CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Supporters of Sen. Mike Enzi have created a super political action committee to help the Republican incumbent fend off what could turn into an expensive primary challenge from Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The super PAC has been named Wyoming's Own, which could be a poke at Liz Cheney's residency status. Cheney and her husband bought a home in Jackson Hole last year after moving from Virginia.
The PAC was founded by Casper accountant and political strategist Bill Cubin and Dick Bratton, former co-chairman of the Wyoming Business Council and manager of a firm that invests in startup and technology companies.
Wyoming generally doesn't feature races that require donors with deep pockets, unlike congressional districts in other states where tens of millions are spent on primary and general elections. Enzi spent $1.6 million on his 2007-08 campaign.
But campaigning against Cheney will be different because of her father's ties to big donors, Enzi supporters say.
"Liz Cheney can raise a lot of money, and she can raise enough to make this race competitive," Cubin told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/17TxUcd ). "The purpose of our PAC is to prevent that."
In addition, Cheney has positioned herself to the right of Enzi, characterizing him as too willing to compromise conservative principles in dealing with Washington liberals.
Wyoming's Own will roll out its campaign toolbox once donors start filling its coffers. There will be newspaper, television, radio, mail and online ads. The purpose, Cubin said, is to remind Wyoming voters why "they like Enzi."
"Our purpose isn't to throw muck," he said.
Both campaigns have hit private fundraising events on the East Coast and received cash from groups throughout the country.
"I believe we're doing extremely well, especially this early in the campaign," Cheney campaign finance Chairwoman Margaret Parry said. "I think we're doing much better than we expected coming out of the gate."
Fundraisers in Jackson, Casper, Cheyenne, Cody and smaller towns have been successful, Parry said. Without a Cheney super PAC available to collect unlimited amounts of election cash, numerous donors have given Cheney's campaign the $5,200 maximum limit to a candidate, Parry said.
"I've had a lot of people come to me and say, 'I want to support her big time,'" she said.
The first federal campaign finance reports since Cheney announced her bid will be released by Oct. 15.
Before Cheney announced her primary challenge, Enzi's campaign finance report showed he had $488,150 on hand.