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July 25, 2013 7:37 am

EDITORIAL: Senate race should focus on Wyoming, not Washington, D.C.

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Brace yourself, Wyomingites. We’re heading into a rough ride during the Republican primary in the Cowboy State.

More than a year away, Wyoming’s primary election already is heating up and gaining national attention as Liz Cheney challenges U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi.

While many in Wyoming know and trust Sen. Enzi for his decades of service in the state, few of us know Cheney.

We question why Cheney decided to run for the Senate in Wyoming after moving back here so recently. While she resides in Jackson Hole now and draws upon her family’s Wyoming roots, we want to know whether she truly understands our state or the issues we face today.

To gain support among Republicans who have shown resounding support for Enzi in previous elections, Cheney must demonstrate that she actually grasps the state’s unique challenges and opportunities involving agriculture, energy, education, public lands and the economy.

We’re not interested in a political brouhaha. We want someone to work for Wyoming.

A week into the race, Cheney has said Washington needs a new generation of Republican leaders. She also said it’s time to stop “cutting deals” with Democrats.

Conservatives and liberals digging in their heels have done very little to get anything done in Congress. We fear a more polarized Washington — we don’t praise it nor want it.

In coming months, Wyomingites are sure to hear a lot from both Cheney and Enzi.

To move forward with voters, Cheney must go beyond vague rhetoric about fighting against President Obama and specifically explain how she will serve Wyoming better than Sen. Enzi.

For example, does she believe Sen. Enzi is among the president’s “liberal allies in Congress that … compromise for the sake of compromise” that she has referred to in recent days?

It’s not as if Enzi has been a close ally to the president since 2008. His conservative credentials are clear, but he has also shown a willingness to work across the aisle to get things done.

Giving voters clear reasons why she is challenging Enzi and where she thinks he has strayed will help voters make their decision in 2014.

The glitz and controversy of a Republican showdown involving high-profile names has drawn national media attention, but we hope it doesn’t draw an influx of national dollars, too. We watched with disgust last year’s Senate race in Montana, which was saturated with political ads and fueled by millions of out-of-state dollars. We don’t want that to happen here.

In the end, the focus of this race needs to be about what’s best for Wyoming — not about Washington.

3 comments

  • Comment Link July 25, 2013 1:35 pm posted by Salty Dawg

    "Brace yourself, Wyomingites. We’re heading into a rough ride during the Republican primary in the Cowboy State." We have been on a rough ride for the last 50 years because of phony RINO politics.

  • Comment Link July 30, 2013 8:51 am posted by clipstein

    should be none of the above and the same for the poll

  • Comment Link July 30, 2013 9:02 am posted by Richard Garlish

    I do not know how Cheney can find room to the right of Enzi. That pew is full.

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