Former Wyoming House representative James Byrd is hoping to take over Republican Sen. Affie Ellis' seat this November.

Byrd made the announcement Tuesday morning on Wake Up Wyoming with Glenn Woods.

Byrd, a Cheyenne Democrat who served five terms in the House, says he chose to run for the Senate because his old seat "is currently held by Sara (Burlingame) and she's more than a capable individual."

"When I left the House it really was a goodbye, and thank you, and I'm not coming back here," said Byrd. "The Senate is a whole different venue."

Byrd, who made an unsuccessful bid to become Secretary of State in 2018, says he hoping to return to the legislature because "there's still existing problems" he'd like to see corrected.

"We cut the budget every year that I was in the legislature and we still are at the financial precipice," he said.

"One of the good things that we had done in the last couple years was that efficiency report and evaluation of some government agencies," Byrd added. "I think we need to go look at that with a hard look and see how we can either combine agencies or see how money is actually spent inside the government so we have a good handle on what's going on."

A self-described "hard-line fiscal conservative," Byrd says he'll "never ever ever" vote for a state income tax. Instead, he says the state needs to "embrace new technologies and new types of businesses, and get them rooted here in Wyoming."

"I'm an old oil field guy, I love coal ... but we've got to recognize that those markets are down and they're not going to probably come back for awhile," he said. "We're in a worldwide economy and we've got to recognize that we need to try new ways."


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