Liz Cheney To Run For Wyoming’s US House Seat

Matt Masin/Orange County Register
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The
elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney is running for
Congress, following up a failed U.S. Senate campaign two years ago with
another attempt to woo voters in a state where she has been a full-time
resident for only a few years.

Liz Cheney filed
federal election documents Friday showing she’s running for Wyoming’s
lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Campaign officials
said she plans to formally announce Monday in Gillette, a northeastern
Wyoming town hit hard by a downturn in the coal industry. Her plans
suggest she will base her campaign on fears that the Obama
administration is waging a “war on coal” with climate-change regulations
and a recently announced moratorium on federal coal leasing.

Cheney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

“I
can’t say that I’m surprised,” fellow candidate State Rep. Tim Stubson
said Saturday of Cheney’s entry. “We know that she brings with her kind
of a big Washington machine and lots of national money, which certainly
changes the complexion of the race.”

Cheney, 49, ran a brief and
ill-fated U.S. Senate campaign in 2013. She tried to unseat Wyoming
senior U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, a fellow Republican, but failed to gain
traction among Wyoming’s political establishment. The former Fox News
commentator drew considerable nationwide attention but virtually no
mainstream Republicans in the state endorsed her — despite the fact that
the GOP dominates Wyoming politics at every level.

Many expressed
skepticism that somebody who had moved to Wyoming only recently could
know and serve the rural frontier state well. Enzi’s popularity,
meanwhile, remained high despite Cheney’s attempts to portray him as too
willing to compromise with Democrats.

Still, Cheney’s close to $2 million in fundraising was impressive for the least-populated state.

Cheney
quit her campaign seven months before the 2014 primary, citing family
health issues. She has five children and lives in Jackson Hole, a
wealthy resort town at the gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton
national parks, where she moved in 2012.

This time, Cheney seeks
to replace Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who plans to retire at the
end of her current term. Lummis is the only female member of the Freedom
Caucus, a conservative band of lawmakers who have pushed for
confrontation with Democrats at every turn.

Lummis, whose husband
died days before the 2014 election, cited confidence in new House
Speaker Paul Ryan’s ability to advance conservative legislation in her
November announcement of her retirement after four terms.

Cheney
faces eight Republican competitors including two experienced Wyoming
state legislators, Stubson and State Sen. Leland Christensen. All eight
took part in a debate Jan. 23 in Worland, Wyoming, while Cheney, despite
rumors she would run, was noticeably absent.

Cheney and her
father were scheduled to speak at a presidential candidates’ town hall
in Nashua, New Hampshire, that day but had to cancel because of the
weather.

Stubson already has been campaigning on concerns about
the ongoing viability of fossil-fuel extraction in Wyoming, which
supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s coal.

“A big part of our
message is the need to really defend Wyoming’s problems with Wyoming’s
solutions, and to ensure that federal action doesn’t prohibit us from
utilizing our resources,” he said.

Wyoming has been fielding an
increasingly thin crop of Democratic candidates for federal office in
recent years. The only Democratic candidate for U.S. House in 2014 was
an Arizona resident who campaigned little if at all in the state.

___

Ben Neary contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
redistributed.

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