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Lummis Declared Winner in Wyoming Primary

It might be a perilous environment for incumbents nationally, but for the second straight Tuesday, the establishment candidate bested a fresh-faced political outsider in a Republican primary, with former two-term Wyoming Treasurer Cynthia Lummis defeating wealthy rancher and political novice Mark Gordon in the GOP primary for the Equality State’s lone House seat.

Lummis now faces Internet entrepreneur Gary Trauner (D) in the general election.

Trauner nearly beat outgoing Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) in 2006, and Democrats are optimistic that 2008 will see him get over the hump, even though Wyoming remains staunchly Republican. Earlier this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put Trauner in its “Red to Blue” program, which targets GOP-held seats that the DCCC believes are winnable.

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Trauner congratulated Lummis on her victory and signaled that he will immediately begin a vigorous grass-roots campaign effort that seeks to minimize the fact that he is a Democrat.

“It’s time to for leaders who know there aren’t Democratic problems or Republican problems, there are Wyoming problems and Wyoming solutions,” Trauner said. “I’ll stand up to anyone who doesn’t put Wyoming’s interests first.”

With all precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Lummis led Gordon 33,143 votes to 26,824 votes, according to the Wyoming secretary of state’s office — despite the fact that Gordon spent more than $1.1 million of his own money on the race. Retired Navy officer and 2006 GOP primary candidate Bill Winney placed third with 8,537 votes; physician Michael Holland was fourth with 3,153 votes.

Last Tuesday in Colorado’s 6th district GOP primary, Secretary of State Mike Coffman beat businessman Wil Armstrong by 10 points. Armstrong, making his first run for political office, was campaigning as a political outsider and repeatedly hit Coffman for being a career politician.

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