CHEYENNE – Military veteran and longtime Union Pacific Railroad supervisor Clarence Styvar is again running for the House District 12 seat in the Wyoming Legislature.
The Republican ran for the same seat two years ago. When incumbent Rep. Harlan Edmonds announced his retirement in 2016, Rep. Lars Lone, R-Cheyenne, declared his candidacy, defeating Styvar in the primary.
Lone said recently he will not seek another term in office this year.
Styvar was raised in southwest Wyoming and has lived in the district – located in the southwest corner of Laramie County south of Interstate 80 and west of U.S. Highway 85 – for 14 years.
After graduating from Lyman High School in Uinta County, he served as an infantryman for 10 years in the U.S. Army, ultimately achieving the rank of staff sergeant.
“I gained extensive knowledge of military policies and procedures while on active duty,” he said. “My time in the military taught me about working long, arduous hours, determination and teamwork.”
After leaving active duty, Styvar joined the Union Pacific Railroad as a laborer in Kemmerer, eventually working his way up to supervisor.
As construction coordinator for the Union Pacific’s fiber-optic program, he now coordinates third-party fiber-optic projects.
“My major areas of responsibility are overseeing construction projects while reducing costs, improving efficiency, increasing revenues, ensuring safety and increasing customer satisfaction,” he said.
While Styvar said economic diversification is necessary for long-term growth, he emphasized the importance of expanding Wyoming’s energy sector.
“We are a boom-bust state,” he said. “So we need to get buildings like Amazon and Google here, which will employ a lot of people. Still, we have to push the issue to get ports to open up to Wyoming coal. We have to do it responsibly, but the producers have to come to the table and work with us.”
As the father of a special-needs child, Styvar said, if elected, he will continue to advocate for the disability community.
“We have children with special needs and have had advocates help our family over the years with navigating the Individual Education Program and 504 plans in the school system, as well as the health-care system,” he said.
Styvar went on to say state budget challenges are the result of poor leadership in the Legislature.
“Our Legislature has passed important bills intended to help the citizens of Wyoming but has fallen short of following up to ensure they have been implemented as intended,” he said. “I believe the transparency in our state government is lacking, which has added additional problems.”
As a native of Wyoming, Styvar said he’s skeptical of his opponent, Republican Connie Czarnecki, who moved to Cheyenne from a railroad town near Chicago three years ago.
“We need somebody with ties to Wyoming, and my counterpart has only been here in Wyoming for three years,” he said. “So, what kind of values does she have? I have Wyoming values: integrity, honesty, hard work.”