Hulett pizzeria founder to run for U.S. House of Representatives
By Sarah Pridgeon
Charlie T. Tyrrel is perhaps best known for Charlie T’s Pizzerias – a business that was born in Crook County. Visiting Hulett to spend time at the one-room cabin he built after moving there a decade ago, Tyrrel shares his reasons for campaigning to become Wyoming’s next U.S. House Representative.
“I’m a common man with common sense. I represent Wyoming’s values and I want to represent Wyoming’s people,” he says.
In Tyrrel’s opinion, the federal government could do with a few more business-minded politicians.
“I’m running for U.S. Congress because I am a small businessman and the government needs to be run like a business again. The country is broken and we’re going broke,” he nods.
“My biggest goal is to balance the budget and start working on paying down the debt. I hear all these candidates running for the same office saying I’m going to fight for this, I’m going to fight for that – it seems to me that’s how we got in this problem in the first place, was all this fighting.”
The country doesn’t need to fight any more, Tyrrel continues: it needs to go to work.
“We need to agree to agree and then start one percent, two percent, three percent pulling down the federal government’s overreach into Wyoming,” he says.
Having spent 15 years as a surface coal miner in the Powder River Basin, tackling government oversight is also among Tyrrel’s goals. He would like to see a pullback on government regulations and the three-year moratorium on coal leases.
“Wyoming energy drives our economy along with ag and tourism. We need to educate the people on the east coast the importance of fossil fuel and that we have to be able to have competitive leasing and we have to be able to allow our clean coal to go east and maybe even go overseas,” he explains.
“If we don’t strengthen that, Wyoming’s going to suffer, so that’s going to be important. I wouldn’t mind being on an energy committee or subcommittee.”
Tyrell also lists entitlement reform among his goals, believing that the current programs are rife with fraud and abuse and should be revamped to eliminate loopholes and become the temporary assistance they were always meant to be. Aid recipients, he says, should be asked to take an active role in searching for employment and taking advantage of help opportunities such as job training.
He would also like to see the tax code simplified to remove taxpayer confusion, perhaps replacing it entirely with a simplified system for reporting income, profits and loss. Additionally, Tyrrel believes in immigration reform through strengthened border security and state-of-the-art technology to process applicants, though he notes that the United States was founded on basic human kindness and should never abandon those principles.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, since I first started studying politics with my dad. The opportunity presented itself with Cynthia Lummis stepping down, so I put my name in the hat,” Tyrrel says of his candidacy.
“[I was] watching, waiting to see what Cynthia was going to do…I thought, if she steps down, it’s the time. In Wyoming, we don’t run against a Republican and we don’t speak ill – we listened to what Reagan told us.”
Tyrrel was born in Brooklyn, New York, before attending school in Northport. He served as the editor of the campus weekly at Doane College in Nebraska and was elected to the student council before graduating with a degree in communication.
He then began his journey as the owner and operator of a number of businesses, starting out with a painting contractor business in Newcastle before founding Wright’s weekly newspaper and finally his pizzeria chain in Hulett after finding himself in a fit of hunger one night with nowhere open to grab a bite.
Tyrrel has also worked for the Jacobs Ranch Coal Mine and Black Thunder Coal mine and served as secretary of the Crete Airport Authority, as a volunteer for the Wright Fire Department and as co-captain of the Mine Rescue Team at Black Thunder Coal Mine.
An advanced pilot who built his own airplane, he has also flown a fixed-wing aircraft for Wyoming Life Flight and served as a contract pilot for University of Wyoming executives.
“I still call Hulett and Crook County home, even though I have my business and a house in Casper. I still get up to Hulett as often as I can,” he says of his local ties.
“I bought a little acreage with a great view and I built a one-room cabin…while I was kind of working for Neiman at the golf course and then I opened up the first Charlie T’s Pizzeria there.”
The Hulett branch of the pizzeria chain closed down four years ago when Tyrrel lost his lease and relocated to downtown Casper, a city in which he already had a presence.
To find out more about Tyrrel’s campaign and background, visit charliettyrrel.com, call 377-8683 or search for “CharlieTCongress” on Facebook. Tyrrel can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.