Former president Donald Trump's harshest Republican critic, Liz Cheney, loses seat in US Congress after ceding GOP primary to 'election denier' Harriet Hageman.
Liz Cheney, a leading Republican critic of Donald Trump, has vowed to do everything in her power to prevent the former president from returning to the White House.
“Our work is far from over,” the Wyoming congresswoman said in a concession speech after losing her seat to another Republican contender in a primary election on Tuesday evening.
Hinting at a presidential bid of her own, she later added, “I have said since Jan 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office — and I mean it.”
Cheney, Trump’s fiercest Republican adversary in Congress, fell to a rival, Harriet Hageman, backed by the former president in a contest that reinforced his grip on the party’s base.
The third-term congresswoman and her allies entered the day downbeat about her prospects, aware that Trump’s backing gave Hageman considerable lift in the state where he won by the largest margin during the 2020 campaign.
New 'presidential' chapter for the Cheneys?
She is actively considering a 2024 White House bid, as a Republican or independent, having vowed to do everything in her power to fight Trump’s influence in her party.
Cheney described her loss as the beginning of a new chapter in her political career as she addressed a small collection of supporters, including her father, former vice president Dick Cheney, on the edge of a vast field flanked by mountains and bales of hay.
Four hundred miles to the east, festive Hageman supporters gathered at a sprawling outdoor rodeo and Western culture festival in Cheyenne, many wearing cowboy boots, hats and blue jeans.
The results were a powerful reminder of the GOP’s rapid shift to the right. A party once dominated by national security-oriented, business-friendly conservatives now belongs to Trump, animated by his populist appeal and, above all, his denial of defeat in the 2020 election.
Those narratives, which have been roundly rejected by federal and state election officials along with Trump’s own attorney general and judges he appointed, transformed Cheney from an occasional critic of the former president to the clearest voice inside the GOP warning that he represents a threat to democratic norms.
Cheney’s defeat would have been unthinkable just two years ago. The daughter of a former vice president, she hails from one of the most prominent political families in Wyoming. And in Washington, she was the No 3 House Republican, an influential voice in GOP politics and policy with a sterling conservative voting record.
Cost of Cheney's leadership on January 6 panel
But after January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, Cheney voted to impeach Trump and made it her primary mission to ensure he never again serves in the Oval Office.
She pushed past GOP censures and death threats to serve as a leader on the congressional panel investigating Trump’s role in the insurrection.
Cheney will now be forced from Congress at the end of her third and final term in January.
She is not expected to leave Capitol Hill quietly.
She will continue in her leadership role on the congressional panel investigating the January 6 attack until it dissolves at the end of the year.