If Rep. Tim Stubson of Casper is elected to fill the state’s seat in U.S. Congress, he has pledged to do so with his track record as a legislator and lifelong Wyomingite guiding his decisions.
“We have one person in Washington, D.C. and we need someone who is going to give all their heart, mind and strength to being that voice for Wyoming. I’ve got a track record that shows that I’m willing to do that, but also that I’m able to do that,” he says.
“I’ve been tremendously successful in passing legislation, some of which cut old, unnecessary laws, some of which made things easier and more efficient for businesses. It’s a record that shows I can get things done and that’s the kind of person you need in D.C.”
Born and raised in Wyoming, Stubson spent his formative years in Casper, Thermopolis and Cody. His father was in the oil and gas industry, he says, though his own path took him to the University of Wyoming and then back to Casper, where his legal practice works with small businesses.
“About nine years ago, I was appointed to the House – the gentleman I replaced got sick and had to resign. The commissioners selected me on a Wednesday, I was sworn in on Friday and we started the budget session on Monday – every other session has been a lot easier than that one,” he laughs.
“I’ve served on a number of different committees. I currently serve on the Joint Appropriations Committee and my colleagues have elected me as the Speaker Pro Tem of the Wyoming House.”
Stubson has worked with federal issues as co-chairman of the Select Committee on Federal Issues, he says, and has also had a keen eye for economic development.
“From the state level, it’s very difficult to drive the discussions and the decisions on issues that are really very, very important to the state,” he says. “I’ve worked a lot on economic development issues – I’ve got a record of trying to solve problems for the people of Wyoming…and I think it’s something that I could point to as people evaluate me as I’m out on the campaign trail.”
Economic diversification is partly about giving the right tools to the states, he says, because it is locally driven. Community involvement and state resources are important, he continues.
“What’s important from the federal level is having a tax policy and a regulatory policy that allows businesses to thrive and succeed. Wyoming is a small business state, that’s where our job growth happens,” he says.
“You’ve got to have the circumstances – which we don’t have now – where you don’t need a boatload of attorneys and accountants just to get your idea off the ground and start a new business. You’ve got to be smart in how you tax people.”
Part of Stubson’s focus on the economy comes from his own background, he adds. Something that has driven him both professionally and politically was his family’s experience during the mid-80s bust.
“I remember sitting around and waiting for the call to see if he was going to get laid off, if we were going to get transferred, what was going to happen. We ended up getting transferred to Cody and they sold their house for half of what it had been worth two years before,” he recalls.
With the same thing happening again, he believes that someone with direct experience would be of benefit in Congress. It has also taught him that the state needs to work hard to be sustainable.
Economic diversification is not, however, his only focus. Stubson has worked during his career on a number of issues he believes are critical to Wyoming, he says, such as ability to produce resources and ensuring the state’s schools are a source of pride.
“I also know the people and how those issues play out and impact the State of Wyoming. I think all that together puts me in a good position to be a voice for Wyoming,” he says.
“There’s a lot of frustration, but we need somebody to go out there and say more than just no. We need somebody who is going to be willing to stand up for what we want to be as a state as well, and that’s what I’ve done for the last ten years and what I’d like to do at the federal level.”
Stubson believes that the role of a U.S. Representative is to help ensure that Wyoming has the ability to solve its issues in a way that makes sense for the state, rather than through a one-size-fits-all policy.
“On the energy side, the main issue is being allowed to continue producing our resources and have the jobs related to energy production that we’ve enjoyed in the past. That involves a lot of things, but it especially involves getting rid of the extra layers of regulation and bureaucracy that we’ve seen, especially over the last 24 months,” he continues.
“Finally, I think we need somebody who really stands up and fights for the principle of living within our means as a nation. It’s not something you can do overnight, certainly, but we have to start moving towards a balanced budget and we have to start moving towards a point where our kids and grandkids aren’t going to be saddled with a debt that really strangles the economy for their lifetime.”
When you have one person in 435 in the U.S. House of Representatives that cares anything about Wyoming and its issues, he says, you need somebody that understands the state and its people and is committed to being its voice.
“My future is tied to the future of this state. This is my home, this will always be my home, and you need somebody who has that sort of view so that they stay focused,” he concludes.