Trump-supporting Democrat running for U.S. House

CHEYENNE — Steve Helling announced his candidacy Thursday to seek the Wyoming Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives, although he voted for former President Donald Trump twice. 

Helling filed for the federal office on the last day possible, Friday, which would let him run in the Democratic primary. He said there were several significant reasons for his candidacy. 

The Christian candidate’s priorities include ending the war in Ukraine, encouraging civility in politics and investing in school safety. 

“These are frightening times in which we face the threat of world war, inflation is at a 40-year high, supply chain issues abound and are likely to get worse, and our power grid is fragile, such that we can expect blackouts and rolling blackouts this summer,” he said in a statement. 

He and his wife returned after living for two decades in Colorado in hopes of unseating Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney. Before he moved one state south, he graduated from the University of Wyoming and lived throughout the state. 

When choosing a party affiliation, he said it was a difficult decision. Helling has been registered as a Democrat for most of his life, but most recently registered as an “independent” voter in Colorado, and voted for Trump in each of the past two elections. 

Despite the fact that he said there was a lot to criticize in both parties, he made the decision to run as an “old-school JFK Democrat” focused on a balanced budget, tax cuts and civil service.

Unlike many Democrats, he supports the amnesty/pardons for all but the most egregious of the Jan. 6, 2021, protestors. He accused Cheney of being part of the problem, and requested she resign from a Jan. 6 congressional investigative committee and apologize to the people of Wyoming.

“Physical violence against the police cannot be tolerated, but those who simply trespassed should not be prosecuted. This was a peaceful protest with unarmed protestors that got out of hand,” he said. 

“Democrats have stated protest is ‘among the highest forms of patriotism,’” as set forth in the 2020 preamble to the Democratic platform. “Cities have burned, and people have not been prosecuted. Simple trespassers at the Capitol should not be prosecuted.” 

The Democratic candidate also said the swamp needs to be drained, whether this be through term limits for those in Congress, or an 18-year staggered term for Supreme Court justices.

He believes Harriet Hageman, a Republican candidate for the House, appears to be closely connected “to the swamp.” In both the 2020 and 2021 Wyoming State Bar directories, Hageman listed her address as being in Washington, D.C, Helling said. 

In the most current version, she has listed her address as being in Wyoming. He said as a private citizen she can remain in Washington, D.C., if she wishes, but she should live in Wyoming if she’s going to represent the state.

He started his campaign because of the lack of civility, the rage and hatred being espoused, and the dangers facing the country. He said he wanted to take action, and to try to mend fences between Republicans and Democrats. 

“I am hopeful people will understand the need for God during these treacherous times,” he said. “The problems facing this nation and the world are too big for any one person to solve. We need to work together.”