The following is an article written by a good friend of mine. Laurie is super energetic, sharp as a tack and has a passion for politics. Among other causes, she protects the rights of private property owners…homeowners just like you and I. She has a win-win approach to negotiating her way through the legislative process and the REALTORs here in Wyoming are proud she is one of our own.
By: Laurie Urbigkit
Government Affairs Consultant
Welcome to Wyoming and an exciting summer of politics. Wyoming voters have several choices this year. After the death of Sen. Craig Thomas (R), Dr. John Barrasso from Casper was appointed to his seat last year. He now must stand for election along with our senior Senator, Mike Enzi of Gillette. The lone U.S. House seat held for many years by Barbara Cubin is also being vacated. So we have all three of our U.S. Congressional seats to elect this November.
Senators Enzi and Barrasso do not have primary opponents, but they both will face Democrat challengers in the General Election. The U.S. House seat will be a barn burner on the Republican side, with four running in the Primary. There is one Libertarian running and one Democrat as well.
The Republican field is made up of Cynthia Lummis, Cheyenne rancher and past State Treasurer for 8 years; Mark Gordon, Buffalo rancher and political new comer; Bill Winney, Bondurant retired Naval Officer; and Michael Holland, Green River Doctor make up the field. Lummis will be a strong candidate having won two state wide races for State Treasurer in the past. However, she’s been out of the “lime light” for two years, and remember that old saying “out of sight, out of mind”. She’s a good campaigner and very intelligent. Mark Gordon started his television ads in early spring. He has his own money and will be an attractive candidate to many. I’d pick Lummis and Gordon to finish 1 and 2, (I’m not ready to call which one will win just yet) followed by a distant third for Winney and an also ran for Holland.
Wyoming is a predominately Republican State. In the war of the “blue” states versus the “red” states, Wyoming was solid red other than Teton County (Jackson Hole). But that does not mean that we do not cross party lines. We’ve consistently elected popular Democrats as Governor. While it’s been since 1979 since we had a Democrat serve in the U.S. House (Teno Roncalio), the Democrat challenger, Gary Trauner from Wilson, WY ran a very close race against the incumbent, Barbara Cubin in 2006. He is the front runner in raising money for this election.
My prediction for the two Senate seats is pretty easy. The incumbents will win by large margins. Sen. Barrasso is well known throughout the State because of his appearance on TV over the past many years doling out tidbits of health information to the Wyoming people. He has also done many public service announcements for the Blue Envelope Health Fairs, held throughout the State. So while he’s a novice in DC, he’s well known in Wyoming. Senator Enzi is running for his third term and has done a good job in DC and has kept in touch with the voters back home.
That’s the scenario for this summer, lots of political speeches, baby kissing and fundraising. Please register to vote and enjoy the Wonderful Wyoming summer of campaigns!