There is a new story out today about Liz Cheney considering a run for Wyoming Senate in 2014 against incumbent Mike Enzi (R-WY).
The first reaction many here would be "OMG, we have to stop her!" I am here to try and convince you to resist that impulse, because Liz running would create a fantastic opportunity for a democratic pick-up in the 2014 election.
The story in the New York Times is about how the WY GOP is worried about a Liz Cheney run, and they have every reason to be. Mike Enzi is a well liked incumbent and often portrayed as a moderate voice in the republican caucus. If Liz Cheney is going to make any traction against that she is going to have to appeal to more extremist sentiments within the republican electorate.
Now that may a ticket for success in many states, but Wyoming isn't like many states. These are ranchers and farmers and oil/gas workers. I think a hotly contested primary or even an independent run by Liz Cheney would put off many voters and give us an excellent opportunity to pick up a senate seat IF we can get the right democrat to run.
That democrat, is former WY Governor Dave Freudenthal. He was a recent, 2 term Democratic Governor who won re-election with 69% of the vote in a VERY red state. He would probably never run against an uncontested Enzi. However, if Liz Cheney throws her hat in the ring, weakening or splitting the republican vote, Governor Dave could win it handily (and the Wyoming GOP knows it).
Now, I'll be honest, he is not the KIND of democrat many here will prefer. I have a lot of family in WY and they are ALL righties, and of those who support and like Governor Dave, they do so because he's NOT a liberal and because he listened and was receptive to his constituents (again, this is a red state). However, he did also endorse Obama in the 2008 democratic caucus against Hillary Clinton. I think he would be a reliable vote for the most critical democratic agendas, especially those that would benefit his constituents. And I think he could sell several democratic initiatives to his constituents.
I don't know what Dave's current situation is. I heard from my mother that his wife got a federal judge appointment and he's currently working for a law practice. But if Liz Cheney runs against Enzi, a "Draft Dave" movement would be well worth the effort. He is the only democrat I know of in Wyoming who could pick up this seat.