Ex-U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming dies after bicycle accident

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GILLETTE, Wyo. — Retired Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican known arsenic a consensus-builder successful an progressively polarized Washington, has died. He was 77.

Enzi died peacefully Monday surrounded by household and friends, erstwhile spokesperson Max D’Onofrio said.

Enzi had been hospitalized with a breached cervix and ribs for 3 days pursuing a bicycle mishap adjacent Gillette. He was stabilized earlier being flown to a infirmary successful Colorado but remained unconscious, D’Onofrio said.

Enzi fell adjacent his location astir 8:30 p.m. Friday, household person John Daly said. Around the aforesaid time, Gillette constabulary received a study of a antheral lying unresponsive connected a roadworthy adjacent a bike.

Police person seen nary denotation that anybody other was adjacent oregon progressive successful the accident, Lt. Brent Wasson told the newspaper.

A erstwhile footwear salesman archetypal elected to the Senate successful 1996, Enzi emphasized compromise implicit grandstanding and confrontation to get bills passed.

His “80-20 rule” called connected colleagues to absorption connected the 80% of an contented wherever legislators tended to hold and discard the 20% wherever they didn’t.

“Nothing gets done erstwhile we’re conscionable telling each different however incorrect we are,” Enzi said successful his farewell code to the Senate successful 2020. “Just inquire yourself: Has anyone ever truly changed your sentiment by getting successful your look and yelling astatine you oregon saying to you however incorrect you are? Usually that doesn’t alteration hearts oregon minds.”

Wyoming voters reelected Enzi by wide margins 3 times earlier helium announced successful 2019 that helium would not question a 5th term. Enzi was succeeded successful the Senate successful 2021 by Republican Cynthia Lummis, a erstwhile congresswoman and authorities treasurer.

“He was a elephantine and volition beryllium truly missed by each of us,” Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming’s congresswoman, said Tuesday connected ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Enzi’s governmental vocation began astatine 30 erstwhile helium was elected politician of Gillette, a metropolis astatine the bosom of Wyoming’s then-booming ember mining industry. He was elected to the Wyoming House successful 1986 and authorities Senate successful 1991.

The status of Republican Sen. Alan Simpson opened the mode for Enzi’s predetermination to the Senate. Enzi bushed John Barrasso successful a nine-way Republican superior and past Democratic erstwhile Wyoming Secretary of State Kathy Karpan successful the wide election; Barrasso would beryllium appointed to the Senate successful 2007 aft the decease of Sen. Craig Thomas.

Enzi wielded quiescent power arsenic the Senate slipped into partisan gridlock implicit the 2nd fractional of his vocation there.

His much caller accomplishments included advancing authorities to alteration income taxes to beryllium collected connected net income crossing authorities lines. He played a large relation successful reforming the No Child Left Behind instrumentality that acceptable show standards for elementary, mediate and precocious schoolhouse students.

He fought for Wyoming arsenic the apical coal-mining authorities to person payments done the national Abandoned Mine Land program, which taxes ember operations to assistance reclaim abandoned mining properties.

Enzi sought to promote concern innovation by hosting an yearly inventors conference. He besides backed bills involving the U.S. Mint but his connection to bash distant with the penny was unsuccessful.

Enzi was calved Feb. 1, 1944, successful Bremerton, Washington. His household moved to Thermopolis soon after.

Enzi graduated from Sheridan High School successful 1962 and from George Washington University with a grade successful accounting successful 1966. He received a master’s successful retail selling from the University of Denver successful 1968.

He joined Diana Buckley successful 1969 and the mates moved to Gillette wherever they started a footwear store, NZ Shoes. They aboriginal opened 2 much NZ Shoes stores, successful Sheridan and Miles City, Montana.

From 1985 to 1997, Enzi worked for Dunbar Well Service successful Gillette, wherever helium was an accounting manager, machine programmer and information trainer.

Enzi served 2 four-year presumption arsenic politician of Gillette. He served connected the U.S. Department of Interior Coal Advisory Committee from 1976 to 1979.

His household expressed appreciation for the prayers and enactment they’ve received but asked for privacy, D’Onofrio said. The household is readying “a solemnisation of a beingness well-lived,” helium said successful a statement, and volition stock details later.

Enzi is survived by his wife; 2 daughters, Amy and Emily; a son, Brad; and respective grandchildren.

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