||This biographical article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (October 2013)|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's At-large district
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Barbara Cubin|
|34th Treasurer of Wyoming|
January 1999 – January 2007
|Preceded by||Stan Smith|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Meyer|
|Member of the Wyoming Senate
from the 5th district
January 14, 1993 – January 10, 1995
|Succeeded by||Donald J. Lawler|
|Member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from Laramie|
January 8, 1985 – January 14, 1993
January 9, 1979 – January 11, 1983
September 10, 1954 |
Cheyenne, Wyoming, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Alvin Wiederspahn (1983–2014; his death)|
|Alma mater||University of Wyoming|
|Religion||Lutheran – LCMS|
Cynthia Marie Lummis Wiederspahn (born September 10, 1954) is the U.S. Representative for Wyoming's at-large congressional district, serving since 2009. She is a member of the Republican Party. She previously served as a State Representative (1979–83, 1985–93), State Senator (1993–95), and State Treasurer (1999–2007).
Lummis is one of four children born in Cheyenne to Doran Lummis and the former Enid Bennett (1928–2013), a native of Denver, Colorado, who was reared in Cheyenne and was highly active in Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Republican Party. Lummis' maternal grandparents were Clarence "Buck" Bennett, the head mechanic at the Greyhound Bus Lines in Cheyenne, and Eda Erickson Bennett. Her siblings are Christine, Claudia, and Dell and his wife Sally Lummis, all of Cheyenne. In a statement upon her mother's death, Lummis said, "I carry with me so many lessons my mother taught me; chief among them is the quiet grit she displayed in the face of pain and adversity."
Lummis was educated at Trinity Lutheran School and public schools in Cheyenne. She graduated from Cheyenne East High School in 1972. She was active in the 4-H Club and raised Hereford calves every year for showing at the annual county fair in August.
After high school, Lummis enrolled in the University of Wyoming in Laramie, the state's only four-year institution of higher learning. She obtained two Bachelor of Science degrees in animal science in 1976 and in biology in 1978. While she was a legislator, she received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wyoming in 1985 and also clerked for the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Lummis was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1979 to 1983 and 1985 to 1993, and then the Wyoming Senate from 1993 to 1995. At twenty-four, she was the youngest woman to have been elected to the Wyoming House. Lummis concentrated on issues of taxation and natural resources.
On leaving the Wyoming Senate, she served as transition director for Republican Governor Jim Geringer and then worked for two years in Geringer's office. In that capacity she spearheaded the Governor’s Open Spaces Initiative and edited Wyoming’s Open Lands Guidebook. She also served on the Board of the Institute for Environmental and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. She is a former interim director of the Office of State Lands and Investments. State revenues increased sharply during her tenure, and investment income increased.
Lummis was elected state treasurer in 1998 and reelected in 2002 (unopposed). She managed over $8 billion in annual funds and was elected President of the Western State Treasurer's Association. As State Treasurer, she was cited by the Small Business Administration as the "Women in Business Advocate of the Year 2005." The award is given to a public official who promotes women's business ownership. That same year, Lummis was honored by the University of Wyoming (UW) College of Agriculture as one of two "Outstanding Alumni." She was ineligible to seek reelection in 2006 because of Wyoming's term limits law, and was succeeded by fellow Republican Joseph B. Meyer, previously the Wyoming Secretary of State.
On June 14, 2007, Lummis was among thirty-one Wyoming Republicans to file their names with the Republican State Central Committee in Cheyenne for consideration as the successor to U.S. Senator Craig Thomas, who died earlier in the month. She was chosen as one of the three nominees by the committee submitted to Governor Dave Freudenthal for final selection who, under Wyoming law, made the final selection on June 22, 2007, to appoint John Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon and State Senator from Casper. Lummis had considered challenging Barrasso in the 2008 special election to complete the remaining four years of Thomas's term, but instead announced her candidacy for the open seat that was vacated by Barbara Cubin in the U.S. House of Representatives.
U.S. House of Representatives
Lummis, who carried the support of pro-life and economic conservative voters in Wyoming, won the November 4, 2008, general election to succeed Barbara Cubin of Casper. In the August primary election, Lummis defeated businessman and rancher Mark Gordon of Buffalo in Johnson County, who outspent her four-to-one, along with other candidates Bill Winney and Michael S. Holland. Gordon is now the Wyoming state treasurer.
In the general election, Lummis faced Democratic Teton County School Board Trustee Gary Trauner of Wilson, who had run against Cubin in 2006 and nearly won. Trauner criticized Lummis because she has supported privatization of Social Security and has also suggested raising the retirement age for receiving such benefits; Trauner has called instead for consideration of imposing the FICA tax on income over $100,000, which is currently exempt. Lummis defeated Trauner by 10 percentage points.
Lummis won re-election with 71% against Democratic challenger David Wendt.
Lummis again won re-election with 69% of the vote against Democratic challenger Chris Henrichsen.
In October 2013, Jason Adam Senteney (born 1978), a resident of Yoder and a corrections officer at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, announced that he will challenge Lummis in the 2014 Republican primary. Senteney attended West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, but did not graduate. He opposed the 2013 government shutdown: "You should never shut down essential programs for people. ... Whether it's a negotiation tactic or not, you shouldn't punish the American people for your own failure to work together in Washington."
No other candidate has yet entered the 2014 congressional primary.
Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner has called Lummis one of Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake's "posse of anti-appropriators" on the Approrpriations Committee. According to Carney, Lummis "is the league leader in bucking the committee leadership." She is a member of the Republican Study Committee.
- Ranch A Consolidation and Management Improvement Act (H.R. 1684; 113th Congress) – a bill that would transfer 10 acres of federal lands to the state of Wyoming for use at the historic Ranch A. Lummis introduced the bill.
- Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728; 113th Congress) – a bill that would require the federal government to defer to individual states about regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. If a state has laws or regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing, those regulations would be the rules that applied in that state, not any regulations created by the federal government. Lummis supported this bill.
- Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (H.R. 1526) – a bill that would direct the United States Department of Agriculture to establish at least one Forest Reserve Revenue Area within each unit of the National Forest System designated for sustainable forest management for the production of national forest materials (the sale of trees, portions of trees, or forest products from System lands) and forest reserve revenues (to be derived from the sale of such materials in such an Area). Lummis supported this bill.
- Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act (H.R. 2919; 113th Congress) – a bill that would require the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) to prepare a report each year on the amount of fees and other expenses awarded by federal courts to nonfederal entities when they prevail in a case against the United States. Lummis introduced this bill on August 1, 2013. Lummis said that "requiring agencies to keep track of what they pay attorneys will help Congress determine if EAJA is working well or not." According to Lummis, the EAJA was meant to the help the "little guy" but "was later co-opted by large environmental groups so their litigation shops could get reimbursed for filing expansive litigation on environmental issues."
United States House Committee on Natural Resources (2009–2011; 2013–present)
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (2013–present)
- Committee on Science, Space and Technology (2013–present)
- Committee on Appropriations (2011–2013)
- Congressional Western Caucus (Vice-Chairman)
- International Conservation Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
- Women's Caucus (Co-Chair)
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Freedom Caucus
- Cynthia Lummis, Republican – 105,322 (62.69%)
- Charyl "Butch" Loveridge, Democrat – 52,655 (31.34%)
- James Blomquist, Libertarian – 10,024 (5.97%)
- Cynthia Lummis – 79,557 (100.00%)
Wyoming state treasurer, 2002 – general election:
- Cynthia Lummis – 152,583 (100.00%)
- Cynthia Lummis – 33,149 (46.18%)
- Mark Gordon – 26,827 (37.37%)
- Bill Winney – 8,537 (11.89%)
- Michael S. Holland – 3,171 (4.56%)
Wyoming's at-large congressional district, 2008 – general election:
- Cynthia Lummis, Republican – 131,244 (52.62%)
- Gary Trauner, Democrat – 106,758 (42.81%)
- W. David Herbert, Libertarian – 11,030 (4.42%)
- Write-in candidates – 363 (0.15%)
- Cynthia Lummis – 84,063 (82.82%)
- Evan Liam Slafter – 17,148 (16.89%)
- Write-in candidates – 289 (0.28%)
Wyoming's at-large congressional district, 2010 – general election:
- Cynthia Lummis, Republican – 131,661 (70.42%)
- David Wendt, Democrat – 45,768 (24.48%)
- John V. Love, Libertarian – 9,253 (4.95%)
- Write-in candidates – 287 (0.15%)
Wyoming's At-Large Congressional District, 2012 – General Election:
- Cynthia M. Lummis, Republican – 166,452 (68.89%)
- Chris Henrichsen, Democrat – 57,573 (23.83%)
- Richard P. Brubaker, Libertarian – 8,442 (3.49%)
- Don Wills, Country Party – 3,775 (1.56%)
- Daniel Clyde Cummings, Constitution – 4,963 (2.05%)
- Write-in Candidates – 416 (0.17%)
Lummis is a lawyer and rancher in Cheyenne. She manages Lummis Livestock, located outside Cheyenne, which began in 1919 when her great-grandfather, the owner of a hardware store, bought the property from a business partner. The ranch has a stone barn built in the latter 19th century. Lummis and Wiederspahn also own ranches in Wheatland and in Lincoln County.
Although she uses her maiden name, she was married from 1983 until his death in 2014 to Cheyenne attorney and businessman Alvin Laramie "Al" Wiederspahn, himself a Democratic former member of both houses of the Wyoming legislature. The two were House colleagues from 1979 to 1983, when they married. The Wiederspahns have a daughter, Annaliese Wiederspahn. Lummis attends Trinity Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, of which her husband was an elder. Lummis's father-in-law was former Laramie County Coroner Arling Wiederspahn (1916–2007), a Democrat, a funeral home owner, and a leading civic builder of Cheyenne.
Her affiliations include the American Women's Financial Education Foundation, the Center for the Rocky Mountain West Advisory Board, Cheyenne's Vision 2020, the Wyoming Business Alliance, and the Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust. She is the first woman to have served on the popular Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Board. She won the title "Miss Frontier" in 1976. In 2003, Lummis was a fundraiser for the construction of Johnson Lummis Hunkins Plaza in Downtown Laramie in Albany County, where a statue has been erected in honor of Louisa Gardner Swain, the first woman ever to have voted in a general election in the United States.
Lummis appeared on The Colbert Report on March 9, 2009, as part of the show's recurring Better Know a District segment, which often lampoons members of the U.S. Congress. The segment dealt with cougars, or mountain lions, with Colbert asking if Wyoming had a cougar problem, while alluding to the slang use of the term "cougar".
In 2008, Lummis reported her wealth as ranging from $20 million to $75 million. She ranked in 2010 as the twenty-ninth wealthiest member of Congress. Most of Lummis’ wealth is derived from her family-owned Arp and Hammond Company, Lummis Livestock Company, and Old Horse Pasture Inc.
- "Rep. Lummis' Statement on the Passing of Her Mother, October 10, 2013". lummis.house.gov. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- Ostermeier, Eric (June 13, 2013). "Meet the Three House Women Who Go by “Congressman”". Smart Politics.
- "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Wyoming Tribune-Eagle Online
- Joyce, Matt (2008-10-10). "Trauner, Lummis camps debate Social Security". Casper Star-Tribune.
- "State Results – Election Center 2010 – Elections & Politics from CNN.com". CNN.
- "Trevor Brown, Yoder man challenging Lummis in 2014 primary: Jason Senteney says Congress isn't working to solve budget issues, October 24, 2013". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- Carney, Timothy (2011-04-03) GOP anti-appropriators break up the spending party, Washington Examiner
- Hancock, Laura (5 August 2013). "Lummis-supported bills move forward". Casper Star-Tribune Online. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- "H.R. 1684 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Kasperowicz, Pete (19 November 2013). "House advances drilling, fracking bills". The Hill. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "H.R. 1526 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "CBO – H.R. 2919". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- D'Amico, Christine (1 August 2013). "Lummis, Cohen Draft Bill to Track Equal Access to Justice Act Payments Bipartisan legislation restarts agency tracking obligations; modernizes record-keeping with online database.". House Office of Cynthia Lummis. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Hancock, Laura (9 February 2014). "House committee endorses bill targeting environmental group lawsuits". Casper Star Tribune. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (25 September 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- "Statewide Issues Abstract" (Portable Document Format). Wyoming Elections Division. p. 5. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Foster, Deidre (November 4, 1998). "Lummis trumps Loveridge". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Statewide Candidates' Abstract – Official Primary Election Results – August 20, 2002" (Portable Document Format). Wyoming Elections Division. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Statewide Candidates' Abstract – Official General Election Results – November 5, 2002" (Portable Document Format). Wyoming Elections Division. p. 2. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Republican Statewide Candidates Official Summary: Wyoming Primary Election – August 19, 2008" (PDF). Wyoming Elections Division. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Miller, Lorraine C. (July 10, 2009). "Statistics of the presidential and congressional election of November 4, 2008" (Portable Document Format). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. p. 68. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Statewide Candidates Official Summary: Wyoming Primary Election – August 17, 2010" (Portable Document Format). Wyoming Elections Division. p. 1. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Haas, Karen L. (June 3, 2011). "Statistics of the congressional election of November 2, 2010" (Portable Document Format). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. p. 56. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives – Election Information" (PDF). Karen Haas, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
- "Rep. Cynthia Lummis among Richest Members of Congress". wyofile.com. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cynthia Lummis.|
- Congressman Cynthia Lummis official U.S. House site
- Cynthia Lummis for Congress
- Cynthia Lummis at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's At-large congressional district
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority