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In their own words: U.S. Senate

In their own words: U.S. Senate

John Holtz

John Holtz

John Barrasso (Republican)

How does your personal and professional background match the requirements of this position?

The Constitution of the United States tells us the requirements for U.S. Senator. And the citizens of Wyoming get to decide who they want in each of our two Senate seats.

The people of Wyoming know me. I’m a husband, father, and someone who cares deeply about the future of our state. I’m conservative.

Nothing has prepared me more for serving Wyoming than the years I spent as a medical doctor, a state legislator and volunteer in our state. These experiences and jobs prepared me to contribute conservative ideas to the broad set of issues and challenges we face. They taught me the important lessons of hard work and community that lead to solutions closest to the people. These jobs taught me to listen first. Most importantly, I learned why it is so critical that we guide our own future and not leave decisions about our lives, our resources, our freedoms to Washington.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing Wyoming and the United States and how will you address them?

Providing a pro-growth, pro-American economic climate to create and maintain good paying jobs for Wyoming people is a top priority. The Obama administration took direct aim at Wyoming’s economy. It saddled our state and country with new taxes, new mandates, and oppressive federal regulations that burdened Wyoming families and small businesses.

Working closely with the Trump Administration, I successfully fought to cut taxes, so Wyoming people keep more of what they earn, and unleash America’s private sector economy. We slashed billions in excessive Obama-era rules and regulations that targeted Wyoming jobs, and we opened new opportunities overseas for Wyoming’s natural gas and coal. This is good for our economy, Wyoming jobs, and our national security.

Finally, Obamacare is a terrible law that left patients with higher premiums and less choices for healthcare. I fought against Obamacare and authored alternatives that clear away the mandates and give families a real choice to buy insurance that works for them. I helped lead efforts to repeal the individual mandate tax so that you aren’t forced to buy insurance you don’t want or can’t afford.

What do you believe the proper role of federal government is?

I believe in limited government. The Constitution makes clear that the federal government is to provide a common defense and to ensure its citizens rights. Not to interfere with your life.

We’ve seen the federal bureaucracy grow too large and too encompassing. We’ve seen Washington, D.C. not listening and not working. As a result, too often the federal government issues a one size fits all approach to solve a problem. Time and time again we see this approach fail and our individual rights put at risk.

I believe in a government of, by, and for the people. I believe a smaller government creates more jobs and interferes less with personal freedoms. And I believe when we downsize the federal government, we are safer, more prosperous and live more free.

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente (Republican)

How does your personal and professional background match the requirements of this position?

I am 100% bilingual and multicultural.

Chairman of the National Dealer Council for the third largest automobile manufacturer in the world by the age 28.

I am not a career Politician. I am just like you. I live in the real world, not in the political one.

I don’t have to pretend to understand the minority issues because I am one. I don’t have to pretend to understand how to create jobs because I have created thousands. I don’t have to pretend to understand the importance of paying a fair wage and providing health care benefits because I’ve witnessed the impact it has on the lives of the families of those I employed. I don’t have to pretend to understand international relations because I’ve traveled extensively and both lived and worked abroad. I don’t have to pretend to care about the environment because I am actually doing something about it through renewable energy. I don’t even have to pretend to understand the cost of education…because I have five children.

And where I really differ: I don’t look at problems through a political lens, I look at them though a practical one, using logic and my personal and professional experience.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing Wyoming and the United States and how will you address them?

I believe that the biggest issue we have is the underfunding of education. This year we have seen teacher walkouts in numerous states, most notably Oklahoma and West Virginia. For too long schools and its teachers have been getting underfunded and underpaid, and now is the perfect time to change that. We need to invest more money in an education system so that parents can send their kids to a school that they can be proud of.

What do you believe the proper role of federal government is?

The role of the federal government is clearly stated in the preamble to our Constitution. The role of the federal government is to “provide for the common defense” and to “promote the general welfare” of the country. It is important that the government does their job correctly, but at the same time does not overstep their boundaries. Our government should be one that can help as many people as possible, but does it within the constraints of its budget and its Constitution.

David Dodson (Republican)

How does your personal and professional background match the requirements of this position?

Career politicians have had their chance, now it’s time for them to step aside and let some of us from the private sector clean up the astonishing mess they’ve created. I am the only person in this race who has created thousands of good middle-class jobs in trucking, auto parts, and telecommunications, worked in the oil and gas business, been a CEO, and negotiated heath care plans with insurance companies as well as the Teamsters and IBEW. I operated a business in a highly regulated industry and know the balance between environmental stewardship and government overreach. I operated businesses in 22 states, giving me experience outside of Wyoming which can be used to attract jobs to our state.

I’m the only candidate with degrees in business and economics.

I’m also a child of rural America. I grew up in a farming and ranching community, hunting and fishing, was an Eagle Scout and later in life successfully smuggled fireworks into Colorado without ever getting caught.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing Wyoming and the United States and how will you address them?

Wyoming ranks worst in the nation for the price of health insurance. Wyoming ranks last in the nation for percentage of people leaving the state to find work. Wyoming ranks last in overall economic health.

I cannot imagine why we would re-hire the same people that drove a state with abundant natural resources, a remarkable transportation network and unparalleled quality of life, into last place in so many economic categories. We were dealt a straight flush and managed to lose the hand.

But talk is cheap. I am the only person in this race that presented a detailed plan for addressing healthcare, our state economy, campaign finance reform, term limits and more—all outlined Dave’s Plan to Put Wyoming First.

What do you believe the proper role of federal government is?

Ronald Reagan said, “Man is not free unless government is limited”.

I feel strongly about the right to personal freedom, that we are all created equal, and the inalienable right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. The right to personal liberty is perhaps the most important American value and Republican Party value. I believe in a separation between church and state – leaving moral decisions to the individual, their God and spiritual advisor—not to my neighbor or to my senator.

Charlie Hardy (Republican)

How does your personal and professional background match the requirements of this position?

At the age of 21 I started traveling the backroads of Wyoming, listening to farmers and farmworkers. Since then I have dedicated my life to listening to people and trying to accompany them in their struggles. I have traveled over a million miles on Wyoming highways, but I have also visited all 50 of the United States and over 30 countries worldwide—to listen to the ordinary person.

I have a M.A. degree in educational administration from the University of Wyoming and was superintendent of the Catholic schools of Wyoming. I have three other university degrees, but I consider the wisdom that I have gained from the woman and man on the street more important.

Being an active Catholic priest for 29 years brought me in constant contact with the suffering of people. Since marrying in 1994, I have had a variety of jobs. Testing officers and seamen for use of drugs, I have been on board over 200 ships (oil tankers and cargo ships) and platforms in the ocean, wearing steel-toed shoes, a hard hat, life vest and sometimes gas masks. For the past six years I have been a substitute teacher for junior high and high school students in the Cheyenne public schools.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing Wyoming and the United States and how will you address them?

I believe our nation will be stronger if: everyone is entitled to good healthcare (most bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to health problems), everyone has access to college or career education (the average college graduate leaves almost $40,000 in debt), a 40-hour workweek with a living wage is the norm (the minimum wage has not been raised in nine years), we get big money out of politics (former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson says it is the number one problem our nation faces) and we make friends instead of enemies around the world (our military budget is greater than the next 8 countries combined. Most goes to the military-industrial complex and not to our servicemen and women).

What do you believe the proper role of federal government is?

Decisions should be made on the local level as much as possible. At the same time, there are issues which affect all the citizens of our country. For example, states should be consulted in the administration of federal lands, but these public lands should be kept in the hands of the federal government and not left to the whims of local politicians.

John Holtz (Republican)

How does your personal and professional background match the requirements of this position?

I am an Eagle Scout and a member of the Christian Legal Society since law school. I obtained the first double-digit firm fixed-price contract in the history of the Hughes Aircraft Company, and I was the head of the committee to redesign the fire control system, consisting of the laser range finder, ballistic computer and thermal imaging system of the Army’s main battle tank, the M60A3.

I was one of the youngest judges in Wyoming history and helped establish the Circuit Court system of today. I was president of my college fraternity and the president of the Alumni Association of the Delta Gamma chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of Wyoming from 1988 to 1992.

I was instrumental in placing the carrying of concealed weapon without a permit for Wyoming residents on the Wyoming Republican platform in 2010.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing Wyoming and the United States and how will you address them?

I will strengthen America’s defense and reduce the deficit.

What do you believe the proper role of federal government is?

Extraordinarily limited.

Gary Trauner (Democrat)

How does your personal and professional background match the requirements of this position?

I could mention my experience in business and the private sector: co-founder, CFO and board member of a Wyoming-based Internet Service Provider, co-founder of a Wyoming-based financial services Trust Company, and the COO of St. John’s Medical Center. Or I could talk about my elected and community service: former elected Chair of the School Board, current elected chair of a Water & Sewer District, founding Board member, Executive Director and coach for one of the largest youth sports programs in Teton County.

However, the most important attributes I possess to be a U.S. Senator are common threads throughout all of the endeavors mentioned above: leadership ability and integrity, both of which are in short supply in Washington.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing Wyoming and the United States and how will you address them?

Issues: energy and the economy, healthcare, our national debt, and perhaps most importantly, our dysfunctional political system lacking leadership and integrity where officials in D.C. put party before country.

First, I will always put country before party and immediately seek to create personal relationships with colleagues regardless of party affiliation. Second, we have immorally put a $21 trillion burden on future generations. I will work tirelessly to balance revenues and expenses –we MUST look at both – anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you a bill of goods. Third, I will promote continued responsible development of our existing energy sources while working to diversify our economy with an eye towards maintaining a leadership role for Wyoming and the United States in the economy of tomorrow. Finally, I will focus on policy that will ensure that every single American has proactive access to basic, quality, affordable healthcare.

What do you believe the proper role of federal government is?

The Founding Fathers of this great country were skeptical of government power, yet they clearly believed the federal government was a positive force and had a strong role in ensuring the success of their new democratic experiment. FDR put it best, “In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or down as one people.”

The federal government should do the things we need to do together that we cannot do individually or when the free market does not appropriately further the goals of our country. And it should do them well. We don’t need government prying into our everyday lives, telling us what to think or how to live, where to worship, how to act or with whom we should associate.

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