Cynthia was raised on her family ranch in Laramie County. She attended Trinity Lutheran School and Cheyenne public schools before graduating from the University of Wyoming with bachelor degrees in Animal Science and Biology. In 1979 Cynthia was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives – the youngest woman ever elected to the Wyoming Legislature. She returned to the University of Wyoming for her law degree, which she received in 1985.
Cynthia then clerked at the Wyoming Supreme Court, practiced law in Cheyenne, and served a total of fourteen years in the Wyoming House and Senate, concentrating on natural resource and taxation issues. She completed her legislative service in 1994 and then chaired Governor-elect Jim Geringer’s transition team. She continued to work in the Governor’s office for two more years, primarily on natural resource issues. Cynthia also served as the interim Director of the Office of State Lands and Investments.
Cynthia continues to be involved in the daily operations of the Lummis family ranch. She and her husband, Al Wiederspahn, who is a Cheyenne attorney and businessman, have one daughter, Annaliese. Annaliese graduated from Haverford College and worked in New York City before returning to Wyoming to work on her mother’s Congressional campaign. All are members of Trinity Lutheran Church.
Among the many and varied projects Cynthia has been or is still involved with are the Laramie Foundation and its Wyoming Women’s History House; the Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust; Cheyenne’s Vision 2020 community visioning process; the Leadership Wyoming Board; Wyoming Business Alliance; the advisory board to the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana; the Ruckelshaus Institute for Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming and the Cheyenne Frontier Days Board of Directors, the first woman to serve in that capacity in the 111 year history of the organization. She was also the Wyoming Small Business Advocate of the Year.
Cynthia was elected Wyoming State Treasurer in 1998. In eight years (two terms) as Wyoming State Treasurer, she converted Wyoming’s primarily fixed income investment portfolio of $3.5 billion to a fully diversified portfolio of equities, real estate and fixed income investments, public and private, domestic and international, totaling $8.5 billion. Her term of office as State Treasurer ended in January 2007.
In 2007, Cynthia served on the seven member Subcommittee on Royalty Management, chaired by former US Senators Bob Kerrey and Jake Garn, that completed a performance audit on the Department of the Interior’s federal mineral royalty collection and enforcement functions. She was one of three nominees of the Wyoming Republican Central Committee for the vacancy created in the US Senate due to the death in June, 2007, of Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas. She also wrote a chapter in the book, Sovereign Wealth Management, a publication of World Bank Treasury’s Central Banking Publications. She spoke at the World Bank’s conference on Sovereign Wealth in 2007 and continues her involvement in the developing policy issues related to global finance.