The Washington Times - July 17, 2013, 09:30AM

Liz Cheney’s decision to challenge incumbent Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi in the Republican party primary is drawing scorn from other prominent GOP figures in the state.

Sen. John Barrasso, the state’s other U.S. senator, says Ms. Cheney — the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — has a political future but is making a major mistake by challenging the widely respected Mr. Enzi.

SEE RELATED: Liz Cheney to challenge Enzi with Wyo. Senate run

“Mike [Enzi] has a very strong, solid conservative record of getting things done for the people of Wyoming. He is my friend. He is my mentor. … I’m going to support him for re-election,” Mr. Barrasso said during an interview on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” program on Wednesday. “I have great respect for the Cheney family, for the vice president. … I think Liz is terrific, and I think she has a future that is very bright. I just think this is the wrong race at the wrong time.”

In heavily Republican Wyoming, the winner of the Cheney-Enzi primary almost is assured to win the general election.

About 100,000 GOP primary voters, Mr. Barrasso said, will decide the winner between the two Republican figures.

Meanwhile, Mr. Enzi seems to have been surprised by Ms. Cheney’s announcement.

“I thought we were friends,” he said.