Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis won her bid to return to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, defeating Democrat Merav Ben-David for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Senator Mike Enzi.
According to unofficial returns, Lummis defeated Ben-David by a large margin, 176,102 votes to 67,387.
The unofficial vote tallies did not reflect votes from Sweetwater County, which had not reported any returns as of 11 p.m. Tuesday.
The race was historic for Wyoming because it was the first time two women had vied for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats.
Lummis, who served as Wyoming’s lone U.S. representative from 2009 through 2016, ran a campaign based on her “strong, no-nonsense, conservative leadership” and her support for the administration of President Donald Trump. She won Trump’s endorsement in her August primary against nine other Republicans.
During her campaign, Lummis pledged her defense of the Second Amendment, vowed to help with the confirmation of conservative judges nominated by Trump and stop the “socialist agenda” she said was contained in programs such as the “Green New Deal.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks both congratulated Lummis on her win Tuesday night.
“The U.S. Chamber congratulates Senator-Elect Lummis on a well-fought victory in the Wyoming Senate race,” said Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “She is a champion for America’s business community and knows that Main Street prospers when free enterprise leads the way. We look forward to building a strong partnership with Senator-Elect Lummis and working together on behalf of our nation’s business community.”
The Chamber endorsed Lummis in her bid for the Senate seat.
“Cynthia Lummis has staged a remarkable campaign and achieved a hard fought victory, which is why FreedomWorks for America is proud to have been the first major conservative grassroots community to offer our endorsement,” FreedomWorks executive director Noah Wall said. “Lummis’ commitment to small government principles can be traced back to her days in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and maintained a strong 87% lifetime score on the FreedomWorks Congressional Scorecard.
We are proud of both Lummis and our grassroots activists who worked tirelessly to elect a principled conservative to the U.S. Senate.”
Ben-David, a University of Wyoming professor of zoology and physiology, based her campaign on the idea that as a scientist, she would work to solve problems facing the questions by identifying problems, gathering the relevant data and using the information to reach evidence-based conclusions.
Ben-David, who became a U.S. citizen in 2009, was one of six candidates to seek the Democratic nomination for Wyoming’s open Senate seat and won the August primary with 40.5 percent of the vote.
The veteran of Israel’s Air Force ran a campaign sharply critical of Lummis’ record while she was in Congress, saying the Republican’s record showed a consistent failure to support small businesses, veterans, children and police.