Newcomer in Wyoming politics aims to unseat Republican Liz Cheney
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - There is a newcomer in Wyoming politics looking to unseat Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), a powerhouse in the Republican Party. Democratic candidate Lynnette Grey Bull said she is finding ways to reach every corner of the state with her message.
“I want to create change,” she said.
A resident of the Wind River Indian Reservation, Lynnette Grey Bull is Native American from the Northern Arapaho and Hunkpapa Lakota tribes. She said she is running to represent the working class.
“Someone who has faced and overcome poverty, homelessness, being unemployed and a single mother of 3 children. My question, isn’t this the kind of representation Wyoming deserves?” Grey Bull said.
If elected, Grey Bull would be the third Native American woman to win a seat in Congress. As a community organizer and founder of the non-profit Not Our Native Daughters, she said she wants to help fellow Wyomingites get out of poverty.
“These are my neighbors,” she explained.
Grey Bull admits running a campaign during a pandemic is tough. Like many candidates, she’s connecting with voters from a distance and virtually through social media and Zoom.
Incumbent Congresswoman Liz Cheney said she is up against the same obstacles.
“Look it’s a whole new world,” said Cheney.
“Of course we do a lot of conference calls talking to hospitals around the state, talking to our county commissioners, the energy industry, our stock growers, ag (agriculture) industry. So, it really is a combination and being flexible and trying to make sure that we’re finding ways to reach out to everybody,” said Cheney.
Despite the COVID pandemic forcing Cheney to change her campaign strategy, she says her goal remains the same: fight for every vote statewide.
She said her priorities include the coronavirus recovery, national security, and teaching American history in schools.
“Every 4th grader across the state learns Wyoming history. And I think that’s a model that we really need to look at as we’re thinking about how we’re make that sure our kids have that same basis and grounding in American history.”
Cheney won by wide margins in both 2016 and 2018 in the Republican stronghold.
As of September 1, about 70 percent of Wyoming registered voters identified as Republican.
University of Wyoming Political Science Professor Jim King tells me he believes it will be nearly impossible for Grey Bull to flip the seat.
SOT King “Rep. Cheney has worked the state very well…Ms. Grey Bull’s chances depend entirely on something unimaginable, a scandal arising between now and election day. Those are the types of things that could create an environment where perhaps Rep. Cheney could lose.”
Cheney’s campaign has raised more than $2.7 million dollars, according to the Federal Election Commission. Grey Bull raised more than $94,000, as of September 30.
Absentee voting is already underway in Wyoming.
Wyomingites who wish to vote can request a ballot from their county clerk’s office. Absentee ballots can be dropped off or mailed. The due date is 7 p.m. on election day, November 3.
Photojournalist/Editor Tyler Smith contributed to this report.
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