The Saratoga Sun -

Lummis visits the Valley

Former representative and senate candidate answers questions ranging from RBG to QAnon


September 23, 2020

Joshua Wood

Teense Wilford, left, greets guests to the Cynthia Lummis meet and greet at the Platte Valley Community Center on September 19.

Senate candidate Cynthia Lummis made a stop in Saratoga on September 19 as she gears up for the general election. Lummis, who served as Wyoming's sole representative from 2009 to 2017, was hosted at the Platte Valley Community Center (PVCC) by Teense and Sandy Willford.

Prior to running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Lummis had served in the Wyoming Legislature alongside Teense Willford. Despite a packed agenda for the day, Lummis paid a visit to the Saratoga Sun where she answered questions on both state and national issues ranging from Wyoming's deficit to the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney

Following the retirement of Lummis in 2016, she was succeeded by Liz Cheney as Wyoming's representative. The current Senate candidate had praise for her successor, who is the third woman in a row to hold the seat.

"I'm proud of her work in the House. She was able to secure positions on some very key committees, including the Rules Committee and is now the Conference Chairman," said Lummis. "The Conference Chairman for the Republican Party is the spokesperson for the conference and I think she's doing a good job speaking for the Republicans in the House."

Wyoming's Deficit

When they convene, the Wyoming Legislature will be tasked with making drastic cuts to the State's budget. Having served in the Wyoming Legislature for a number of years, the Sun asked Lummis what her advice was to the current legislators faced with this task.

"They're approaching it right by looking at how they can cut spending before they turn to taxes as the solution. I think the Wyoming people expect that of its legislature. Wyoming people want a government that runs 'lean and mean' and that seems to be the approach that legislators are taking. There have been some proposals that the legislature has chosen to pass on or to defer on that would increase revenue and they may have to turn around and face those in the future. But, for now, I believe it is the right approach to look at spending cuts before taxes," Lummis said. "I also think that, when government is more transparent, people are more willing to explore the issues of how the money's spent and whether there's enough money. When government appears murky to the people who pay for it, that's when there's suspicion and unwillingness to want to pay anymore for it. Their efforts to open the books, I think, have been very, very helpful and our current state auditor has done a really good job opening the books."

Friendly fire

In July, Cheney faced criticism from inside her own party following a tweet that praised Dr. Anthony Fauci and his public service. Representative Matthew Gaetz, a member of the House Freedom Caucus to which Lummis once belonged, publicly called for Cheney to resign her position as the Conference Chairman.

"I suspect that it was the culmination of some frustration as opposed to just a single incident. It's my preference that when there's criticism against the President by Republicans that they do it directly to the President. He takes everybody's phone calls. He has a lot of members of congress-House and Senate-on speed dial and so I think when people, Republican in particular, are of a mind to criticize the President about a decision he's made or a policy object, they should call him on the phone and do it privately," said Lummis. "By the same token, I think it's best when Freedom Caucus or other members of Congress choose to criticize each other that they do that privately as well. It doesn't do us any good as Republicans to have a circular firing squad and those are examples of circular firing squads that are self-inflicted gunshot wounds that we don't need. Especially in an election year."

Woman power

Lummis is one of four candidates from the two major parties running for a seat in Congress. Running against Lummis is Democratic candidate Merav Ben David, while Cheney is facing a challenger with Lynnette Grey Bull. The Republican Senate candidate was excited to be part of history in the making.

"It was exciting to see how it played out because it played out on the exact day that women secured the vote nationally, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So, to have that happen on August 18 and coincide with that historic occasion was particularly fun to see. I just think that it's indicative that Wyoming people are open to different messengers," Lummis said. "Maybe not different messages but different messengers and so it's fun to be one of those different messengers that's on the ballot in November."


In recent months, the movement known as QAnon has gained mainstream traction. What started in forums on sites such as 4Chan has now entered the political world with a handful of Republican candidates who subscribe to the movement having won their primary races. The movement, which pushes the conspiracy theory that Democrats and "Hollywood Elite" are involved in a global pedophile ring, has drawn both praise and criticism from within the Republican Party.

While President Donald Trump has said he knows little about the movement but he knows that they support him, Cheney has called the movement a "dangerous lunacy" and said that it has no place in American politics.

"I don't know a lot about it but what I know about it, it looks just nutty and non-serious," said Lummis. "So, I don't give it much credence and I am perplexed, in a way, about it."


When Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on the night of September 18 at the age of 87, comparisons were drawn to the passing of Associate Justice Anthony Scalia in 2016. Those comparisons focused on the Republican-majority Senate deciding not to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland, who was selected by President Barack Obama to fill the vacancy.

At the time, Senator Mitch McConnell was joined by fellow senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, John Barraso and others in stating that the American people should have a say in who should fill the vacancy by electing the next president.

"I know that Senator McConnell, the majority leader in the Senate, held that point of view at the time because President Obama was the president and Republicans  were in control of the Senate and he felt that that was particularly true when you had the Senate confirming someone that was appointed by the other party, the nominee of the other party, at a time when an election was about to be held. Already, today, Senator McConnell has made that distinction again because now we have a sitting president in the same party as the majority party of the Senate," Lummis said. "What we don't know at this point is whether there would be hearings and a vote during the lame duck session that occurs between November 3 and January 3, when a new Senate is seated or whether he will hold off. I think it's pretty clear that President Trump will submit a name to the Senate. I don't know if he'll do it before or after the election but this development will, in my opinion, absolutely become the front and center issue on November 3."


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