Zwonitzer launches campaign
Cheyenne – State Representative Dan Zwonitzer has officially launched his bid for Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I decided to run because I want to make a difference at the national level,” says Zwonitzer. “I’ve been a strong advocate for my district in Laramie County and want to continue to represent the needs of this state in our nation’s capitol.” Up for re-election in the Wyoming Legislature, the race will end Zwonitzer’s tenure with that body for the time being, but he adds, “I hope to continue to be involved in public service in Wyoming.”
Zwonitzer began his career in Wyoming in the area of agricultural policy with the governor’s office. He later worked in the natural resources area within the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.
Leading up to his official announcement, made at the law school in Laramie and at his family’s Cheyenne auction business and furniture store, he says he attended several Lincoln Day Dinners and has been taking advantage of the opportunity to meet with potential voters. He’s also opened a campaign office at 3411 East Pershing in Cheyenne. It’s the same building that houses his family’s businesses. If campaign contributions allow, he says he’ll consider opening an office in Casper this summer.
Zwonitzer says he has four primary goals if elected to office – immigration reform, healthcare reform, a balanced budget at the federal level and protection of state rights. He says funding of too many programs, such as Wyoming’s highway dollars, hinge on meeting federal demands.
When it comes to immigration reform, Zwonitzer’s position is in-line with those of other Republican candidates seeking the office – secure the borders and improve the system by which workers can enter the United States legally with proper documentation. “We have an economy based on a certain labor force,” he comments.
A supporter of reforming the Endangered Species Act, Zwonitzer says it’s a measure that isn’t likely to take place within a Democratic controlled Congress. Long-term, however, he says he’d look back at changes proposed by the late U.S. Senator Thomas. When it comes to healthcare reform, Zwonitzer says he’d work to support U.S. Senator Mike Enzi’s proposals.
Historically a supporter of instream flow legislation before the Wyoming Legislature, Zwonitzer says his same support of private property rights would carry forward to D.C. “Instream flow is a matter of private property rights to me,” he says. “Whoever holds the water right should have the right to use the water as they see fit.” He also says it’s important that discussions to manage water long-term take place and are proactive. Zwonitzer does support legislation to designate the Snake River of Wyoming as “Wild and Scenic.” “It’s been a long time coming,” he says of an effort he described as being backed by a lot of research and science.
While unfamiliar with recent moves toward further consolidation in the meatpacking sector, Zwonitzer says livestock producers need to come before corporations. In general he says he’d work to ensure adequate markets and profitability in the agricultural sector, a segment he says is key to retaining the state’s rural communities.
With a growing list of Republican contenders for the seat, what sets Zwonitzer apart from the other candidates? “I have the right mix of energy and experience to be successful in Congress. I’d bring a new perspective and new ideas to public policy debate. I understand Wyoming’s heritage, our values and I believe I would be the hardest working option. I’ll come home to Wyoming every weekend.”
Asked if he has the experience it takes to represent Wyoming in Washington, Zwonitzer says, “I spent four years in D.C. studying government alongside some of the nation’s leading policymakers. I know how the legislative process works. Both Senators Barrasso and Enzi have noted how service in the Wyoming Legislature makes them effective in Congress. I have the energy and enthusiasm to go out and work every day and travel back to Wyoming on the weekends. What I don’t have in experience I’ll make up through enthusiasm, energy and hard work.”
Zwonitzer’s campaign can be found on-line at www.danzwonitzerforcongress.com or reached by calling 307-634-6005. Jennifer Womack is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.