Wyoming’s Sen. Enzi reflects on four terms in Congress

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 10:19 AM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - After 24 years representing Wyomingites, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) is retiring. Washington News Bureau reporter Jillian Angeline catches up with Enzi in his final weeks on the job.

“I’m actually really excited about being back in Wyoming permanently. We’ve been there on the weekends almost every weekend I’ve been here, but I’m coming home,” said Enzi.

After a political career spanning five decades in Wyoming and Washington, Enzi is hanging up his hat. From humble beginnings as a small business owner and an accountant, Enzi was elected mayor of Gillette in 1974. After serving in both state house and senate chambers, he became Wyoming’s U.S. Senator in 1996 and never looked back. He said he never sought fame or recognition—he just wanted to help others.

“I’ve been able to use the God-given talents to make a difference,” he said, reflecting on his time in office.

Enzi said he is most proud of the legislation he pushed through Congress. He worked on more than 100 bills enacted into law.

“Finding common ground is key. And staying civil enough to find the common ground is also very important,” he said. “We need a little more civility in the Senate and part of that is just talking to each other,” he said about working with both sides of the aisle.

Wyoming is home to rich natural resources, oil fields and mines. As a leader, Enzi said he believes he was able to help energy workers during his four terms.

“I’ve helped keep them in business,” he explained.

“I’ve done a lot of safety provisions for the people that work there, and it’s been a great journey working with them.”

Enzi’s colleagues say it has been a great journey working with him, from his dry sense of humor to his can-do attitude.

“You can count on Mike. You know he’s going to be solid. You know he’s going to be steady,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) agrees.

“He’s a true Wyoming gentleman. Someone who will always be a true friend and mentor to me and it’s been a real privilege for me to serve with him,” he said.

As for the road ahead, Enzi said he will be searching for the best spots to drop his fishing line.

“Over the years, people have said ‘come to my place, I’ve got some great fishing, come anytime’. I’m just hope after I retire, I’m still invited,” he said.

Enzi’s successor, former Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, will be sworn in on January 3.

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