April 27, 2022 |
Brent Bien is running for governor as a conservative Republican. He’ll tell you he’s not a politician, and he’s not from aristocracy. Bien is from a military family. He’s an ex-Marine. So was his dad. A native of Laramie, Bien has wanted to be governor for a long time, nearly 30 years. He remembers the day that the thought first crossed his mind.
Pictured above: Brent Bien. Photo courtesy brentbien.com.
Bien served in the Marines for 28 years, flying the twin engine SuperCobra attack helicopter in the war theaters Bosnia/Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired at the rank of colonel and settled in Sheridan. Though serving far from home, he never gave up his Wyoming driver’s license. The Democrat in the White House in 1990s was the first trigger. The Democrat there now was the third. In between, the Republican Wyoming governor in Cheyenne pushed Bien to the brink. Governor Mark Gordon’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak made Bien commit to the mission of running for the job.
Bien has no illusions that challenging a sitting governor as a political unknown will be easy. He’s a military man, “a principled conservative,” as he calls it, on a mission to visit the forgotten towns of Wyoming and its people, many of whom feel under represented. He’s also working with the state’s political insiders to make changes in the way the state is run financially. Bien said the feedback has been positive across the spectrum of voters who don’t like what they’ve been seeing from Cheyenne to Washington.
Bien’s campaign spotlights freedom and putting Wyoming first. He calls it the three P’s: Protecting personal freedoms, pursuing government accountability and pursuing state sovereignty. Bien questions how the legislature is spending taxpayer dollars. As governor he would conduct a top-down audit and move the state to a cash operating basis to become more frugal. Bien notes that 280,000 Wyomingites work in the private sector. Another 62,000 are public employees. The 4-to-1 ratio is one of the highest in the country.
Bien says he believes it’s possible for the state to get its financial act together by downsizing and eliminating redundancy. Like anybody running for state office in Wyoming, diversifying the economy is on his check list of talking points. Unlike most, though, Bien doesn’t mention the high-tech sector as a path to growing the economy. He sticks to the fundamentals where Wyoming has a track record and a pool of workers.
Bien said federal policies, from massive spending bills to health mandates and the unchecked invasion at the border, amount to a full frontal assault on middle class Americans. A “lack of resolute leadership” is the reason for many of the problems the state and nation face, he said.
Bien is on a two-day campaign swing through Carbon County. He was in Rawlins last night. He’ll be in Saratoga tonight at the Platte Valley Community Center on a campaign stop from 5 – 7 p.m.