Senatorial Candidate Trauner’s Open-Door Tour visits County 10
Gary Trauner is running for Wyoming Senator John Barrasso’s seat this November 6th, and he’s confident about why you should vote for him. However, he’s still taking to the road to visit with voters in towns across the state as part of his Open-Door Tour. His goal: To meet voters and listen to their comments and concerns; solicit volunteer support to join his campaign, and; to share his vision for what a Wyoming Senator could and should be doing in Washington.
Earlier this week, the Husband, Father of two grown kids and Teton County resident of 30 years kicked-off his tour with a visit to Lander (view the tour schedule). Monday night he hosted his first “Listen to you Town Hall” (see feature pic above). He provided the audience of roughly 60 locals with a bit of his background as he shared his reasons for running, but emphasized that he wanted to hear the thoughts and questions of Lander residents.
Prior to the public session, County 10 met with Trauner and his Campaign Manager Matthew Koos, to visit about his position and to better understand what his values are, and why he chose to make another run at this seat as a Democrat in a mostly Republican state.
When asked why he would mount his 3rd campaign for a Senatorial seat and not run for Governor, Trauner responded: “My interest is where my passion is. In order for me to be successful at this, it has to be where my passion is. My interest tends to be at the national level on issues that are more macro.”
“I always joke–half serious–that my kids guilted me into this a little bit. They’re getting older, but they look around hearing and seeing and asking ‘Dad are these normal times?’ [referring to the divisiveness of DC politics]. My response is that it’s not really normal. I think in DC the things that are going on are not normal. It’s time to step up and stand behind what I feel,” he added. “I’m not a professional politician. I’ve been in the business world working in a community hospital (as Chief Operating Officer of St John’s Hospital in Jackson, Wyoming), I’ve enjoyed working with kids running Jackson’s youth lacrosse club the past couple years. It all has a social component to it that I enjoy.”
In his past couple elections, Barrasso has garnered over 70 percent of the vote and with his name recognition and Republican party affiliation, we asked Trauner where he saw some vulnerability with the incumbent candidate. “He hasn’t had real competition,” stated Trauner. “I don’t think that anyone has run the race that I believe needs to be run or had the resources needed to what you had to do to get your message out there. Also, people know that DC is broken and that regular people aren’t getting ahead. The opportunity is that we need is someone that represents the people in Wyoming and not folks in DC.”
“Who in Wyoming wants New York Hedge Fund Manager, paying lower tax rates than Wyoming teachers miners and ranchers. No one I can think of except for the people in DC that are supposed to be representing us.”
Who in Wyoming wants the less fortunate people in the state who are working to make it harder for them to get healthcare? – Gary Trauner
When asked about his top 2 or 3 priorities? Trauner responded: “Healthcare, stable and good jobs and inequality.” He added, “In each expansion since World War II the bottom 90 percent got 70 to 80 percent of the benefits of an expansion. That’s flipped on its head. The last couple expansions the bottom 90 got nothing. What good is an expansion if 90 percent don’t benefit?”
In December, one journalist speculated that Gary didn’t represent “western folksy values that got people elected.” We asked him for his take on that characterization.
“In Wyoming, we value neighborliness and community. We help out folks when they need help. At the national level, that means that the people that are less fortunate than we are through no fault of their own, that’s the kind of thing we need to help. Need to make sure that our seniors don’t end up on the street. That’s why we have Social Security in the first place.”
“We value freedom, but not the freedom to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it, but rather the freedom to be an entrepreneur and start a business in Wyoming without worrying that when your son gets sick you’re not going to lose everything you worked for because you can’t afford insurance.”
“Kinda makes me laugh because being here for 30 years doesn’t qualify me as folksy Wyoming guy, whereas Sen Barrasso, last I knew, he’s from suburban Philadelphia, went to school in Washington DC, did his residency in Connecticut.”
Trauner unquestionably has a tough fight, but remains steadfast as it relates to his Senate run: “I want to give people a fair choice.”