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Cheney focused on 2012, backing Romney
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Cheney focused on 2012, backing Romney

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Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney speaks to a reporter before her appearance at a Natrona County Republican Party fundraiser on Aug. 16, 2012 at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper.

Wyoming’s most speculated-about noncandidate isn’t worried about 2014.

Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, said Thursday during a visit to Casper that speculation about whether she’ll run for office in Wyoming is just that — speculation.

“Right now I’m very focused on 2012,” she said when asked if she’s considering a run for Congress in 2014.

Cheney’s family purchased a house in Jackson Hole—she previously lived in Virginia—creating a wave of speculation. The former deputy assistant secretary of state’s list of public appearances has grown rapidly since she joined her father onstage at the Wyoming Republican Party convention in April, further fanning the flames.

Cheney’s activity points to someone planning a run at office, according to Oliver Walter, University of Wyoming dean of arts and sciences and a former political science professor.

“If it’s any person, you’re not going to think much of it,” he said. “But there’s both national and state speculation about her possibility of running. This really is consistent with that speculation.”

Cheney said the move to Wyoming wasn’t motivated by politics.

“We’re really excited about moving home,” she said. “My kids are thrilled. They love Wyoming and they’re excited to be close to their grandparents again.”

She said she hasn’t spoken with Sen. Mike Enzi, who some have speculated could decide to bow out in 2014, opening the door for Cheney.

“Sen. Enzi is a terrific senator and an old friend,” she said. “I’m sure he’ll let folks know when he’s ready to let folks know about his decision in 2014.”

And as for the public appearances, she said helping Mitt Romney unseat Barack Obama in November is the only election on her mind. Cheney gave a pro-Romney speech Wednesday at an energy exposition in Gillette and was planning more of the same for a closed meeting of the Natrona County Republican Party Thursday.

“I’ve been really honored to be asked to help raise money for the Republican Party across the state,” she said. “It’s terrific for me to get around and see old friends and see family.”

Cheney will continue to campaign for Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, but said she isn’t seeking another term serving in a presidential administration.

“I am really excited about being in Wyoming,” she said. “...It’s where I plan to be.”

Reach energy reporter Adam Voge at 307-266-0561, or at adam.voge@trib.com. Read his blog at http://trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/boom or follow him on Twitter @vogeCST.

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