The Wyoming Mining Association endorsed Republican Liz Cheney for the state’s lone U.S. House seat, the trade organization announced Monday.
“The WMA believes Liz Cheney understands the critical issues and challenges facing Wyoming’s mining industry, and that she is the candidate best prepared to be our most effective advocate in Congress,” Jonathan Downing, the association’s executive director, said in a statement.
The association lobbies for mining companies that produce bentonite, coal, trona and uranium, as well as a company planning a rare-earth element mine and two railroads that haul the commodities.
Cheney, in the statement, said she was honored by the endorsement.
“As Wyoming’s representative, I look forward to working with WMA to lead the effort to undo the job-killing and unconstitutional federal regulation that is devastating our mining industry,” she said. “I will stand with Wyoming miners and energy producers against those who are leading a national effort to kill our fossil fuel industry. Together we can bring back the jobs, economic growth and innovation that have long been a hallmark of Wyoming’s mining industry.”
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With less than two months before the Nov. 8 election, candidates are beginning to rack up endorsements. Last week, Cheney’s opponent, Democrat Ryan Greene, received the endorsement of the AFL-CIO.
But Greene said he was surprised by the mining association’s endorsement of Cheney.
Greene told the Star-Tribune he had never interviewed with the association or been asked to fill out any surveys that trade groups sometimes send out.
“I’ve worked 18 years in Wyoming coal and trona mines. Just last week we repaired a pressure vessel for a Wyoming coal mine,” said Greene, a welder who works for his family’s Rock Springs energy company. “The Wyoming Mining Association does a lot of good things for our state and I would have loved to talk to them, but they never reached out to me. I’m curious as to what they based their endorsement on.”
The association said it based its endorsement on news articles, in particular an interview Greene had with the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Downing said in an interview Monday afternoon.
“He made some comments that could viewed as pro-EPA and denying there is a war on coal,” Downing said. “And every day that I go to work, we’re fighting back on the war on coal. To say there’s not a war on coal is a fallacy.”
Follow political reporter Laura Hancock on Twitter @laurahancock