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Wyoming primaries bring burst of Democratic activity

Steven Girt/GirtCommunications
Wyoming Capitol

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Two well-funded Republican candidates with past experience in federal office face several little-known challengers, while an usually large number of Democrats are seeking nomination for U.S. Senate and House in Wyoming's primary Tuesday.

The Republican winners will be general-election favorites in GOP-dominated Wyoming.

Even so, five Democrats who've been actively campaigning for Senate and House seats represent a burst of activity after decades of waning Democratic influence and voter registration in the state.

Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, of Cheyenne, is among 10 candidates pursuing the GOP nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by Mike Enzi, a Republican who is retiring after four terms. Lummis, 65, is a former state legislator and two-term state treasurer who served as Wyoming's lone congresswoman from 2009-2017.

Besides being the only Senate candidate with statewide name recognition after decades in political office, Lummis through July raised and spent far more than her opponents. She brought in over $1.8 million for the year, including a nearly $600,000 loan from herself to her campaign, and had about $400,000 left.

Some of the better-known Republicans also running for Senate include Sheridan energy industry consultant and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan Miller, 54, and business owner and Converse County Commissioner Robert Short, 58, of Douglas.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney faces one obscure opponent, Blake Stanley, of Banner, for the Republican nod to seek a third term. Cheney, 54, won election in 2016 and 2018 with wide majorities after securing a decisive plurality in the 2016 Republican primary.

Democratic candidates for Senate include University of Wyoming ecology professor Merav Ben-David, of Laramie; social justice and environmental activist Yana Ludwig, of Laramie; and climate-change think tank vice president Nathan Wendt, of Jackson.

Democrats running for House include Northern Arapaho tribal member and Global Indigenous Council Vice President Lynnette Grey Bull, of Fort Washakie, and international educator Carl Beach, of Ryan Park.

The Wyoming Secretary of State's Office has reported no major problems in an election season complicated by the coronavirus.

Changes this year included mailing absentee ballot request forms to registered voters in June and allowing county clerks to begin processing absentee ballots the week before the primary.

Article Topic Follows: Wyoming Politics

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