THE ROAD TO THE CAPITOL: Laramie Resident Plans to Cross Over to the Democratic Side

Some in the university town oppose Donald Trump and his endorsed Wyoming U.S. House candidate Harriet Hageman

  • Published In: Politics
  • Last Updated: Aug 03, 2022

By Shen Wu Tan

Special to the Wyoming Truth

LARAMIE, Wyo.–On Aug. 16, Jason Clark plans to cross over from the Republican to Democratic party and vote his values in the primary election.  

Clark, an adult basic education instructor at the Albany County Campus of Laramie County Community College, said he doesn’t like how the GOP has evolved, citing a border policy that separated families, a Muslim ban that prohibited travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days and some Republicans’ unproven claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

For Clark, 42, the most pressing issues facing Wyoming today include addressing the state’s brain drain, diversifying the economy by creating new industries and jobs, rethinking cultural values and tackling climate change.

Jason Clark of Laramie shoots a game of pool at the Buckhorn Bar. Clark plans to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party and vote for Lynnette Grey Bull in the Aug. 16 primary. (Wyoming Truth photo by Shen Wu Tan)

“I’d say that certain candidates and certain elements of the vision and policies of the Democratic Party align more with a lot of my politics, which are in different places on the spectrum,” Clark said, relaxing at a table outside the Buckhorn Bar. “And then I also don’t like what the Republican Party has largely become in the last six years.”

He favors Lynnette Grey Bull, one of three Democratic candidates running for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat this year, and intends to vote for her in the primary. To Clark, Grey Bull seems like a “friendly person” who will act as an advocate for indigenous people.

Clark respects Rep. Liz Cheney for her work on the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, calling her a “really effective prosecutor” and a “great stage manager.” But he does not support her politics. Clark is not a fan of GOP frontrunner Harriet Hageman, either.  

“She got an endorsement from Trump, and she accepted it and she glorifies in it,” Clark said of Hageman, a Cheyenne attorney.  “So, that’s just a deal breaker for me.” 

Clark views Trump as “dangerous” and “excruciatingly corrupt.”  

“I think we dodged a bullet in having him not re-elected,” Clark said. “If he had been re-elected, it would have been used by the enemies of democracy as an argument for the next several hundred years. ‘Look, the United States doesn’t have an election, they elected this guy,’ right? It would have been an argument against democracy if he had won, but he didn’t.”  

Although he will support Grey Bull in the primary, Clark isn’t confident in the Biden White House. Clark views President Joe Biden as frail and a product of the Washington establishment who lacks the political talent and vigor to lead the country. He also doesn’t believe that Vice President Kamala Harris is ready for “prime time.”

Clark’s preferred presidential candidate in 2024? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).  

Our next stop: Wheatland.

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