Cheney, who moved to Wyoming last year, launched her Senate bid this summer.
Cheney launched her bid this summer, just a year after moving her family to the state. Even before announcing, she tirelessly worked the statewide circuit of Chamber of Commerce events and Lincoln Day dinners.
By all accounts, she has been well-received. Even skeptical Enzi supporters, who still believe he’ll win, say Cheney has impressed them.
“I don’t think [same-sex marriage] will have as much resonance in Wyoming as her stance on how we approach our relationship with the federal government,” said state Sen. John Schiffer, a supporter of and former colleague of Enzi. “If I could say one thing, Liz Cheney has approached that in a manner that people out here — it rings a bell with them.”
But she’s also gained some unwanted attention in her effort to establish a presence in Wyoming. That includes purchasing a state fishing license before having lived in the state for a full year, as required.
State Sen. Cale Case, who is so far neutral in the race, said Cheney packed his Rotary Club last week in Lander, Wyo., and effectively used humor to diffuse some of her baggage.
“Probably by the time the election happens, the fishing license and the residency will seem pretty old,” Case said. “Even if she wasn’t a resident then, by the time this election occurs in August of next year, she’ll have been here for that long. It just kind of wears itself out.”
The word “articulate” surfaced during several interviews about Cheney with Wyoming Republicans who had seen her speak. But there is also an evident “comfort” with Enzi.
“They’re both pretty conservative,” Milczewski said. “So I guess the argument is over who’s going to be the most forceful advocate for what the people of Wyoming want.”
That’s been the argument in the two most recent television ads released by the campaigns. Cheney used her impressive first quarter of fundraising to launch a 60-second TV ad last week that highlights her Wyoming roots. Cheney says in the ad that “it’s time for a new generation of Wyoming leaders to step up to the plate.”
Meanwhile, the pro-Enzi super PAC Wyoming’s Own launched a TV ad this week that both highlighted Enzi’s opposition to Obamacare — including a clip of him on the Senate floor in 2010 arguing that the law won’t allow people to keep their insurance plans — and took a veiled shot at Cheney’s recent move to the state.
“Mike Enzi,” the ad’s announcer says. “Trusted. Conservative. Wyoming’s own.”