Politics

Liz Cheney Wins Wyoming House Seat

Former VP's daughter to take sole congressional seat in Cowboy State

Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, talks with Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., during a bust unveiling ceremony former for her father in the Capitol Visitor Center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is projected to do what she couldn’t in 2014: return to Washington.

Cheney led Democratic challenger Ryan Greene 62 percent to 32 percent with nearly 50 percent of precincts reporting for Wyoming’s at-large seat in House, according to The Associated Press.

[Election Results 2016]

Coming into Election Day, the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rated the race Safe Republican.

Wyoming has not elected a Democrat to the House since 1976.

Cheney's father once held the at-large Wyoming U.S. House seat.

Incumbent Republican Cynthia Lummis, the only female member of the House Freedom Caucus, opted not to seek a fifth term. In 2014, she won with 68.5 percent of the vote. 

“I used my political capital in Washington to bring about reform and to represent the best interests of Wyoming. Now it is time for a new face to take on this important task for Wyoming,” she said at the time of her November 2015 announcement.

Three years ago, Cheney angered the Wyoming political establishment by trying to defeat senior Sen. Michael B. Enzi in a primary. The battle was so heated that former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, a longtime friend of the Cheney family, stuck with Enzi, prompting Lynne Cheney, the wife of the former vice president, to tell Simpson to “shut up.”

Liz Cheney ended up dropping that primary bid six months after it began, citing health concerns in her family but her exit came after months of struggling to gain traction in the Republican primary.

A public spat with her sister over gay marriage also captured headlines and placed the focus on Cheney’s authenticity rather than on her criticism of the popular incumbent.

There’s still resentment toward her in Wyoming, though, with some Republicans painting her as a carpetbagger.

Cheney carried 40 percent of the vote in a nine-way primary when the Associated Press called that race in August. Cheney’s victory will likely make her one of the few female freshman in the House GOP conference next year.

She has not ruled out joining the Freedom Caucus when she gets to Washington but her campaign coffers had been lined with big-name establishment Republicans who served in both Bush administrations.

Cheney broke with many of her establishment backers in offering support of Republican nominee Donald Trump. Many of her father’s peers in the Bush administration did not.

“You know, a Liz Cheney Republican is somebody who is a strong constitutional conservative, believes in limited government,” she told The Washington Post, adding that she disagrees with some of Trump’s foreign policy positions.     

Cheney served in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration.

“Wyoming needs a strong voice in Congress to lead the effort to undo the devastating policies of the last seven and a half years and restore our freedom. I will be that voice. I will be that leader,” Cheney said the night of her primary victory.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter.

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