Trump backs new challenger to Rep. Liz Cheney

Wyoming Republican Harriet Hageman enters crowded primary

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is picking up another GOP primary challenger, this one endorsed by former President Donald Trump.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is picking up another GOP primary challenger, this one endorsed by former President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted September 9, 2021 at 12:44pm

Former President Donald Trump continued his revenge endorsements Thursday against House Republicans who voted for his impeachment, backing Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman as she announced she was entering the crowded GOP primary against Rep. Liz Cheney

Cheney, who lost her position earlier this year as House GOP conference chairwoman for her criticism of Trump’s incitement of violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, publicly seemed unfazed. 

“Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it,” Cheney tweeted.

Hageman, who was until recently a Republican National Committeewoman in Wyoming, is the latest candidate to announce she was seeking to take on Cheney, the state’s sole member of the House. Wyoming is solid Trump country. The former president won there in 2020 with 70 percent of the vote to President Joe Biden’s 27 percent. 

It’s not yet clear whether Trump’s endorsement of Hageman will transform the dynamics of the race. Much depends on whether this shifts the candidate field by pushing anyone out.

“Cheney should benefit from having so many primary challengers because it could divide up the large number of voters who want to see her defeated,” said elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales. “But if Trump's influence winnows the field of candidates, the congresswoman’s path to victory would get even more narrow. Even in a crowded field, Cheney will have a difficult race. Being proudly anti-Trump is a terrible political position among GOP primary voters.”

Cheney has had no problem raising money for her race. The incumbent held more than $2.8 million in her reelection campaign as of June 30, federal reports show.  

Hageman will formally announce her bid Thursday afternoon at Little America Hotel & Resort in Cheyenne.  

“The people of Wyoming deserve leaders who reflect their views and values, but Liz Cheney betrayed us because of her personal war with President Trump, who won Wyoming by massive majorities twice,” Hageman said in a statement. “Cheney has lost the trust of the people of our state, just as she has lost any ability to be a leader for us in Washington, D.C. In contrast, I have dedicated my career to fighting for the people of Wyoming and defending our great state against the excess of government.”

Trump said in his endorsement of Hageman that the challenger also has “the support and respect” of Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a fellow Republican who reportedly has had a history of “bad blood” with Cheney. Lummis would neither confirm nor deny that, according to the Washington Examiner. 

“Like many Wyomingites, I supported Liz Cheney when she ran for Congress,” Hageman added in the statement from her campaign.