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Democrat-turned-Republican challenges Wyoming’s Harriet Hageman for U.S. House seat

A man in a tie standing with a sign that reads: "Fight like Helling for Congress. Peacfully and Patriotically."
Courtesy of Steve Helling
Steve Helling is challenging Wyoming's sole representative in the U.S. House.

Wyoming’s lone representative in the U.S. House will face a challenger in the upcoming primary.

Harriet Hageman’s (R-WY) opponent ran for the same seat in 2022 but as a Democrat.

Physical injury attorney Steve Helling of Casper ran against Hageman as a pro-Trump Democrat but lost the Democratic nomination to Lynnette Grey Bull back in 2022.

He said if elected, his primary focus would be to pass legislation to halt the construction of nuclear energy plants like the one planned for Kemmerer, which he describes as unsafe for Wyomingites.

“There is no permanent storage facility within the United States for the storage of this nuclear waste,” said Helling. “I mean, we need to think of our future generations.”

Helling said he filed to run again in 2024 to give voters another choice on the ballot besides Hageman.

“Even though I'm now a Republican, which fits my stance, I haven't changed my positions,” said Helling. “I was [also] pro-life when I was a Democrat.”

Helling has also said he considers the Jan. 6th insurrection at the Capitol to have been mostly peaceful.

“I'm not afraid of getting locked up for inciting, insurrection, or civil war or anything like that,” he said.

Hageman ousted former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) in 2022 after receiving an endorsement from former Pres. Donald Trump.

She’s a member of the far-right national House Freedom Caucus and chairs the Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

Chris Clements is a state government reporter and digital media specialist for Wyoming Public Media based in Laramie. He came to WPM from KSJD Radio in Cortez, Colorado, where he reported on Indigenous affairs, drought, and local politics in the Four Corners region. Before that, he graduated with a degree in English (Creative Writing) from Arizona State University. Chris's news stories have been featured on KUNC, NPR newscasts, and National Native News, among others.

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