Simpson told Cubin he would primary her

Wyoming state Rep. Colin Simpson (R), a candidate in the senatorial appointment process in that state, last month told Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.) he would challenge her in a primary in 2008.

Simpson, the son of former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), yesterday told The Hill that on May 20 he met with Cubin to let her know he would be running against her.

“I told her I was running in 2008 for the U.S. House and wanted her to be the first to know,” said Simpson, who began traveling the state on Sunday to meet with members of the 71-member party central committee, which is responsible for picking three potential appointees.

Cubin fended off a surprisingly strong primary challenge from under-funded retired Navy Capt. Bill Winney with 60 percent of the vote in 2006. She went on to win by less than 1 percent in the general election.

Wyoming political insiders say Simpson would provide an even stronger primary challenge.

Simpson said Cubin said she intended to announce in early 2008 that she is running for reelection and that it was “a nice conversation.” He also said he would still be interested in running for the House or Senate if he does not get the appointment.

The Senate seat became vacant when Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) died last week after a seven-month battle with leukemia.
Simpson also said he met with Thomas last year to talk about a Senate bid. At the time, Thomas had not announced whether he was running for reelection.

“He looked at me and he said, ‘I’ve got three-quarters of a million dollars, and I’m running hard,’” Simpson said. “I said that’s all I needed to know.”