Wyoming candidate switches parties to challenge GOP senator

May 29, 2018
Former Roman Catholic priest Charlie Hardy, seen here in Cheyenne, Wyo. on May 25, 2018, has switched from Democrat to Republican to challenge U.S. Sen. John Barrasso in the 2018 Republican primary in Wyoming. Hardy ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for U.S. House in 2016 and U.S. Senate in 2014. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — One of the most liberal politicians seeking national office in conservative Wyoming in recent years is running again but has switched parties, from Democrat to Republican.

Former Roman Catholic priest Charlie Hardy is mounting a long-shot bid against U.S. Sen. John Barrasso in the GOP primary.

Hardy said Tuesday that he’s now an “Eisenhower Republican,” referring to Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, who warned against out-of-control military spending.

The 79-year-old supports universal health coverage and a steep increase in the federal minimum wage but is now pessimistic he can be successful as a Democrat in heavily Republican Wyoming.

Hardy lost to Ryan Greene in the Democratic primary for U.S. House in 2016.

Hardy was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2014, getting 17 percent of the vote against Republican incumbent Mike Enzi.

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