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RENAE COWLEY – Lobbyist, professional barrel racer

No doubt the most memorable interview I’ve ever done for . Literally all I can say about the adventure of a political lobbyist – slash – cowgirl you are about to read is hang on! And I challenge anyone out there to find another personality quite like Renae Cowley; a woman who puts the “U” in “unique”. Interview by Clark H.Caras

RENAE COWLEY – Lobbyist, professional barrel racer – How do you explain to people what you do for a living?

Cowley – (With a laugh from this former Miss Rodeo Utah.) I usually tell them I am a gun for hire and political hit man. Hard to ask follow up questions on that. – Not sure where I go with the interview after that answer (as I nervously chuckle). How do you explain to the politicos and other clients what you do as a hobby when you don’t lobby?

Cowley – I tell them I am a professional barrel racer which evokes the inevitable story they insist on sharing with me about the one time they rode their uncle’s horse as a teenager and it ran off with them or bucked them off. It’s no joke; EVERYONE has this story!

(At this point I decide to keep my story to myself.) – what trick do you use to get them back on track and start talking business or them getting elected?

Cowley – Well, since part of my being their gun for hire (said with an endearing laugh) means getting to know them, I’ve found it more fun and best to let them talk. – You mean there’s more to the story than just riding Uncle Joe’s filly (just had to get in there that I know a bit of horse speak)?

Cowley – After the harrowing tale of getting bucked off the follow up is, “You should take me riding sometime!” In all seriousness, most people love what I do in my spare time. Nearly everyone has been to a rodeo at least once in their life and remember it fondly. They think it is great not only I can ride and ride well, but that I am also a serious, professional, well-educated, businesswoman. – I know you’ve been incredibly successful as both a political activist and lobbyist, but that success channels both ways and Renae the “cowgirl” has success to brag on too. And in all you do you’ve got some great partners, but as the cowgirl there is one who is unique. Maybe you can tell us a bit about how a nine year old is that trusted partner.

Cowley – Stryker as I describe on my site, he’s a sophisticated gentleman. He’s my 9-year old grey AQHA gelding. There were a few who might have thought I was crazy when I took him from the racetrack and began the process of turning him into a champion barrel horse. – A bit like turning a full steam ahead candidate or hot button issue into winners?

Cowley – You might say just that. He is the most mild-mannered, well behaved horse, but once you turn him loose on a trifecta of cans – he turns up the heat! – Sounds like you need to hang on to the reins, keeping your feet in the stirrups and work with Stryker in that race guiding him for the best time and the win? Is the potential client going to see some things about you as a champion barrel racer that you take from the rodeo arena into getting the win for them?

Cowley – Yes indeed. I’m tenacious in serving my client’s interests. Just like in a rodeo, I am very competitive but I know to be successful you have to put in the long hours and dedication to be successful. I never shy away from a tough battle and I’m willing to work hard to win.

Read more about Cowley and Stryker’s exploits as well as this month’s contest and enter to win authentic Native American jewelry by visiting – You’ve had your dotVote site now for 2-years. How have you used the site to build your lobbyist work as well as your hobby?

Cowley – I’ve loved having my! It’s meant more business for me. I use it for giveaways and an avenue to get my followers feedback; speaking of, it’s a tool for gathering email addresses and followers. I’m easily averaging between 480 to 800 entries a week. With dotVote I’m getting consumer engagement – feedback in a more tangible way. Social media doesn’t always translate but dotVote followers are already engaged. – What book might we find on your nightstand right now (November 2018)?

Cowley – “Nothing Else Like it in the World” – a book about the transcontinental railroad in preparation for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike. You’ll also find, “Girl Go Wash your Face”. I love reading about empowering women accomplishing great things. – In three words or less words describe the recent midterms.

Cowley –“Generational shift.” There were some interesting indicators from the last cycle that give us some insight on what a predominantly Millennial voter base will look like. – Are you a hamburger, cheeseburger, or steak kinda person?

Cowley – Actually, I’m a vegetarian. – On the back of a horse you’ve no doubt herded cattle. What’s easier… cattle or politicians?

Cowley – Definitely cattle, they are more consistent and predictable. If they are going to break from the herd there is usually a good reason and can be prevented if you are paying attention. Politicians are another story entirely.

For more about Cowley as a lobbyist and barrel racer go to

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