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A GUIDE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES: WYOMING

5 minute read
TIME

WYOMING

Population (1994): 475,000 (up 4.9% from 1990), 0.2% of U.S. total

Voting-age population: 343,000; 1994 turnout, 59%

Median age: 32.0

Median household income: $33,140 ($876 above U.S. median)

Unemployment: 4.7% (0.9% lower than U.S. average, March 1996)

Last presidential election: Clinton (D): 34% Bush (R): 40% Perot (I): 26%

Congressional delegation: No Democrats, three Republicans

Wyoming is conservative, and any Democrat running here must overcome historical precedent to win: the Equality State has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and has not had a Democrat in either house of Congress since 1976. Wyoming has the smallest population of any state and is the leading coal producer in the U.S. Despite the fact that Democrat Bill Clinton has twice vacationed in the Grand Tetons near Jackson Hole and that 18-year veteran Alan Simpson is retiring, Wyoming residents are considered likely to send Republicans back to Congress this year.

MARK ENZI (R) SENATE (OPEN SEAT)

BORN: Feb. 1, 1944, Bremerton, Wash. EDUCATION: George Washington U, B.S., 1966; U of Denver, M.B.A., 1968 FAMILY: Wife, Diana; three children RELIGION: Presbyterian MILITARY: Wyoming National Guard, 1967-73 OCCUPATION: Accountant; small-business owner POLITICAL CAREER: Mayor of Gillette, 1974-82; Wyoming House, 1987-93, Senate, 1993- ADDRESS: 510 South Gillette Avenue, Gillette 82716. Tel.: 307-682-6881

Enzi won the G.O.P. primary by a narrow 2,000-vote margin. His conservative platform includes a “simpler, flatter” tax system and more state control of federal lands. Enzi hopes to profit from the endorsement of popular retiring Senator Alan Simpson and a solid state tradition of Republican representation.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns NO Gays NR Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO National Service NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “That’s one of the things I’ve learned through the years of being mayor and in state government: the only time you get in trouble is when you think you know it all.”

KATHY KARPAN (D) SENATE (OPEN SEAT)

BORN: Sept. 1, 1942, Rock Springs EDUCATION: U of Wyoming, B.S., 1964, M.A., 1970; U of Oregon, J.D., 1978 FAMILY: Single RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer; professor POLITICAL CAREER: Wyoming Health and Human Services director, 1985-86, Secretary of State, 1987-95; Democratic nominee for Governor, 1994 ADDRESS: 1807 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100, Cheyenne 82001. Tel.: 307-635-5178

Karpan, who calls herself an “independent Western Democrat,” is pro-choice but thinks public funds shouldn’t be used for something many taxpayers find morally corrupt. She supported the recent welfare-reform bill and says more jobs should be created to help people work their way off the dole.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NO National Service YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “The average American is discouraged with the partisan ‘showdown and shutdown’ approach in Washington. They want elected officials who will…take the common-sense, centrist approach that most Americans endorse.”

BARBARA CUBIN (R) At large (statewide)

BORN: Nov. 30, 1946, Salinas, Calif. EDUCATION: Creighton U, B.S., 1969 FAMILY: Husband, Frederick; two children RELIGION: Episcopalian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Medical-office manager; realtor; chemist POLITICAL CAREER: Wyoming House, 1987-93, Senate, 1993-94; U.S. House 1994- ADDRESS: 208 South Center Street, Casper 82601. Tel.: 307-234-7252

There was nothing in this race for the House quite like Cubin’s 1994 campaign headline grabber–distributing penis-shaped cookies to her colleagues in the Wyoming statehouse–but now that she is a member of Congress, Cubin has a record to run on. She supported the line-item veto and term limits, and with her post on the Resources Committee is in a position to protect the state’s national parks.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NR Gays NR Bosnia YES NAFTA NR Welfare YES Medical Leave NR (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “We voted on all the items in the Contract with America…And within each of those items, there were six or seven bills. We sent them to the President–he vetoed them. We did our part!”

PETE MAXFIELD (D) At large

BORN: May 10, 1941, Scottsbluff, Neb. EDUCATION: Regis College, B.A., 1963; U of Denver, J.D., 1966; Harvard U, L.L.M., 1968 FAMILY: Wife, Karen; four children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Professor; lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic nominee for U.S. House, 1990; Wyoming Senate, 1993- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 100, Laramie 82070. Tel.: 307-721-9696

Maxfield, a retired law professor, supports welfare reform and federal service programs like Americorps. Like many Wyoming Democrats, he thinks Barbara Cubin is vulnerable because she received only 53% of the vote in 1994, the Republican’s big year–but to win, he will have to halt Wyoming’s 20-year Republican run in the House.

THE ISSUES Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NR Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “A healthy economy comes from a well-educated work force that is confident about the future. It comes from simpler tax laws and streamlined, common-sense regulations that protect workers and the environment but eliminate unnecessary costs of compliance.”

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