Congressional contenders gather for Lincoln Day event

by barbara anne greene

There was no shortage of representation of the candidates running for the U.S. Representative office that is currently held by Cynthia Lummis.

Candidates Liz Cheney, Leland Christenson, Rex Rammell and Charlie T. Tyrrel were at the dinner in person. Tim Stubson was at another dinner in another part of the state. His wife Susan was there to represent him.

The key note speaker was Senator Mike Enzi who was in attendance with his wife Diana.   The event was emceed by State Senator Ray Peterson. State Representative Nathan Winters said the prayer prior to the meal. His seven year old son Zayden was there as well.

Retiring State Legislators Rep. Elaine Harvey and Senator Gerry Geis were recognized for their years of service. Ron Harvey of Worland spoke about his bid for Senator Geis office. Phil Abromats of Shell announced he will be seeking the office vacated by Harvey.

Attendees enjoyed a dinner catered by B & B Catering of Burlington. Dessert was ice cream and cookies that were baked at Country Bakery of Lovell. A silent and live auction rounded out the evening.

Each congressional candidate was given the opportunity to make a five minute speech as to why they wanted to be the U.S. Representative. After their speech a few rounds of surprise questions pulled from a basket were asked.

CHARLIE T. TYRELL

Tyrell was the first candidate to speak. He stated he was a small business man from Casper who owns a pizzeria called Charlie T’s. His background includes 15 years as a coal miner in the Powder River Basin. “So with what has happened just this week. I’ve got friends that are now out of work. I understand what it is like.” He was in Gillette in 1977 when the boom started 40 years. He believes that Wyoming should our three mineral resources carry themselves (Gas, Oil and Coal).

“There are several reasons why I am doing this at this stage of my life. I just turned 65 but I think it is time to pay it back to my state and my country.” He added that he is also doing it for his granddaughter Zoe. He wants her to grow up in a free and prosperous county like he did.

Tyrell said he was stealing a line from Senator Enzi to also explain why he was running. That line is “It’s not our grandchildren’s money we are spending it is ours.” This needs to stop and as a small businessman he would like to go to DC to do what he can to work across the isle.

“There are two pictures I would like to show them. One is a prong horned grazing on reclaimed mining land that is 50% more productive. And a picture of the dead birds below these wind farms. Because they don’t show you that. But that is what is happening. We’ve got to negotiate across the isle, educate and come up with some sound answers.”

LELAND CHRISTENSEN

He shared his background which included 20 years in a Sheriff’s office, two-term state Senator, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, two term county commissioner and a Veteran of 19th Special Forces Airborne/National Guard. Christensen started his career as a logger. He feels this gives him a deep understanding of the federal government’s impact on Wyoming jobs and economy.

When asked why he is running he tells people “Politics has never been more frustrating. Never seemed more hopeless. Leadership for Wyoming is never been more important than it is today.”

Christensen believes in taking on hard things. He learned this from his parents and grandparents. They taught him to always leave things better than you found it. “My great grandfather on my father’s side came into this country into 1901. He started in Cowley.” After a few hard winters and an issue with a railroad contract he moved to the Teton Valley in Alta, Wyoming. “He built a ranch and left a legacy. My wife and I have raised our children on part of that ranch.” Doing those hard things and taking on challenges’ lead him to join the National Guard where he served 15 years. He stated that his background has taught him about team work and prepared him to work in environments where you are outnumbered.

“America is the greatest nation on earth. For the first time some of us are worried we may not be leaving it better than we found it for this next generation. Wyoming exports coal, gas, minerals, livestock, crops but sadly we are also exporting our children. We do not have enough high wage jobs in Wyoming to allow them to remain here and raise their children.”

He said people worry about national security home and aboard. That we see the heavy hand of the Federal Government. What it has done in education, health care and locking up of Wyoming lands.

“We are going to have to figure out what it takes to fight and win. Too many politicians go to Washington and focus on where they are going instead of where they come from. We need to remember our roots. I’m committed to work for you, fight for you and win for you everyday. In Wyoming we are not afraid to take on the hard challenges. We see too many examples where Wyoming is under attack. It is going to take strong courageous effective leadership. I am committed to that and have the background, leadership and training to hit the ground running.”

REX RAMMELL

Rammell is a large animal vet in Gillette. His focus will be to reclaim Wyoming’s public lands and natural resources. To make that point he told a story about rancher and the EPA. The rancher told the EPA inspector he could go anywhere on the ranch but by the barn. The EPA guy pulled out his badge and explained he could go anywhere he wanted. He then walks straight over to the barn. A few seconds later he is back with a bull chasing him screaming help. The rancher said “show him your badge.”

“I have watched the EPA and it’s counter parts destroy this county. Particularly the west.” He grew up near Jackson and discussed how the environmentalists have moved in and take, take and take. “I watched the logging industry disappear in my lifetime. They brought the wolves in the three states. Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. People who aren’t even from the west force these things down our throats.”

The issue that is running on is the transfer of Federal lands. “Because one day I had an epiphany and it was we have to take back the land and we ought to run the BLM, Forest Service, EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife. They need to be escorted out of the state and Wyoming take over.”

LIZ CHENEY

“I am very proud to be in this race. You only have a selection of us here tonight. But I think the people of Wyoming are very well served by having such a large group of folks to choose from for this office.”

She said she is in this race because she knows Wyoming and the nation are at a critical moment. It is not normal times. It is a time where freedom is under attack. “It is under attack from two sources. One is the Federal government in Washington DC. The other is radical Islamic terrorism overseas.”

Cheney said the explosion in Federal power and their role in every aspect of our lives. “We have a president in the office today who I think is unquestionably the worst president in American history.” This was met with applause from most of the audience.

“This is a man who went to Argentina recently and told students in Argentina that there is basically no difference between communism and capitalism. I don’t know if you saw what the White House did today. But the French President was speaking at the nuclear summit. He talked about Islamic terrorism. And the White House censored those word from the official transcript.”

She said it is time to stand up and fight back for our freedoms and constitution. An example she gave was a rancher in Worland (Dave Hamilton) who was notified by the EPA that he had been fined $37,500 a day going back five years because “bureaucrats in Washington D.C.” could see on Google maps that he had moved an irrigation ditch on his land.

“When you have a government agency that can fine you $37,500 a day that is ruinous and un-American. We have a decision to make in this election. The decision is whether we are going to send someone to Washington who is going to be able to fight for these issues on a national stage. Somebody who will be able to bring the national focus and attention we need.”

Cheney discussed the recent layoffs in the energy industry. She said that the war on fossil energy is a war on anyone who uses electricity. To win it Wyoming needs to build a national coalition to educate people and to fight back.

If elected she will fight on behalf of the constitution to roll back even eliminating Federal agencies, repealing Obama Care and Common Core.

TIM STUBSON

Stubson’s wife Susan was there on behalf of her husband who was at another event in Torrington. “I’m not the candidate. I’m not a politician. But I’m married to an incredible human being.” She said she was not going to give a political speech as she can’t speak for Tim. But that she wanted to take a few minutes to introduce him. “Tim’s grandfather came to this state as a 17 year old runaway. He ended up in Lance Creek working in the oil patch.

She shared that in light of all the tremendous layoffs in Campbell County Tim was just relating to their kids that he can remember sitting at the kitchen table waiting for a phone call to find out if his dad was going to lose his job or get transferred some place outside of Wyoming. “He lived through the 80’s boom and bust. It is a real experience for him. He felt it as a child. He saw the stress of his parents having to sell their house for half of the value they paid for it. “ He was the first person in his family to go to college. He went to UW where they met.

Stubson was first elected to the Wyoming Legislature in 2008. He “cut his teeth” while in the legislature to learn everything about the state. She added he is intimately familiar with the economy, industries, people and culture. Their children are seventh generation Wyomingites. “That isn’t just a number game to us. It is important. It is where we were born and our children were born. We want them to stay in Wyoming.”

Susan said her husband would use all his knowledge and passion in D.C.