By Megan Busse
CHEYENNE, Wyoming: Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, announced on Tuesday that she will challenge fellow Republican Mike Enzi for his Senate seat in 2014. Cheney had been touring the state prior to her announcement in an effort to drum up support for her election bid. Enzi had not been anticipating a strong challenge in 2014 and, up to this point, had not been fundraising aggressively. The three-term Senator had only $488,000 at the end of June. He raised $2,368,893 total in his 2008 election and received 75 percent of the votes.
This race to the primary could prove interesting as Liz Cheney brings star power, and more than likely, heavy of out-of-state funding to her campaign. However, she recently moved to Wyoming and she has no legislative voting record which could hamper her campaign efforts. Meanwhile, the GOP is not entirely thrilled with her decision to challenge a fellow GOP member. Alan Simpson, a former Wyoming Senator, said, “It’s a disaster — a divisive, ugly situation — and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years.” Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer echoed these sentiments, tweeting “Liz Cheney will make an excellent Sen. one day. But divisive, internal GOP fights aren’t helpful. No need to create this one.” Jerry Moran, the National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman announced the official party body will support Enzi and several senators have followed suit, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis also supports Enzi's re-election.
Enzi stated that he will remain focused on his current term in office despite Cheney's announcement, "Nobody in Wyoming likes a long campaign – anybody from Wyoming would know that. They’ll be able to make up their mind in a lot less time than from right now until next August, which is when the primary is. You can’t even file in Wyoming until May.”
- Politico "Liz Cheney announces Senate bid," Accessed July 16, 2013
- Ballotpedia "Enzi," Accessed July 16, 2013
- New York Times "In Wyoming, a Cheney Run Worries G.O.P.," Accessed July 16, 2013
- CBS News "Liz Cheney's Senate ambition causes grief for Wyoming GOP," Accessed July 16, 2013
- Washington Post "Transcript: Mike Enzi on Liz Cheney’s move," Accessed July 16, 2013