’re making ends meet right now,” he said, “because things are tight.”

Hoeft is also concerned about the impact that illegal immigration will have on Wyoming; he believes the state needs to pay more attention to the issue and be prepared for people illegally coming into Wyoming.

Hoeft also wants the state to become more independent, saying Wyoming’s economy is being limited by environmental concerns that aren’t backed by solid science.

“An independent Wyoming to me means we don’t have the looming federal government over us [with] every decision we make,” he said. “Because we have the resources that a lot of the other part of the country needs.”

Additionally, as the country tries shifting away from the minerals that underpin Wyoming’s tax base, Hoeft thinks the state must “start learning to be a little leaner in the way we spend our money.” 

As for one of the state’s biggest areas of spending, public education, Hoeft wants schools to carve out funding for increased security.

While school resource officers are valuable, Hoeft thinks every school should have someone in charge of security.

“While we have good schools, we need to protect our kids,” he said.

Hoeft also wants more emphasis on vocational education, such as introducing students to careers as a plumber or electrician.

“A college education’s a good thing,” he said, “but it’s not for everyone.”

Hoeft generally described himself as a conservative Republican. He’s pro-life and believes Wyoming “should be out of the abortion business.” A longtime board member at the Heart Mountain Rod and Gun Club, an NRA Foundation fundraiser and shooting sports supporter, he’s also a Second Amendment advocate.

Hoeft and his wife have lived in Powell for nearly 30 years, and both their sons graduated from Powell High School. He worked on General Motors vehicles for over 40 years, retiring from Garvin Motors before joining the sporting goods department at Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply.

Although he was frustrated by lawmakers’ work in the recent session, Hoeft said he’s going to try to avoid running a negative campaign. He described his message as, “This is what happened, let’s see how we can fix it.”

The filing period opens today (Thursday).