- Liz Cheney, a rare Republican critic of Donald Trump has lost her bid for re-election.
- The three-term congresswoman was defeated by a candidate favored by the former president.
- Voters in Wyoming chose Harriet Hageman, a relative newbie to politics, over Cheney.
Liz Cheney, a rare Republican critic of the former president Donald Trump, was defeated by voters in the US state of Wyoming in a primary election.
She lost against Harriet Hageman, a candidate favoured by Trump who is a relative newbie to politics.
Ms. Cheney was one of only two representatives from her party to join the House panel looking into Mr. Trump’s efforts to maintain his position of power.
The three-term congresswoman previously had a bright future as a Republican star.
A scorched-earth campaign of retaliation has targeted all 10 Republicans who supported Mr. Trump’s impeachment after his supporters invaded the US Capitol building in January of last year.
Four have resigned so far, and four more have been beaten by his preferred candidates in the Wyoming, Washington, Michigan, and South Carolina primaries.
Only two have been able to effectively hold onto their positions on the Republican reelection ticket.
Ms. Cheney, who is the ex-vice-daughter, president’s was the last of the 10 to be attacked by Trump.
In Wyoming, 70% of voters cast ballots for Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.
Polls routinely showed Ms. Hageman, who has said she thinks the election was “rigged,” in a commanding lead in Wyoming.
The majority of US networks called the election for Ms. Hageman shortly after votes closed since incomplete figures from Tuesday night’s vote tally showed that she was ahead by more than 30 percentage points.
Ms. Cheney made it plain in her concession address that she would continue to criticise Mr. Trump, who has hinted he would run for president again in 2024.
She said, “I have said since [last year’s US Capitol riot on] 6 January that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again near the Oval Office, and I mean it,”
If she had agreed with Mr. Trump’s erroneous assertions that he, not President Joe Biden, had won the 2020 election, Ms. Cheney claimed she could have easily won re-election.
She added, “That was a path I could and would not take.”
Ms. Hageman received Mr. Trump’s congratulations for her triumph in a post on his Truth Social social media channel.
Also from him: “Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others.”
“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.”
Ms. Hageman attributed her triumph to Mr. Trump’s endorsement.
“Wyoming has put the elites on notice,” she said. “We are no longer going to tolerate representatives who don’t represent us.”
Some voters previously told the BBC how they had changed their minds about Ms. Cheney while at the state’s junior rodeo championships in the city of Casper.
Chad Westbrook, the rodeo’s president, spoke out from under his 10-gallon hat “We don’t benefit when she deviates from the crowd.
“She’s gone too far, but you know, we really liked Dick Cheney.”
Formerly despised by the American left, Ms. Cheney’s well-known father is now seen as an anti-Trump ally.
Mr. Trump was referred to by Dick Cheney as the greatest threat to the nation ever in a campaign ad for his daughter.
Democratic people responded to Ms. Cheney’s appeal to change their registration to Republican in order to support her, which itself is a reflection of how low she had estimated her chances, outside one voting place, in a quaint wooden schoolroom dominated by the breathtaking Teton Mountains.
“I’ve never agreed with one thing Liz Cheney has ever said, but I respected how she fought for democracy,” one such voter, a middle-aged woman, told me.
“I’m a Democrat and I came out and voted for Liz Cheney because she’s standing up for truth and that’s what we need in this country,” another man of similar age agreed.
A group of Republicans were earlier door-to-door canvassing in the suburbs of the state capital of Cheyenne to express their last-minute support for Ms. Cheney, knowing full well that they faced an uphill struggle.
“She’s standing for principle, she’s saying I don’t care if I lose my job, I’m going to do the right thing,” said Evan Wagner, who had driven 17 hours from Austin, Texas.
But it was all for nothing.
Wyoming’s primary elections typically receive little media coverage.
Tuesday’s election is being viewed as a test of how much Donald Trump’s legacy and his election denial narrative still dominate this environment, not just for party but for the entire country.
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