Liz Cheney has paid the price for her outspoken opposition to Donald Trump by losing her congressional seat to a challenger supported by the former president.
Harriet Hageman, a conservative lawyer who has the endorsement of the former President, defeated the vice-chair of the January 6 committee on Tuesday in a Republican primary election to determine Wyoming’s only member in the House of Representatives.
Liz Cheney defeated by Trump-backed Harriet Hageman in Wyoming elections
The Democrat turned Republican and her supporters began the day pessimistic about her prospects, knowing that former President Trump’s endorsement gave Harriet Hageman a significant boost in the state where he won by the widest margin during the 2020 campaign. Cheney was already planning a political future beyond Capitol Hill, which could include a presidential run in 2024, potentially putting her on another collision course with Trump.
Liz Cheney described her loss in the election as the start of a new chapter in her political career as she spoke to a small group of supporters, including her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, on the outskirts of a vast field in Wyoming.
“Our work is far from over,” she said on Tuesday evening. Cheney also hinted at a possible 2024 presidential bid with her remark later in which she said, “I have said since Jan. 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office — and I mean it.”
Cheney says she lost because she didn’t support Trump’s election claims
Cheney, in her speech, said that she could have easily won the vote in Wyoming again as she had done two years ago, had she supported former president Donald Trump in his claims that the 2020 election was rigged. “It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic — that was a path I could not and would not take,” she added further.
Cheney said that the “principles that we are all sworn to protect” are more important, adding that she “well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty.”
The outcome of the Wyoming election was widely predicted by polls previously, which extended a winning streak for Trump-backed candidates. It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago in Wyoming, a staunchly conservative state where the Cheneys have long been regarded as political royalty.
Dick Cheney, the three-term congresswoman’s father, served in the US House for a decade before becoming defense secretary under George HW Bush from 1989 to 1993 and vice president under George W Bush from 2001 to 2009.
Harriet Hageman celebrates victory
On Tuesday, Hageman praised her victory over Cheney, describing it as “returning Wyoming’s House seat to the people.”
“I will be accountable to the voters and citizens of Wyoming because I am one of you and, just like you, I am sick and tired of having no voice in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Hageman said in her speech. “Today we have succeeded at what we set out to do — we have reclaimed Wyoming’s lone congressional seat for Wyoming.”
“Assume that if we put you in power, you will be accountable to us and you will do what is in our best interest. And if you don’t, we will fire you,” she added.
Hageman will now contest in the general election in one of the country’s reddest states, against projected Democratic opponent Lynnette Grey Bull, and to be a staunch Trump ally in the House.
The Trump-backed Republican has always stood by the former president. She has vocally supported Mr. Trump’s claims of the 2020 election being stolen from him. “The election was unquestionably rigged. It was designed to prevent President Trump from being re-elected,” Hageman stated earlier this month. “What happened in 2020 was a disgrace,” she added.