CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis faces a political newcomer in Tuesday's Republican primary election as she seeks a fourth two-year term holding Wyoming's lone U.S. House seat.
Jason Senteney is a 36-year-old corrections officer and volunteer firefighter from Torrington who says he wants to speak for the working class. Washington is out of touch with most Americans, Senteney says.
"It's time we elect somebody who understands where you're coming from and has been in the trenches of life with each and every one of you," he said during a televised debate last week.
One of Senteney's goals is to eliminate the federal income tax and replace it with a 12 percent national sales tax for all transactions except unprepared food, life-saving medical procedures, prescriptions and medical/dental insurance. The 12 percent rate would be temporary and gradually reduced to 6 percent.
Lummis, 59, was first elected in 2008 and easily won re-election in 2010 and 2012.
She said she has more work to do in protecting Wyoming's interests against federal overreach on issues like endangered species and water. "Everywhere you look, the rules are changing the way that Wyoming people live their lives," Lummis said.
Lummis also has spoken out against uncontrolled federal spending and the federal health care law enacted by President Barack Obama.
She says the federal government should not hamper small businesses with bureaucratic red tape and overregulation.
She favors an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act in order to curtail environmentalists' lawsuits and give more power to states.
The winner could face a Democrat who was unopposed in the primary.
In fact, Richard Grayson lives in Apache Junction, Arizona, and says he entered the Democratic race with no hope of winning.
The situation leaves open the possibility that a write-in candidate could win the Democratic nomination.