Wyoming House Majority Whip Cyrus Western Won’t Run For Reelection

House Majority Whip state Rep. Cyrus Western, a Republican from Big Horn, confirmed to Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that he won’t be running for reelection this fall.

Leo Wolfson

March 20, 20243 min read

State Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Big Horn
State Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Big Horn (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

One of the rising stars of the Wyoming Legislature is hanging it up, at least for a while.

State Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Big Horn, confirmed to Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that he won’t run for reelection to a fourth term this fall to represent House District 51.

Western, 34, said he and his wife are focusing on starting a family.

“My focus needs to be on my family right now,” Western said. “I love this job and I absolutely intend on returning at some point, but for at least right now, I need to focus on starting a family.”

Western, the House majority whip, was first elected to the Legislature in 2018.

He won his first two Republican primary elections by fairly comfortable margins in 2018 and 2020, but only narrowly beat his 2022 opponent, Sheridan County GOP Chair Bryan Miller, by 36 votes.

Western said he’s grateful for the time he’s spent in the Legislature and has loved his work there, and that he hasn’t ruled out running for the Legislature again at some point.

“I definitely appreciate the fact the voters gave me the opportunity in the first place. I’m incredibly appreciative for that,” Western said.

During the most recent legislative session, Western sponsored a bill that passed in both chambers and is now being considered by the governor to add more requirements and oversight on people who bid for oil and gas leasing on state lands in Wyoming.

He also sponsored another bill that the governor signed into law defining who a customer is for open banking.

What It Means

Western is one of the leading voices of the Wyoming Caucus, a Republican bloc created in response to the Wyoming Freedom Caucus.

If he had decided to run for reelection, Western would have likely faced a highly contested race with Sheridan resident Laurie Bratten, who announced her intention to run for the Legislature earlier this month.

Western said the possibility of facing that race and the rampant infighting in the Legislature had nothing to do with his decision.

“I always relish the opportunity to prove to voters why I’m the one, but right now my focus needs to be on family,” he said.

Western, who has already spoken critically of Bratten, said he doesn’t know of anyone else at this time who has an interest in running against her.

“I’m sure in the coming few days and weeks there might be somebody, but at this point I’m unaware of anybody who’s also intended to run,” Western said.

Moving Forward

His decision not to run won’t stop Western from supporting the campaigns of his fellow legislators in the Wyoming Caucus, he said.

“I want to see my friends succeed. If there are ways I can help them be successful in returning and engaging in good governance, I’m absolutely willing to help them,” he said.

Western will continue to serve out his term until the end of the year.

For now, he has one last message for his fellow legislators moving forward: to focus on good governance and compromise rather than self-serving moves.

“I encourage them to really focus on the act of governing,” he said. “While it’s obviously trendy right now to try and grab as much attention as possible, focusing on that core mission of following the constitution and engaging good governance is difficult and requires a lot.”

Leo Wolfson can be reached at leo@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter