Olsen will not seek re-election to House
Duerr says he’s ‘seriously considering’ run for seat representing Hoback, Alpine, Sublette County.
By Noah Brenner, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: April 9, 2008
State Rep. Monte Olsen, R-Daniel, announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election to his House District 22 seat representing Wilson, Hoback Junction, Alpine and northern Sublette County.
Olsen is giving up his seat so he can focus on regaining his health after being run over by a Suburban driven by his wife almost a year ago.
The three-term representative said he made his decision after the 2008 legislative session closed.
“Right when session ended I was fully intending on running, but as I got home I started to reflect a bit and think about my health,” Olsen said in a phone interview. “It would be better for me to become healthy right now and one way to do that is focus on it.
“I’m beat up and I have got to get better,” he said. “When you’re in constant pain, it’s just not fun.”
Olsen was injured in an incident involving his then-wife Lisa Glenn. Sublette County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to the pair’s Daniel home in late April 2007. When they arrived they found Olsen pinned under Glenn’s Suburban. He suffered 10 broken ribs, including four broken in multiple places, a collapsed lung, and multiple facial injuries including a broken nose and broken jaw.
Glenn was initially charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment, but the charge was later dropped at Olsen’s request.
During his six years in the Wyoming House, Olsen said he is both most proud of, and disappointed in, his efforts to change Wyoming’s property tax system.
“I’m proud of the fact that I was one of the legislators that did champion property tax reform and we got closer and closer,” he said, “but the biggest disappointment is that nothing happened.”
Despite announcing his departure, Olsen said he will remain focused on his legislative duties through the end of the year. He is chairman of the State Employee Compensation Commission and a member of the Management Audit Committee and Judiciary Committee. Outside the legislature, Olsen said he will remain active in Wyoming politics and did not rule out a future bid for elected office.
Olsen’s decision leaves the Republican field wide open. Hoback Junction resident Steve Duerr has said he is “seriously considering” running for the seat.
Duerr narrowly lost the Republican nomination for Senate District 16 to Pat Aullman in 2004.
Wilson resident Jim Roscoe, who splits his time between Wilson and a ranch in Big Sandy, has already committed to running for Olsen’s seat as a Democrat.