ROAD TO THE CAPITOL: Independent Voter Doesn’t Want Career Politicians in Office

Wheatland resident feels Liz Cheney has been in office too long

  • Published In: Politics
  • Last Updated: Aug 04, 2022

By Shen Wu Tan

Special to the Wyoming Truth

WHEATLAND, Wyo. – For Alvaro “Al” Amaya, the Aug. 16 primary will be the first time he votes in Wyoming, and in his eyes, it’s time for Rep. Liz Cheney to go.

Amaya, an internet and sales consultant at Laramie Peak Motors, is a registered Independent.  He has voted on both sides of the political aisle, backing Democrats and Republicans, while residing in Alaska. 

But this year, Amaya, who immigrated to the United States from Colombia in 1962,  intends to vote for Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Harriet Hageman, one of four GOP candidates seeking to oust Cheney.  

“Liz has been there too long,” Amaya said, sitting behind a desk at the auto store. “Her family’s just a political family here in the United States. That’s all they do is politics to make their living. There should be term limits. We shouldn’t have people in Congress for years. That’s why our country is in the shape it is now.”

“With this Jan. 6 mini-series on TV, I’ve lost confidence in her [Cheney],” he added. “She’s not there to find the truth. They’re not cross examining anybody. Everything is hearsay. There’s no evidence…She needs to be more neutral.”

Amaya, 64, moved to Wheatland from Alaska in 2014. He believes Hageman is on the right side of the issues that Wyoming voters care about, such as getting the gas and fossil fuel industry back online, protecting water rights, fighting for ranchers and farmers and standing up to the federal government.

Alvaro “Al” Amaya of Wheatland fills out paperwork at the Laramie Peak Motors. The internet and sales consultant identifies as Independent, but plans to vote for Republican candidate Harriet Hageman in the Aug. 16 primary. (Wyoming Truth photo by Shen Wu Tan)

In his view, Cheney is part of the government’s agenda.

Amaya’s choice to support Hageman is both a vote for her and a vote against Cheney. Although Hageman is backed by former President Donald Trump,  his endorsement did not play a role in Amaya’s decision to vote for Hageman.

Amaya supports Trump, but he doesn’t want him to seek the presidency in 2024. He believes the Democrats are still trying to impeach Trump with the Jan. 6 investigation and to charge him with a federal crime so that he can’t run for office again.

“The Democrats are just going to make another four years of nothing,” Amaya said, regarding a potential Trump bid in 2024. “They’re not going to concentrate on getting this country back on track.”   

“I’d love to see [Trump] be president,” he added, “but realistically for the country, [Florida Gov.] DeSantis or somebody else needs to run, because they are all on the same page as Trump when it comes to certain issues.”  

Issues related to natural resources are close to Amaya’s heart. For about 25 years, he owned a hunting and fishing lodge in Anchorage. But in the early 2000s, the federal government shut down his lodge and other local lodges when the fishing area, Alexander Creek, was handed over to a Native American tribe.

Amaya would like to see politicians work on oil and gas leasing, water and land rights, the Bureau of Land Management, inflation, immigration, education and voter identification. 

He also favors a smaller government and term limits so elected officials don’t get too power hungry.

“Cheney is an established or institutionalized politician,” Amaya said. “There doesn’t need to be career politicians…They need to go in, maybe serve three years and go out.”

Ahead of his first vote in Wyoming, the car salesman said he was feeling good about voting in a new state and Hageman’s chances of winning.

“If you don’t vote, keep your mouth shut – can’t complain,” Amaya said. “Everyone’s vote counts.”

Our next stop: Guernsey.

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