CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming gave two big thumbs-up to two-thirds of its congressional delegation, handing U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis large majorities in the Republican primary Tuesday.
Both pledged to use their experience to advance Wyoming interests in Washington, D.C., as they campaign for fourth terms heading into the November election.
“I’m in a position to really do some critical things,” said Enzi, who has touted his growing seniority and advancing committee positions.
Enzi faces Democrat Charlie Hardy, a former Roman Catholic priest, in November. Hardy, 75, beat three opponents in the Democratic primary.
With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, Enzi had 82 percent of the vote to just 10 percent for Sheridan business consultant Bryan Miller. The 48-year-old Miller is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who used to coordinate travel stops for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Three other Republican U.S. Senate candidates finished with single-digit vote percentages.
In the U.S. House race, Lummis got 76 percent while Torrington corrections officer Jason Senteney, 36, got 23 percent.
Lummis, 59, said she will continue to fight what she called federal overreach on regulations that affect coal mining, water and job creation.
“I feel like I have clear direction from the people in Wyoming on what they want,” Lummis said.
Lummis’ opponent in November will be Richard Grayson of Apache Junction, Arizona, who was unopposed for the Democratic U.S. House nomination. Lummis’ primary win all but ensures she will win a fourth term because Grayson, a political gadfly, would have to move to Wyoming to qualify for office.
“Nevertheless, I’ll be mounting a serious general election campaign,” Lummis said.
Enzi’s most serious Republican challenger had been Liz Cheney, the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Liz Cheney quickly met difficulty getting mainstream Republican backing after she launched her campaign last summer.
Citing family health issues, she dropped out of the race in January.
Also seeking the Republican Senate nomination were self-described soldier of fortune Thomas Bleming of Lusk, oil company worker Arthur Bruce Clifton of Cheyenne and James Gregory of Jackson.
Hardy has been campaigning around the state in a donated bus. He has been taking donations but so far has not been vigorously fundraising.
“Why does a Senate seat have money value?” Hardy said. “It should be about ideas. Something has to be done about getting money out of the mix in politics.”
Hardy got 47 percent to win. He beat contracting company worker Rex Wilde of Cheyenne, Al Hamburg of Torrington, and William Bryk of Brooklyn, New York.
Ben Neary and Bob Moen contributed to this report.
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