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Follow Wyoming Public Radio as we cover the Equality State and U.S. elections online and on-air.

Charlie Hardy Says Campaign Finance Reform Could Have Helped Him Win

Charlie Hardy

Facing an incumbent like Senator Mike Enzi, who has been in the U.S. Senate since 1997, is a daunting task. But Democrat Charlie Hardy says he took on the challenge to give better representation to those people in Wyoming without the money or connections to represent themselves, like children, the elderly and working families.

Hardy says these people also have a harder time voting and that could be why in Tuesday’s election, Enzi retained his seat with over 70 percent of the vote.  Hardy is thankful for the voters who did turn out for him, though.

“I want to thank everyone who voted for us,” he says. “And I also want to wish my best to Senator Enzi. But at the same time, I’d like to make a plea to Senator Enzi to get out and listen to what’s happening in people’s lives.”

Hardy says although he appreciates the support he did receive, he doesn’t feel he was campaigning on equal footing. He says campaign finance reform could have helped his chances a great deal.

“Money has come to play too important a role,” he says. “I think Senator Simpson is in favor of federal funding for elections. That, in this particular election, could have made a big difference. Everyone has to complete on those equal levels.”

Senator Enzi received over a million dollars in campaign contributions from numerous businesses including Koch Industries, Pfizer Phamaceuticals and Peabody Energy.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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