Rep. Liz Cheney, the only woman in House Republican leadership, announced Thursday that she is not running for an open Senate seat in Wyoming.
“I believe I can have the biggest impact for the people of Wyoming by remaining in leadership in the House of Representatives and working [to] take our Republican majority,” Cheney told the Casper Star-Tribune.
The two-term congresswoman currently chairs the GOP conference and represents the entire state as its at-large representative. Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who also represented Wyoming in Congress and rose through the ranks of House leadership.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said the decision was a sign of confidence in the GOP’s chances in November.
“What you need to read into it is there’s a real chance we’re going to win the majority,” McCarthy said, adding Cheney was the type of person Republicans need on their team to do that.
Cheney’s decision means she will not be facing off against another Republican woman running for Senate, former GOP Rep. Cynthia Lummis. The former congresswoman had predicted a “barn burner” of a primary if Cheney jumped in the race. Other candidates, including Republican donor Foster Friess, could still jump into the race and compete for a rare open seat. Republican Sen. Michael B. Enzi has announced he will retire after serving four terms in the Senate.
The winner of the state’s Aug. 18 Republican primary is expected to be in a strong position to win the general election, given the Wyoming’s partisan lean. President Donald Trump carried the state by 46 points in 2016 and Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Senate race Solidly Republican.
Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.