By Marcus Huff
Staff Writer 

Miller announces bid for Congress

Buford Republican seeks seat held by Cheney


January 12, 2018

Marcus Huff

Buford, Wyoming, resident and Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Rod Miller.

WORLAND – "I've been a Republican my entire life, and traditional Republicans, especially Wyoming Republicans, are where it's about right. It's all right there, the things you should believe in and fight for," said Buford resident Rod Miller during a Tuesday visit to Worland to announce his candidacy for Wyoming's at-large U.S. Senate seat, currently held by Representative Liz Cheney.

"These Republicans [in Congress] now, I'm not sure what they are, but they're not traditional, and they're not looking out for what's right."

A former federal land planning coordinator and range resources analyst for the Office for the Wyoming Governor (1984-1994), Miller chose Worland to announce his candidacy, after travelling to Washakie County to attend a Wyoming Public Lands Initiative working group meeting, set up to make state recommendations on the best-use for the county's Wilderness Study Areas.

"We don't have any designated wilderness areas in my part of the state, so I've been watching what's going in other counties and thought I would come up to see the process," said Miller.

Addressing the WPLI group during open public comments on Tuesday, Miller noted his bid for office, and encouraged those in attendance to keep working at a local level to determine the future of their local lands.

"If you give up the local process, and don't make your voice known locally, they [Congress] are going to run right over you and the next thing you know, they've traded or sold what should be yours to somebody not from here, or for a Bosnian jukebox or some damn thing," said Miller.

Speaking after his announcement of intent to run, the native of Rawlins and fourth-generation rancher touched on a variety of subjects, from local to international politics and social issues that affect Wyoming voters.

"Guns? You bet. I'm a big supporter of the Second Amendment and think any law-abiding citizen, especially in Wyoming, should have as many guns as they want," noted Miller. "If your paperwork is in check, you can even have a Sherman tank. That's the beauty of it. But, if you mess up, your right is gone."

On abortion and religious issues, Miller, an ordained minister, believes the less government intervention the better.

"A woman's body is her own and her choices are between her and her doctor. Same goes with religion. It's yours and yours alone, however you believe, and the government has no right to go poking around in it. It goes both ways though, there's no room for religion in government, because the two were separated by the founders for a reason," observed Miller.

On military spending and intervention, Miller believes the U.S. should re-examine the way policy approaches conflict.

"Do we need bases in Diego Garcia and all over the place? Maybe. But does it still fit [Theodore] Roosevelt's vision for strategic placement? Probably not so much anymore. We can be just about anywhere in 24 hours now, with the technology we have. We need to tighten it up and make sure our forces have the tools they need, but approach it from a less-is-more tactical philosophy than just blanketing the world with our presence," said Miller. "Our very presence in some of these places, especially the Middle East, is what is drawing so much hatred as it is. It's time we cooled it."

For Miller, America's opioid epidemic is a key priority.

"The 'War on Drugs' has been the longest and most-expensive war the United States has ever been engaged in, and it's only getting worse. We need to step back and take a look at what works and what doesn't and go to the root of the problem," said Miller. "Opioids and addiction are destroying whole families and communities, at a time when other states are legalizing marijuana and using those proceeds to develop drug treatment programs for the harder stuff. We need to make a federal decision regarding these substances once and for all, so we can start working on cures."

The former owner of Joe Pages bookstore in Cheyenne and a director for the Nature Conservancy, Miller has worn a lot of hats in Wyoming, but realizes his candidacy for Congress may be the strangest of all.

"This won't be your usual campaign," laughed Miller. "I'm not about hob-knobbing at fancy donor parties or dinners. I want to get to know each county party head and sit down with the issues first, that Wyoming cares about. Plus, the debates should be pretty fun."


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