Teton County resident to challenge Lummis
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
March 22, 2010
U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, is going to have to fight for a second term.
David Wendt, a Teton County resident and president of the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs, announced Saturday that he plans to run against Lummis in this year’s election.
Wendt, who said he was approached by local Democratic leaders to run for the seat, said he wants to address Wyoming’s “leadership gap” in Congress.
“My feeling is that Wyoming is not being adequately represented in Washington,” Wendt, 65, said before making his announcement Saturday during the Teton County Democratic convention.
Wyoming’s “leadership gap,” Wendt said, has been evident in Lummis’ votes on energy reform legislation and gender equality as well as a refusal to work with Democrats on legislative issues.
“Wyoming is in the process of getting its act together, in terms of energy ... but you would never know that in Washington, where our leadership refuses to put even the slightest limits on carbon emissions,” he said.
As evidence of Lummis’ lack of leadership in the realm of gender issues, Wendt singled out her no vote on a bill that expanded employment laws to punish discriminatory compensation decisions and provided money for salary negotiation skills training for women.
“We’re supposed to be the Equality State,” Wendt said. “We elected the first woman governor, but you would never know it in D.C. For her first vote, Lummis voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.”
Wendt also attacked Wyoming’s Republican delegation on the issue of bipartisanship, or lack thereof.
“Anytime there is mention of bipartisanship, our Republican friends go running and screaming in the opposite direction,” Wendt said.
In a statement, Lummis spokesman Ryan Taylor said Lummis has fought the health care reform bill, has worked for “an energy policy that helps America achieve energy self-sufficiency and creates good-paying Wyoming jobs without a heavy-handed cap-and-tax mandate from Washington” and has strived to cut the national debt and deficit.
“Rep. Lummis’ record is clear — she is on the side of Wyoming people,” he said. “And if she is re-elected to Congress in November, she will continue to keep up the fight.”