Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis drew just one Democratic opponent by Friday's registration deadline: an Arizona man who says he entered the race with no hope of winning and only wanted to spur Wyoming Democrats to field a candidate of their own.
Richard Grayson, of Apache Junction, Arizona, said Friday that he's run for Congress several times before in other states. He said he's a writer who has worked as a college professor and lawyer and now divides his time between Arizona and Brooklyn.
As the clock wound down Friday afternoon with no other Democratic candidates coming forward, Grayson expressed surprise that he could have the party's congressional nomination to himself for no more effort than sending in his candidacy papers.
"I'm not going to get elected, obviously," Grayson said. "Otherwise somebody from Wyoming would have run. I assume somebody else will file."
Robin Van Ausdall, director of the Wyoming Democratic Party, said Friday that the situation shows it's tough for the minority party to recruit viable candidates.
"I am not thrilled with it, but I also am not willing to twist somebody's arm," she said.
Grayson said he briefly lived in Wyoming in 1998, when he went to a writer's workshop in Ucross. He said he's gay, is not married and has no children. Asked whether he intended to campaign in Wyoming if he were the only Democrat on the ballot, he said, "I guess so, yeah."
But Grayson, who turns 63 next week, noted that Wyoming is large, with the smallest population of any state, and he said it would be a tough state to campaign in.
Van Ausdall said the Wyoming Democratic Party would have liked to field a strong contender in the House race but didn't turn up the right candidate.
"It's a big thing to ask of somebody to quit a job and ask every single person they know for money and raise several million dollars for a long-shot chance," she said.
A Democrat hasn't held statewide office in Wyoming since Gov. Dave Freudenthal ended his second term nearly four years ago. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats statewide by a ratio of more than 3-to-1.
"Either we run somebody who spends two years or more, raises millions and runs a perfect campaign, or we run somebody for the sake of running them," Van Ausdall said. "It's either-or; those are the options. There's no middle ground."
Lummis, one of the richest members of Congress, announced last month that she's seeking re-election to a fourth term to the state's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces a primary challenge from Jason Senteney, a state corrections officer from Yoder.
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., drew four Republican and four Democratic challengers. On the Republican side, Enzi will face:
— Thomas Bleming, of Lusk, a self-described soldier of fortune.
— Arthur Bruce Clifton, of Cheyenne, an oil company worker.
— Bryan E. Miller, of Sheridan, a retired Air Force officer and energy consultant.
— James "Coaltrain" Gregory, of Jackson. An attempt to reach Jackson on Friday wasn't immediately successful.
On the Democratic side, the following candidates registered for the U.S. Senate primary:
— Al Hamburg, of Torrington, a perennial candidate who has run unsuccessfully for many political offices.
— Charlie Hardy, of Cheyenne, a former priest.
— Rex Wilde, of Cheyenne, a worker for a contracting company who ran for governor unsuccessfully in 2010.
— William Bryk, of Brooklyn, New York. He has run for Congress in several other states over the past several years.
In the governor's race, incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Mead is seeking re-election. Challenging him for his party's nomination are State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill and Taylor Haynes, a doctor and rancher who lives in Cheyenne.
Pete Gosar, of Laramie, stepped down as chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party early this month and entered the governor's race as the only Democrat.
The race to succeed outgoing Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield has drawn a crowd of Republicans but no Democrats. Republican candidates for secretary of state are the following:
— Ed Murray, a Cheyenne businessman.
— Ed Buchanan, of Torrington, a lawyer and former speaker of the Wyoming House.
— Pete Illoway, of Cheyenne, a businessman and former legislator.
— Clark Stith, a Rock Springs lawyer and former Sweetwater County Republican chairman.
Incumbent state Treasurer Mark Gordon, a Republican, faces a challenge from Ron Redo, of Cheyenne, in his party's primary. No Democrats registered.
Three Republicans registered for the primary contest for state superintendent of public instruction: Bill Winney, of Bondurant; Jillian Balow, of Cheyenne; and Sheryl Lain, of Cheyenne. Democrat Mike Ceballos is unopposed in seeking his party's nomination for the education post.
State Auditor Cynthia Cloud, a Republican, faces no opposition from either party.