Democratic candidate for Congress says he is a working man for a working state
By Sarah Pridgeon
As a Democratic candidate for Wyoming’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ryan Greene of Rock Springs would be the first of his party in 40 years to wear the title if elected. That’s just what Wyoming needs right now, he says: a congressman who will challenge the status quo and give the state a voice on the other side of the aisle.
“We’re at the point where we’ve got to ask: what’s our return on investment. What are we getting for one party representing the state?” he asks.
“I am the only candidate in this race who will work with both parties and challenge my own party to represent the people of Wyoming. I’m not just going to listen to the voices of the party bosses – I will listen to the voices of the people of Wyoming.”
Wyoming has old problems, Greene says, such as the boom-and-bust economy that leads whole generations to leave the state to find sustainable work. The people need a working man for a working state, he says.
“We have no solutions – no practical, realistic solutions. When we look at the ten candidates who are running on the other side, it’s the same policies, the same solutions,” he continues.
“It’s just hitting the repeat button. Wyoming can’t do that – we can’t afford to do that.”
Greene visited Crook County last week as part of an eight-day tour across 23 counties, with the intention of meeting as many people in as many places as he can. Born and raised in Rock Springs, he graduated high school in 2000 and is married with two children.
“I’ve been in the industry about 18 years because I’ve worked on and off with my father since I was 15. He started a one-truck welding service in the Jonah Field and we were right in the middle of the boom so our business continued to grow,” he says of his background.
The company grew to have around 250 employees across three states, with a main office in Rock Springs and operations in Pittsburgh, PA, and Stanley, ND.Along the way, Greene earned a business management degree and a certification in pipe welding.
“Over the course of my experience, I was a roustabout, a welder, a project manager and today I am the operations manager for Greene’s Energy Services,” he says.
“I’ve spent 18 years in the energy industry, I work the jobs Wyoming works and I think Wyoming needs a representative that understands the jobs that Wyoming works, that understands the people and the industries that drive our state. Politicians can’t fix energy; energy folks can fix energy.”
Greene believes that the main problem with Wyoming’s national political representation is stagnation. It’s time to stop sending career politicians to the capitol, he says.
“In the field, we work with both parties, Republicans and Democrats; we work together to get the job done. That’s what I’ll do in Congress,” Greene pledges.
There are three main issues driving Greene’s campaign and the first is energy and economy. Wyoming energy has a bright future, he says, but not with “fairytales” about rolling back regulations.
“There are practical solutions that we can do now and steps that we can take, things like the environmental impact statements,” he describes.
“It takes seven to nine years to get an environmental impact statement and this doesn’t allow companies to come into Wyoming and invest. When you’re talking about a business plan that’s nine years out, that’s tough.”
The second issue for Greene is the idea of taking care of our neighbors. Whether we like it or not, he continues, we’ve all paid into federal programs for social security and Medicare since our first paycheck, and yet there are active politicians who think we should not see a return on those investments.
“I think otherwise: I think you should get what you paid for. Ever since we’re able to work, the government reaches into our pocket and takes money and somehow, when you go to withdraw that money, they don’t think you should get that – and I do,” he states.
“Wyoming deserves a congressman who will stand up for that.”
Greene’s third issue is to challenge Wyoming’s political status quo. Republican politicians don’t earn their votes, he says, and some candidates hide behind their party label.
Growing up with parents whose allegiance was split between Republican and Democrat, Greene came to believe that politicians should not simply expect to receive votes.
“We’ve got candidates who are voting to take away earned vacation pay, to privatize public lands and to expand the federal government they helped create. These are things Wyoming would never vote for – these are policies no Wyomingite, Republican or Democrat, would support, but we vote for the politician because of who they are,” he says.
“I’m challenging Wyoming’s voters to just pop the hood and look underneath it before you buy the car.”
Greene’s first tasks in Washington, D.C., he says, would be to leverage his background to attempt to secure a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and to form a bipartisan alliance with other energy states. He would also actively seek new markets for Wyoming’s energy products with the hopes of reducing unemployment and creating more sustainable jobs.
To find out more about Greene’s campaign, visit ryangreene16.com. Greene can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 307-362-2232.