Something funny happened on the way to Liz Cheney's coronation and her dad's old seat in the Senate: former Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis has decided to jump into the race before Cheney.
Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis announced a bid for Senate in Wyoming Thursday, becoming the first Republican to jump into the race and setting up a potential clash with her successor in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney.
Lummis, also a former two-term state treasurer, was first elected to the House in 2008 and retired after the 2016 election. She was the only woman to serve in the conservative House Freedom Caucus when the group first formed in 2015.
Cheney, meanwhile, quickly rose through the GOP ranks to become the third-ranking member of leadership in just her second term, and also retains deep relationships in the party as the daughter of the former vice president.
Lummis told reporters Thursday she spoke with Cheney before announcing her bid, and said the race to replace retiring Sen. Mike Enzi will be a “real barn-burner” if the two women face off in a primary.
“She needs to make her decision. I have made mine,” Lummis said. “This is Wyoming's Senate seat. Nobody has dibs on it.”
Lummis is clearly throwing down the gauntlet to her former and potential future rival Cheney, whom she once derided as the “shiny new pony” of Wyoming politics for mounting a short-lived primary against Enzi six years ago — a move Lummis called “poor form.”
But Cheney isn’t sweating Lummis’ entrance into the race, telling POLITICO recently she wouldn’t base her decision on anyone else’s moves.
In a private poll, conducted for an outside group by the GOP firm The Tarrance Group in late June, Cheney led Lummis, 56 percent to 34 percent, among GOP primary voters in a hypothetical matchup, according to a polling memo obtained by POLITICO.
It'll be a fight for sure.
One I hope both of them lose...