PICTURED: Daniel Dyas poses at the headwaters of the Mississippi River with his three sons last week. A Baldwin County native, Dyas intends to announce his campaign for the Republican nomination for president July 4 at Mount Rushmore.
Daniel Dyas, a politically active Baldwin County developer who has previously run unsuccessful campaigns for Baldwin County Commission and the U.S. House of Representatives, announced his intention to seek an even higher office this week. On Independence Day, he’ll stand beneath the gaze of Mount Rushmore to announce “his intention of challenging President Trump in the upcoming Republican caucuses and primaries for President of the United States.”
According to news release sent a day after Lagniappe received a call about the decision from Dyas himself, he and his three sons are in the middle of a two-month tour of the country “to investigate the true status and well-being of the American people.”
“We’ve gone all the way up from the Appalachians; we went to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York; we went to West Virginia, Princeton, New Jersey … we’ve done a straight up tour of the Eastern U.S.,” Dyas said Sunday, calling from a lakeside lodge in rural Minnesota.
“We conceived this tour to get a really good understanding of the condition of our country and the well-being of our people. I’ve spoken to everyone from Army privates, teachers, truck drivers, airline pilots and I’m gathering information about how things are really going in our country and I don’t think it’s as well as the Trump administration would have us believe.”
More frankly, his news release sent the next day stated Trump has “certainly not made America great again,” rather, he has “conducted policies that have strengthened our nation’s rivals and their alliances, while our standing with our allies has been consistently diminished. American greatness can only be achieved through bona fide government reform, prosecution of corruption, downsizing the government and restoring a true respect for the Constitution and the rights of all American citizens.”
With a record of political activity dating back to his time on a county planning and zoning citizens advisory committee in 2008, Dyas said he still upholds Republican values, but believes most of those representing the party in office do not.
“Our government is absolutely corrupt from the top to the bottom,” he said. “From City Hall all the way to the halls of Congress and the White House. If we don’t demand accountability and stop tolerating corruption in our government, it will only continue and our rights will suffer and our well-being as a society will suffer … All of the establishment Republicans in power have all been bought off by Trump. They may have been his critics to begin with, but he won them over and now they’re in lock-step with him.
“I don’t think you get the truth from the government,” he said. “The employment stats and economic stats are manipulated for the benefit of the people in power … frankly I don’t believe very much of [what] President Trump says. He says what people want to hear and does what he wants to do.”
Locally, Dyas said he has “many examples” of politicians abusing their power, but he declined to immediately elaborate. Last October, a 36-unit residential development Dyas proposed near Olde Towne Daphne was vetoed by Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood despite initial approval by the Daphne City Council and the Planning Commission.
At the time, and again on Sunday, Dyas blamed a “local political mob” for the reversal, claiming elected officials in Daphne also interfered to block his initial bid to build the Daphne Sports Complex, then took his engineering plans to another contractor, Cunningham Delaney, who was awarded the bid and built the buildings “almost exactly as I engineered them.”
He said he has consulted legal counsel in the matter and is considering filing a notice of claim. As Lagniappe reported last week, the Daphne Sports Complex project eventually soared $6 million over cost estimates, although some members of the City Council, using talking points emailed by the mayor last week, disputed that report at the City Council meeting July 1.
“There’s a cost in challenging the establishment because they don’t like it, and they damn sure will strike back against you and it’s not always a pleasant experience,” Dyas said last weekend. “It goes back to trying to get my subdivision approved in Daphne. The political powers that be organized my opposition; meanwhile, they are rubber-stamping D.R. Horton subdivisions by the hundreds.”
Dyas is the single father of three sons and resides in Fairhope. According to his news release, his running mate will be Ray Skinner of Sioux City, Iowa.
On previous travels, Dyas said he’s visited swing states and those with early primaries, such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Michigan. In 2016, records at the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office indicate Dyas applied in person to be placed on the ballot there for the 2016 presidential primary. Joining a crowded field of 30 other Republican candidates including Trump, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush, Dyas ended up with just 15 votes statewide — just .005 percent of ballots cast — but he remains undeterred.
“It’s the old David and Goliath thing, but eventually that rock is going to find its mark and we’re going to topple that giant,” he said.
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