Wyoming's Delegation Wants To Hear More Debate About Energy And Western Issues

Oct 14, 2016

Credit Gage Skidmore


Have you heard many western issues pop up in this election cycle? Neither has Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis. She said the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is actually missing a golden opportunity to attract independent voters in the west.

“I know that western issues are taking a backseat to national issues in this campaign, and I get that. But when we’re out in the west, when states like Colorado and Nevada are in play, there are issues that are unique to the west that a presidential candidate can capitalize on.”

But Lummis is hopeful that western issues are about to rise to the national stage.

“The fact that Colorado and Nevada are still in play are still in play and that Nevada will be the site of the third debate is the only opportunity for us to highlight issues that are of unique concern to the west.”

Still, Lummis isn’t hedging her bets. So she’s going to be proactive this fall.

“I will be approaching the Trump campaign during the October campaign period about issues that matter to Colorado and Nevada, in the hopes that they will come up not only during the debate but during the campaign’s efforts in Colorado and Nevada.”

Wyoming’s junior senator, John Barrasso, was chairman of the platform committee for the Republican National Convention. He thinks he’s already won Trump’s ear. 

“I met with Donald Trump twice before the convention to talk about the platform, to talk about energy, to talk about healthcare, as a doctor, he’s embraced the issues that I’ve talked about. I’d like to see even more discussion of those on the campaign trial, because I think they’re winning issues for those of us who really want to make sure we use American energy in a way that continues to keep our country strong.”

Even though Wyoming issues aren't coming up, Barrasso is confident that Trump will embrace issues important to the state.

“And anybody who takes a look at that platform knows that there is a big footprint affecting the Rocky Mountain west – in terms of the things that are important for us. In terms of public lands, in terms of the use of the resources we have.”

While that platform hasn’t been brought up much on the campaign trail, Barrasso says it adds to the argument to put Republicans back in charge of Congress in January.

“So it’s gonna be a big impact as long as we’re able to maintain the majority and have a Republican in the White House will then sign into law the conservative, energy relate Rocky Mountain west issues that we can put on the president’s desk.”

For Wyoming senior senator Mike Enzi, the election is all about the Supreme Court.

“Well one thing I’ve noticed is the Democrats keep coming back with the same thing over and over again until they win, and if they can Supreme Court that will help them out, then they can win.”

Enzi doubts the upcoming presidential debate out west will have a real impact on anything.

“The biggest thing that’s been missing in the debates is the question of ‘How are you going to do that?’”

That said, Enzi says he’s not in love with the political reality T.V. we’ve all been witnessing within the Presidential campaign.