Liz Cheney Loses to Trump-Backed Primary Challenger




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-17 02:12:24Z
  • By National Review
 

Trump-backed Harriet Hageman defeated incumbent Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) in the Republican primary for Wyoming's only U.S. House seat on Tuesday, according to projections by NBC News and CNN.

Cheney conceded to Hageman on Tuesday evening, saying in a speech: "This primary election is over, but now the real work begins."

She referenced Abraham Lincoln, who she noted lost congressional elections before "he won the most important election of all," the presidency, she said. "Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history."

Cheney's defeat was all but certain; one University of Wyoming poll ahead of the election showed Hageman leading Cheney by 30 points.

With an estimated 44 percent of the vote reported on Tuesday evening, Hageman leads Cheney 64 percent to 32 percent.

"Two years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the vote," Cheney said. "I could easily have done the same again, the path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the election…that was a path I could not and would not take."

"No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect," she added. "And I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office. To accept, honorably, the outcome of elections."

Cheney's vocal criticism of former president Donald Trump - including her vote in favor of his impeachment over the Capitol riot and her role as vice-chair for the House committee investigating January 6 - unsurprisingly did not play well politically in a state that voted 70 percent for the former president in 2020.

In her concession speech, Cheney vowed she will "do whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump is never anywhere near the Oval Office and I mean it."

Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, was first elected to Congress in November 2016. She eventually ascended to the No. 3 spot in the House Republican conference before being ousted in a May 2021 vote by colleagues who accused her of distracting from the GOP's goal of recapturing control of the House and Senate in November 2022 with her constant criticism of Trump.

In November 2021, the Wyoming Republican Party voted to no longer recognize Cheney as a member of the party over her anti-Trump sentiment.

Cheney's conservative record - she voted with Trump 92.9 percent of the time and holds a 77 percent score with Heritage Action for America - proved no match for her unwillingness to move on from the 2020 election and the capitol riot.

During a visit to Wyoming in May, Trump instructed voters in the state to "fire Liz."

Hageman accused Cheney in a TV ad of having "made her time in Congress and this election all about her."

"Well, it's not about her. It's about you," Hageman said in the ad to Wyoming voters.

Still, despite the backlash, Cheney continues to push back against Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was plagued by widespread voter fraud. 

In a video announcing her reelection bid Cheney said, "If our generation does not stand for truth, the rule of law, and our Constitution, if we set aside our founding principles for the politics of the moment, the miracle of our constitutional republic will slip away. . . . I'm asking you to join me, to reject the lies, to rise above the toxic politics, to defend our freedom, to do what we all know is right."

Cheney's father, former vice president Dick Cheney, backed his daughter in a recent campaign ad where he claimed, "In our nation's 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump."

"He was a coward," Dick Cheney said of Trump. "A real man wouldn't lie to his supporters. He lost his election, and he lost big. I know it, he knows it, and deep down I think most Republicans know it."

He added that he and his wife, Lynne, are proud of their daughter for "standing up for the truth, doing what's right," adding that "many in our party are too scared to do so."

Despite the clear long odds that Cheney faced, she told told CNN in an interview in early August that she still believed she would win.

"I'm working hard to earn every single vote and, ultimately, I really believe that the people of Wyoming fundamentally understand how important fidelity to the Constitution is," she said at the time.

Cheney's campaign had hoped she would be boosted by Democrats and Independents, given that Wyoming allows "crossover voting," meaning that Democrats and Republicans can switch parties to vote in the other party's primaries.

While a voter must be affiliated with the political party to vote in that party's primary, Wyoming law allows a voter to change party affiliation even on the day of the primary. A candidate needs to secure only a plurarlity of the vote to win in the Wyoming congressional primary.

As of August 1, there are 207,674 registered Republicans in Wyoming, 39,753 registered Democrats and 33,769 registered independents.

  • House GOP Votes Stefanik into Cheney's Former Leadership Role

  • McCarthy Claims No One Is Questioning Election Legitimacy - after Ousting Cheney over Trump-Election Feud

  • Liz Cheney Won't Rule Out 2024 Presidential Run

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