Rasner goes on the attack to challenge Barrasso in 2024

David Peck

Getting a jump on the 2024 campaign season, Reid Rasner of Casper recently announced his intention to run against U.S. Senator John Barrasso for the Republican nomination for the Wyoming U.S. Senate seat that comes up next year.
Since his announcement, Rasner has been making the rounds of Wyoming communities and paid a visit to Lovell on November 18, where he took in some Main Street Mingle activities. He also sat down for an interview with the Lovell Chronicle.
Rasner lists his primary issues as a typical Republican platform: term limits, limited government, balanced budget, pro-life, pro-second amendment and support for Wyoming energy. But he charged that Barrasso has become out of touch with Wyoming voters and that he is putting Washingon issues ahead of Wyoming issues.
Rasner is a fourth generation Wyomingite, born and raised in Casper, and said he is a 2002 graduate of Casper Natrona High School.
After High School he worked for a family business, Wyoming Glass, becoming part owner before selling the business in 2009. He then attended Casper College and the University of Wyoming, earning a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in theater and history in 2014. He toyed with going to law school but became a realtor and worked in Laramie and Cheyenne before moving to Las Vegas to work for Marcus & Millichap, living in Las Vegas from 2017 to 2019, moving back home in 2020.
While in Las Vegas he switched his career to a profession as financial advisor and opened his own practice, Omnivest Financial, in Casper, which he operates to this day.
Rasner got his first taste of politics in Las Vegas when he ran for city council. He didn’t win but used the opportunity as a way of integrating into the community, not really campaigning much, he said.
“This is my first real attempt at running for office, and really it all started with my 300 clients asking me to run, asking if someone can help the really financially hurting (people) who are losing their jobs,” he said. “There’s just a lot of stuff happening, and they’re having to move. It’s been a hard few years for a lot of people.”
Rasner said he’s been campaigning for 13 weeks now throughout the state.
“What started out as a small snowflake, a small group of clients who started this journey, is turning into quite a movement around the state,” he said, noting that his gatherings are now “standing room only” in attendance.
“It’s happening all over the state. I’m getting calls from every corner of the state right now,” he continued. “I can’t keep up. It’s very hard, but we’re doing it, and I’m trying to make it happen.”
Differing with Barrasso
Asked what he would do different from Senator Barrasso, Rasner said the main difference is his stance on a balanced budget, noting that he would oppose the series of continuing resolutions Congress has been passing to keep government functioning. He’s also opposed to huge omnibus bills he said are “truly driving inflation up” and are hurting Wyoming and Wyoming citizens, especially those on fixed incomes.
He also said he disagrees with Barrasso on energy policy, saying he differs with the incumbent on “responsible regulation” and “his carbon free initiatives that are raising our gas and electric rates 30 to 40 percent in every county.”
“It’s affecting every citizen across the board in this state,” he said. “They’re shutting down our electric plants. Dave Johnston is getting shut down in Converse County. Over in Lincoln County they’re getting ready to shut down an electrical plant, and … he’s speeding up the permitting process for the Bill Gates Terra nuclear project (TerraPower) over in Kemmerer. What that means for Wyoming and the people I support and every Wyomingite is higher gas and electric rates as we come up on winter, higher inflation and still a mountain of debt with a deficit at the federal level that is 10 to 12 percent of our GDP.
“Wednesday night, while we were all asleep, he passed another continuing resolution into January that kicked the can down the road for a few more months, and while everyone is celebrating, it didn’t help Americans like they’re saying when we could have stayed around for the holidays and fought for a balanced budget. It’s time for some America-first candidates to get elected.”
Rasner explained that he’s not against nuclear energy but rather is against imposing additional regulations on the energy sector in Wyoming in order to facilitate new, green initiatives.
“I’m fine with nuclear energy being a supplement to our energy sector, but I don’t think we can cut our oil and our gas and our coal out completely like John is doing,” he said. “Even Governor Gordon is saying we’re going carbon neutral in this state, and I don’t see how we’re going to accomplish this when energy accounts for 60 to 70 percent of our economy.
“It’s good, clean energy in Wyoming. Our coal is clean, the gas is clean and we’re producing 13 times more energy than we need, and we can become an exporter. And we can supplement that with clean nuclear and clean hydrogen energy, but we’re putting the cart ahead of the horse here. We’re cutting our own nose off by regulating and not handing out permits for our oil and gas companies and our coal before we even have a nuclear facility built.”
Washington or Wyoming?
Rasner said Barrasso has been a U.S. Senator for his entire adult life – 2007 to 2023 – through economic turmoil including “three or four recessions,” and adding, “We’re coming up on a massive recession, they’re projecting.” Barrasso has also been a senator through “endless wars around the world,” he said.
“When you look at John and what he does versus what he says, it’s two completely different things,” Rasner said, charging that Barrasso campaigned on a balanced budget amendment and reducing regulations in 2011.
“Every year that John is up for election he says one thing, he gets elected, and then he does completely different things,” Rasner said. “When I do my research back on John through all of these committees, and I look even in the past 12 months, at how he’s padding and making sure there are a lot of regulations that are hurting and passing these green, new initiatives, the Green New Deal through these omnibus bills and through these committees, he won’t vote for it on the floor, but it doesn’t matter, because he’s already padded the bill and got the support for the green new initiatives in the bills. So he doesn’t have to publicly support it, but all the way through committee – and that’s where it counts the most – John is doing the worst damage for Wyoming.”
Rasner said Barasso is “no longer a Wyoming guy,” adding, “He’s a D.C. guy, and it shows as he rubberstamps a (Sen. Mitch) McConnell agenda. He is just always right there. McConnell says, ‘Hey, if we shut down the government to balance the budget, that doesn’t play out well for Republicans.’ Well, if we pass these huge omnibus bills for 20 years, it doesn’t play out well for all Americans. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. That hurts us, and Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House, recently said that the omnibus bills are what is hurting Americans the most…Had John just stopped and said, ‘No, we’re not going to raise the debt ceiling,’ our inflation might actually be under control today.”