With Sen. Mike Enzi’s retirement announcement, politicos in Wyoming — and across the country, really — long ago started speculating about who might seek the seat in the U.S. Senate.
Several Wyoming legislators’ names circulate in conversations on the topic, but the willingness to announce for any run rests with U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney’s future. If she chooses to run for U.S. Senate, a slew of names known statewide will likely announce intentions to replace her in the U.S. House.
If Cheney opts to stay put, though, and continue her race up the ladder on that side of Congress rather than start anew, it’s likely a similar slate of candidates will ask for votes to fill a seat in the Senate.
The only candidate so far willing to announce her intentions, no matter Cheney’s plans, is Cynthia Lummis, who intends to seek the open seat. Certainly, though, the field for whichever race Cheney doesn’t enter will become crowded as the end of 2019 nears.
After all, campaign seasons have become longer and longer, which seems obvious to those tracking the Democratic candidates for president. Those ranks outnumber your fingers and toes, and it’s likely you cannot name most of them off the top of your head.
A lot goes into considering a run for elected office. You have to consider whether you’re ready, timing of an announcement, fundraising prospects, your stance on important issues, whether you’ll have help on the campaign trail, who else is running and whether you’re willing to put yourself and your family through the barrage of attention that comes with campaigning.
It’s no wonder most potential Wyoming candidates for 2020 have hesitated to officially discuss plans while simultaneously jockeying for position, making their names known in the Wyoming Legislature and beyond and quietly seeking advice and support.
And while political wonks may relish the speculation that surrounds elections, many in the public likely tire of the constant campaigning. Divisions run deep between Democrats and Republicans, but rifts exist within each party, too, especially when deciding how far to lean into each base.
As political season heats up, take some time to learn about each candidate yourself. Most will make themselves accessible across the state; that’s one of the best things about Wyoming. Talk to them. Read about them — from as many sources as you can. Then, get ready, this election season could be a long road.