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Retired military veteran says he’s ready to serve again – this time as a state lawmaker

Wyoming Tribune-Eagle - 6/19/2024

CHEYENNE — Retired veteran Exie Brown contemplated running for the House District 9 seat in the Wyoming Legislature over the last two election cycles — this year, he decided it’s time to put those thoughts into action.

The seat is currently held by Rep. Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne, who announced in early March that he planned to run for reelection. Two challengers officially filed for the incumbent’s seat, including Exie.

“This year, I think it’s time we have a change in representation for (House) District 9,” Exie Brown said. “We haven’t always been adequately represented in this district, and we need somebody who is going to be in that office to represent the people.”

Brown retired from a 22-year-long career in the U.S. military six years ago, but he said he’s ready to go back into public service, this time as a state lawmaker.

“I always served my state and my nation,” Brown told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. “And now I want to get back into serving my state again.”

Originally from Nebraska, Brown was first sent to Aviano Air Base in Italy before he was assigned to F.E. Warren Air Force Base 25 years ago. Once his last four-year stint ended with the Air Force, he immediately enlisted in the Wyoming National Guard.

Brown served in a senior enlisted position for 13 years during his time with the Wyoming National Guard. In this role, he negotiated deals for manpower and funding, plus focused on building positive relationships at the local and national levels.

“Anytime you’re in a leadership role, you’re gonna have to deal with conflict management,” said Brown, who also served on the Airfield Management Advisory Council. “You always want to resolve conflict in a positive manner.”

These skills are useful to any state lawmaker, he said, and are what make him a standout candidate for the Wyoming Legislature. The key to any successful negotiation, whether it’s with the U.S. military or fellow lawmakers, is understanding the root cause of the issue, Brown said.

“Serving in the military, especially in a senior leadership role, it is never about you — it’s about the people that serve under you,” Brown said. “You are a servant leader to them.”

Property taxes, school, limit government

Exie Brown described himself as a family man with strong family values. He has always lived with integrity, honor and strong conservative principles, he said. The key issues his campaign focuses on are lowering property taxes, promoting parental choice in their child’s education and reducing government spending.

“You know, raising taxes is not the thing to do with this disastrous economy we got going on in this nation,” Brown said. “I want to help.”

Four bills aimed at providing property tax relief were signed into this law this year. These bills provided targeted property tax relief, expanded the property tax refund program and placed a cap on rising property taxes for those who qualify.

“I think there’s more we can do to help our residents,” Brown said.

As a father who raised his children in Wyoming, Brown said he is also about promoting parental choice in their child’s education. Every parent should have the right to choose where and how their kids are educated, he said.

“Our children are our responsibility,” Brown said. “It is our responsibility and our right to ensure that our children get the best and proper education that they can get to be successful in life.”

The government should not be “pushing educational items” if they don’t align with that child’s future success, he added. The government should be limited both in the classroom and spending.

“How else do you keep taxes down? You reduce spending,” Brown said, “and making sure that what we’re spending our hard-earned taxpayer dollars on is in the best interest of our citizens.”

Representing HD 9 interests

The Wyoming Freedom Caucus, which has gained traction in recent years, is a point of division between Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives. This year, the ultraconservative group gained enough members to block a record-number of committee bills from being introduced in the 2024 budget session, according to a report by WyoFile.

Several Republican candidates for statewide office interviewed by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle hesitated to state whether their views align with the Freedom Caucus or the Wyoming Caucus, a group of more moderate Republicans who disagree with the Freedom Caucus.

Brown described himself as an independent free-thinker. The only interests that matter, he said, are the interests of House District 9 residents.

“It is the people that run the government,” Brown said. “The government does not run the people.”

With this being his first run for statewide office, Brown said he is eager to go out there and meet with voters. Aside from the traditional door-to-door meet and greet in his district, he also plans to attend Laramie County GOP’s Politics in the Park every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Lions Park.

“I will be out there talking with voters, talking with other legislators and lawmakers, and building those relationships,” Brown said. “That’s what I’m going to be out there doing, really trying to engage with voters.”


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