Dave Dodson, Putting Wyoming First
Last week, we had a chance to speak briefly with Dave Dodson, a self-described conservative running as an Independent in Wyoming. Our conversation covered Wyoming's economy, money in politics, and what politicians are doing wrong. In general, I think that Wyoming is seen as a deep red state. Why run as an Independent there instead of by trying to primary a sitting senator as a Republican?
I am a Reagan Republican, whose values are more Republican than John Barrasso—don’t confuse values with party affiliation. I don’t trust the party bosses to run a fair primary. So John Barrasso is going to have to face me in the general election, where I’ll be making my case to the entire state.
In your campaign priorities, you talk about the fact that Wyoming now has the weakest economy of any state in the country. How did that happen? And what're some of your solutions to that problem?
We continue to rely on the extraction industry to bail us out, instead of building a broad and diverse economy—like most of the other 49 states have done. We have low cost of living, no income tax, fantastic outdoor recreation, and a world class university system. But we don’t have a senator who is fighting for our families. We need a senator that will put jobs for our children above donors and political careers.
You also talk about how money dictates so much of what happens in Washington. How do you plan to free yourself from the constraints that donors can put on candidates, while also mounting a full-scale campaign to make you a legitimate challenger?
My money will come from myself, friends, and family—not PACs and people tied to corporate interests. I’m prepared to commit my own resources, to earn the right to fight for Wyoming families. That’s what I mean by Putting Wyoming First.
You've got a few sentences to convince people that America isn't as divided as it seems. What's your pitch to voters?
Politicians have divided up our country in two, because it’s easier to get elected by making an enemy out of our neighbor, than to perform in Congress and get stuff done. We are not red or blue—we are red, white, and blue. That’s not the America of Alan Simpson or Ronald Reagan—and I want to play a role in taking back our country…because frankly we’re sick of what politicians have done to our great country.