Lummis Enters U.S. Senate Race to Fight for Wyoming and Against ‘Socialism’
Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis announced Thursday that she will run for Wyoming's open U.S. Senate seat, saying the state would field a "dream team" of a congressional delegation if she's elected — and if potential rival Liz Cheney stays in the House.
Lummis, 64, regards her re-entry into national politics as an opportunity to combat what she calls "a rise of socialism" in the nation, she said during a conference call with Wyoming and national reporters.
She is the first major Republican to announce her candidacy for the position being vacated by Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. Several other candidates are also considering runs, notably Cheney, the state's current House member, along with Republican donor Foster Friess and businessman Bob Grady.
Lummis said she told Cheney of her decision ahead of Thursday's announcement, and that "nobody has dibs" on the Senate seat. But she also suggested Cheney staying in the House may be best for Wyoming.
"We have an opportunity, I believe, to have somewhat of a dream team in Washington," she said. "If Liz Cheney, as a member of the House leadership, stays in her position, she can do great things for Wyoming for the U.S. House."
If Cheney decides to run for Senate instead, "I can tell you, it's going to be a real barnburner of a race," Lummis said.
They share many similar values, but she said her libertarian leanings would trend towards less intervention in foreign policy compared to that of Cheney's.
Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler said the congresswoman was at President Donald Trump's social media summit Thursday afternoon and couldn't immediately respond to Lummis' comments.
She wants to work "shoulder to shoulder" with Trump's proposal to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, reform the nation's immigration system and confirm conservative judges, she said.
Lummis was elected to Congress in 2008 and served four terms before deciding not to run again in 2016. She's also a former state legislator and a two-term state treasurer.
Those four terms coincided with the two terms of Democratic President Barack Obama, and she said her voting record during that time was more opposed to his policies than anyone in Congress.
Lummis especially opposed the increased regulations on the coal industry that she blamed in part on the severe downturn in Wyoming's leading industry.
Since her retirement from the U.S. House, she has been working on her family's ranch and spent time with her father before he died.
Besides the opportunity to work with a Republic president and Republican congressional delegation, Lummis said she wants to oppose what she calls a rise of socialism and the decline of importance among some who oppose freedoms of religion, speech, gun rights.
"They're eroding so quickly that it's just terrifying for many Wyoming people, and the emphasis that needs to be made by those of us who are constitutional conservatives just has to be redoubled," she said.
Lummis now has an opportunity to join that fight, she said. "My energy's back, my desire is back and I want to take the opportunity ... to return to fight for Wyoming people in Washington."