Former Republican Senator Mike Enzi tragically passed away on Monday night due to complications from a bicycle accident. He was 77 years-old.
A statement posted to Enzi’s Twitter page stated that he “passed away peacefully today surrounded by his family.”
“His family expresses their deep appreciation for all of the prayers, support and concern. They now ask for privacy and continued prayers during this difficult time,” Enzi’s account tweeted.
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Politico reported that Enzi’s death came hours after it was announced that he had“sustained serious injuries” while riding a bicycle near his home in Gillette, Wyoming last week. After the accident, Enzi was “life flighted” to UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado on Friday night.
A statement posted to his Twitter on Monday said that the “extent of Enzi’s injuries and the details of the biking accident are unknown at this time. Medical staff continue to evaluate his condition.”
Enzi served in the Senate for four terms, retiring last year as the chairman of the powerful Budget Committee. Before his time in the Senate, he had been mayor of Gillette and was a member of the state’s House and Senate. On top of that, Enzi served on the U.S. Department of Interior Coal Advisory Committee.
As a senator, Enzi became well known for his “80-20 rule,” which “called on colleagues to focus on the 80% of an issue where legislators tended to agree and discard the 20% where they didn’t,” according to The Associated Press.
“Nothing gets done when we’re just telling each other how wrong we are,” Enzi said as he said goodbye to the Senate in 2020. “Just ask yourself: Has anyone ever really changed your opinion by getting in your face and yelling at you or saying to you how wrong you are? Usually that doesn’t change hearts or minds.”
Tributes have been pouring in for Enzi from other Republicans since his death.
“He was a giant and will be really missed by all of us,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in tribute to him on Tuesday morning.
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“Former Senator Mike Enzi was a loving family man + dedicated public servant,” tweeted Chuck Grassley (R-IA). “Through decades of friendship & service, I was honored to learn from Mike. He cared about the future of our country in every way & kept a sharp eye on Congress’ fiscal responsibilities.”
“Mike was a friend and a dedicated public servant who cared deeply about Wyoming and its people,” Wyoming Governor Mike Gordon (R) said in a statement. “He was a strong advocate for the state’s interests and was always committed to finding consensus where possible.”
Enzi is survived by his wife, their three children, and many grandchildren.
This piece was written by James Samson on July 28, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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