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Wyoming congressional primaries: Barrasso, Cheney fend off GOP challengers

Author: Associated Press - August 22, 2018 - Updated: August 22, 2018

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., right speaks with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, after a Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on March 20, 2018 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a member of Republican leadership, defeated a well-funded challenger Tuesday night in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, incumbent Liz Cheney won the three-candidate Republican nomination for Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House.

Barrasso beat five opponents, including investor and Stanford University lecturer Dave Dodson of Jackson Hole. Dodson put $1 million of his own money toward a campaign that questioned Barrasso’s ties to corporate interests and Washington political insiders.

Barrasso spent much of Tuesday attending to business in Washington, D.C., and after thunderstorms delayed his flights, he landed in Casper well after polls closed.

“I’ve always been in Wyoming for primary day but we canceled the August recess. We’re working on (nominee Brett) Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. We’re working on lots of things,” Barrasso said.

As for beating Dodson, Barrasso said he works every day thinking about how to make life better for Wyoming residents and “I think that the voters saw that.”

A political newcomer, Dodson hinted he might continue advocating for term limits, reducing the influence of money in politics and other issues he focused on in his campaign.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks in Philadelphia in a Jan. 25, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

“I will not in any way stop this fight because I knew that these problems existed, but now they have faces, and they have names, and I care about them,” Dodson said.

Barrasso faces Wilson businessman Gary Trauner in the general election. Trauner ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Although Barrasso likely spent more campaign funds ahead of the primary, he is still set to have a sizable financial advantage over Trauner in the general election. Barrasso ended the pre-primary reporting period with $5.4 million on hand, while Trauner had $265,000.

In the GOP House primary, Cheney beat two other Republicans, Blake Stanley of Cheyenne and Rod Miller of Buford. Stanley and Miller both characterized themselves as blue-collar conservatives and ran low-key campaigns.

Cheney — elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney. — will run against Laramie businessman Greg Hunter, who beat attorney Travis Helm for the Democratic nomination for U.S. House.

President Donald Trump carried Wyoming by 48 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Wyoming Senate race Solidly Republican.

Associated Press

Associated Press