By Leo Wolfson, State Politics Reporter
Republican Tamara Trujillo of Cheyenne knocked off Democrat candidate Sara Burlingame in House District 44 on Tuesday night.
With all of the district’s votes counted except for mail ballots, a total of 1,360 votes, Trujillo thumped Burlingame in the election by 25% of the vote.
Trujillo said she expected to win – and win big.
“I am just like everyone in my district. I’m a working-class member of the community,” she said. “I watch representative after representative say they are going to do something and go on their own self-serving agenda.”
Trujillo beat state Rep. John Romero-Martinez, R-Cheyenne, in the Republican primary. Romero-Martinez ran as a write-in candidate in the general election, but there were only 10 write-in ballots cast.
Trujillo said she plans to hold regular town halls with her constituents so she can stay updated with the issues that are most prevalent.
“What they care about today might not necessarily be what they care about in six months,” she said.
Burlingame served in the legislature from 2019-2021 but was beaten by Romero-Martinez by a small margin in her reelection bid in 2020. She is pro-choice and the executive director of Wyoming Equality, a LGBTQ advocacy group.
“I have nothing but profound gratitude to my family, the amazing folks who helped my campaign and the absolute rockstars I had the privilege to run with on the Dem ticket,” Burlingame said on Facebook. “We ran good races – we showed up with fierce love and dedication for our community.”
Burlingame then went on a negative tangent, saying unlike Romero-Martinez, Trujillo did not run a clean campaign.
“My opponent didn’t show up for any debates and kept a steady stream of insults and innuendo hurled at me and my family,” Burlingame said.
She described Trujillo as one of a number of “alt-right” candidates Democrats lost to across the state.
“People who wouldn’t know how to even read a bill, let alone engage it critically,” she said. “People who hurl lies and insults as easily as they breathe. And the people of Wyoming turned out to vote for them. They said yes to the cruel, yes to contemptuous.”
Trujillo is adamantly pro-life on abortion and has relatively conservative platform. She also believes the state should provide better support for school-of-choice options. Trujillo has never clarified her stance on Medicaid expansion.
The race was seen by many Democrats as an opportunity to take back a seat in the state Legislature. With the win, Republicans continued their complete representation for Cheyenne in the Legislature.
Prior to Romero-Martinez’s election, House District 44 had been a longstanding Democratic-leaning district.