CHEYENNE - Bruce Asay, an attorney and assistant adjutant general in the Wyoming National Guard, announced Friday that he will try to unseat five-term Rep. Barbara Cubin.
Both Cubin and Asay are Republicans. Cubin hasn't faced a challenger within her party since 2000.
Asay, 54, didn't mention Cubin by name and made no obvious references to her during his kickoff ceremony at his downtown office, emphasizing instead his experience in the Guard and as a lawyer.
"It's important that we not only just say we're tired of what's happening, we don't like it," he said.
"You need to elect a representative that's going to advocate your interests, that's going to stand up and be able to convince others that Wyoming has an interest and needs to be represented."
He said he is running for several reasons.
"First, the federal government is so prevalent in every aspect of our lives, whether it's a uniquely Wyoming issue relating to wolves or brucellosis or what have you, or whether it's a more common issue related to transportation or education," he said.
He also said the federal government needs to do a better job of coordinating with the state government on issues of importance to Wyoming.
Ron Akin, a Democrat who lost to Cubin in 2002, announced late last year his intent to run again but no Republican stepped forward until Asay.
Speculation has run high since last year that a Republican might run against Cubin, who in 2002 won her home county by just one vote and who ranks fifth in the House for missed votes. But other than Asay, no other Republican has stepped forward.
"It's only one vote, only one vote out of 435. And yet it is a vote," Asay said, referring to how Wyoming has just one seat in the House.
"And if we can multiply the effect of that vote by using those of states with common interests and common goals, we can magnify the importance of what we do and hopefully expand on what we're trying to accomplish in this state."
He said this a "critical time" for Guard members and reservists.
"Right now, as we sit here, we have many, many of our fellow citizens that are serving overseas in harm's way," he said. "I think it's important that you have a representative that not only knows their issues as a citizen soldier, but also knows the issues of those who here in the state of Wyoming, that are families of those aviators and those soldiers."
Cubin won 78 percent in the 2000 primary. Larry Jay Herdt garnered 14 percent and Dino Wenino 8 percent.
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