- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Another businessman who touts his experience as a solution to Wyoming’s economic and budget problems stepped into politics Wednesday, announcing his campaign for governor.

Republican Sam Galeotos, 59, is executive chairman of the board of Green House Data Corp.

Galeotos shares with President Donald Trump a background in business, absence of prior political experience and an education from the University of Pennsylvania’s business school, where Galeotos attended an executive management program.

The similarities end there. Compared to the president, Galeotos was sedate in announcing his campaign and outlining his credentials before a couple hundred people at the Old West Museum in Cheyenne.

Other political newcomers in Wyoming this year include Dave Dodson, a wealthy business investor and part-time instructor at Stanford University who is running as an independent against Republican U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.

Cheyenne-based Green House Data provides data center services to businesses. Galeotos previously was an executive for the real estate and travel services firm Cendant Corp. and CEO of the online travel company Cheap Tickets, Inc.

“I’ve been schooled in the principles of good management and leading people. I’ve led both national and global companies. I’ve headed up a publicly traded company. I’ve bought, sold and merged multimillion-dollar corporations,” Galeotos told the crowd.

“As a chief executive officer, I have learned the most important thing to have to be a leader is the ability, and to be willing, to make tough decisions,” he said.

Wyoming needs to build on its economic strengths and shore up its weaknesses to address a close to $1 billion state deficit amid weak revenue from the coal, oil and natural gas industries, Galeotos said.

That means reducing government barriers to fossil fuel extraction, promoting innovation in agriculture and boosting internet speeds, he said. Without getting specific, Galeotos also said that education and reducing health insurance costs would be priorities - drawing a reply from the Wyoming Democratic Party on Facebook.

“How to improve health care and education? That’s an easy one, Sam - elect more Wyoming Democrats!” the Democratic Party posted.

Former state Rep. Mary Throne is seeking the Democratic nomination as Republican Matt Mead is prevented by law from seeking a third term as governor.

Other Republicans running for governor include state Treasurer Mark Gordon, physician Taylor Haynes, attorney Harriet Hageman and businessman Bill Dahlin.


Follow Mead Gruver on Twitter at @meadgruver

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