CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Donald Trump’s fiercest Republican adversary in Congress, was defeated in a GOP primary Tuesday, falling to a rival backed by the previous president in a rout that strengthened his grip on the get together’s base.
The third-term congresswoman and her allies entered the day downbeat about her prospects, conscious that Trump’s backing gave Harriet Hageman appreciable elevate in the state the place he gained by the biggest margin throughout the 2020 marketing campaign. Cheney was already looking forward to a political future past Capitol Hill that might embody a 2024 presidential run, probably placing her on one other collision course with Trump.
Cheney described her loss as the start of a brand new chapter in her political profession as she addressed a small assortment of supporters, together with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, on the sting of an unlimited area flanked by mountains and bales of hay.
“Our work is far from over,” she stated Tuesday night, evoking Abraham Lincoln, who additionally misplaced congressional elections earlier than ascending to the presidency and preserving the union.
The outcomes — and the roughly 30-point margin — had been a robust reminder of the GOP’s fast shift to the correct. A celebration as soon as dominated by nationwide security-oriented, business-friendly conservatives like her father now belongs to Trump, animated by his populist enchantment and, above all, his denial of defeat in the 2020 election.
Such lies, which have been roundly rejected by federal and state election officers together with Trump’s personal lawyer basic and judges he appointed, reworked Cheney from an occasional critic of the previous president to the clearest voice contained in the GOP warning that he represents a menace to democratic norms. She’s the highest Republican on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, revolt on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, an assault she referenced in nodding to her political future.
“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,” she stated.
Four hundred miles to the east of Cheney’s concession speech, festive Hageman supporters gathered at a sprawling out of doors rodeo and Western tradition competition in Cheyenne, many sporting cowboy boots, hats and blue denims.
“Obviously we’re all very grateful to President Trump, who recognizes that Wyoming has only one congressional representative and we have to make it count,” stated Hageman, a ranching trade lawyer who had completed third in a earlier bid for governor.
Echoing Trump’s conspiracy theories, she falsely claimed the 2020 election was “rigged” as she courted his loyalists in the runup to the election.
Trump and his crew celebrated Cheney’s loss, which can characterize his largest political victory in a primary season filled with them. The former president known as the outcomes “a complete rebuke” of the Jan. 6 committee.
“Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others,” he wrote on his social media platform. “Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now. Thank you WYOMING!”
The information supplied a welcome break from Trump’s deal with his rising authorized entanglements. Just eight days earlier, federal brokers executing a search warrant recovered 11 units of categorized data from the previous president’s Florida property.
Cheney’s defeat would have been unthinkable simply two years in the past. The daughter of a former vice chairman, she hails from one of the outstanding political households in Wyoming. And in Washington, she was the No. 3 House Republican, an influential voice in GOP politics and coverage with a sterling conservative voting file.
Cheney will now be compelled from Congress on the finish of her third and remaining time period in January. She just isn’t anticipated to go away Capitol Hill quietly.
She will proceed in her management function on the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 assault till it dissolves on the finish of the 12 months. And she is actively contemplating a 2024 White House bid — as a Republican or impartial — having vowed to do all the things in her energy to struggle Trump’s affect in her get together.
With Cheney’s loss, Republicans who voted to question Trump are going extinct.
In all, seven Republican senators and 10 Republican House members backed Trump’s impeachment in the times after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. Just two of these 10 House members have gained their primaries this 12 months. After two Senate retirements, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is the one such Senate Republican on this 12 months’s poll.
Cheney was compelled to hunt help from the state’s tiny Democratic minority in her bid to tug off a victory. But Democrats throughout America, main donors amongst them, took discover. She raised not less than $15 million for her election, a surprising determine for a Wyoming political contest.
Voters responded to the curiosity in the race. With a bit greater than half of the vote counted, turnout ran about 50% larger than in the 2018 Republican primary for governor.
If Cheney does in the end run for president — both as a Republican or an impartial — don’t count on her to win Wyoming’s three electoral votes.
“We like Trump. She tried to impeach Trump,” Cheyenne voter Chester Barkell stated of Cheney on Tuesday. “I don’t trust Liz Cheney.”
And in Jackson, Republican voter Dan Winder stated he felt betrayed by his congresswoman.
“Over 70% of the state of Wyoming voted Republican in the last presidential election and she turned right around and voted against us,” stated Winder, a resort supervisor. “She was our representative, not her own.”
Peoples reported from New York. AP writers Thomas Peipert in Cheyenne and Jill Colvin in new York contributed.