Former Republican senator for Wyoming Mike Enzi died on Monday at 77, after being injured in a bicycle accident.
Enzi “sustained serious injuries” on Friday while riding near his hometown of Gillette, according to a statement on the former senator’s Twitter account. Enzi was flown to UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo., where he subsequently passed away.
The former senator’s family expressed “their deep appreciation for all of the prayers, support and concern,” in a statement on Twitter. “They now ask for privacy and continued prayers during this difficult time.”
During his tenure, Enzi was chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Enzi was first elected in 1996 after serving in the Wyoming state legislature and as mayor of Gillette, and won reelection to the Senate three times with over 70 percent of the vote, the Washington Post noted.
Fellow Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to Enzi in 2014. Cheney subsequently went on to become Wyoming’s representative to Congress.
“I had the privilege of working with Mike for four years in Congress,” Cheney said in a statement. “He was a mentor and teacher and you could be sure any event that included Mike would be better because of his intellect, his dedication, determination and wonderful dry sense of humor.”
Enzi announced his intention to retire in 2019, and was replaced in 2020 by Cynthia Lummis.
“I like being a senator, not for the title, not for the recognition and certainly not for publicity,” Enzi said at the time. “I like solving federal problems for Wyoming people. I like doing legislation.”