Liz Cheney loses Wyoming primary to Trump-backed rival Harriet Hageman

Liz Cheney loses Wyoming primary to Trump-backed rival Harriet Hageman thumbnail

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday became the highest-profile House Republican to lose their primary to a Trump-endorsed challenger after voting to impeach the former president, according to the AP.

Why it matters: Trump has made ousting the ten House Republicans who voted for impeachment one of his top priorities of the cycle – and Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, was enemy number one.

Driving the news: The race was called for Harriet Hageman – an attorney, former Republican National Committee member and 2018 gubernatorial candidate – shortly after the polls closed.

  • Hageman entered the race last September with Trump’s endorsement, prompting several major candidates to drop out and endorse her.

The backdrop: The decisive defeat marks an end to what has been a whirlwind six-year congressional career for Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

  • She was elected in 2016 and became chair of the House Republican Conference just two years later. A hawkish neoconservative, she criticized Trump’s isolationist foreign policy but otherwise stayed mostly loyal to him.
  • That is until the Jan. 6 attack, after which Cheney voted to impeach Trump and began frequently denouncing him, leading to her removal as conference chair.
  • She took an appointment from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the Jan. 6 panel, becoming vice chair and the face of its public hearings in June and July.

By the numbers: Cheney is the fourth impeachment Republican to lose renomination, on top of four others who are retiring.

  • Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) all lost to Trump-backed insurgents.
  • Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) are stepping down at the end of their terms.
  • Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.) won their primaries, though Valadao faces a highly competitive general election.
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What’s next: Cheney has made clear she plans to remain an outspoken critic of Trump. She has also signaled potential plans to run for higher office.

  • Asked last month by ABC’s Jonathan Karl if she plans to run for president in 2024, Cheney replied: “I’ll make a decision about ’24 down the road.”

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