Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican, lost her primary battle Tuesday against Harriet Hageman, marking the end, at least for now, of a political dynasty that helped shape GOP politics for over two decades.
The result showed Ms. Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, had lost touch with Republicans in her political backyard who were more in tune with former President Donald Trump’s brand of politics, and far less interested in holding him to account for his stolen election claims and inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Ms. Hageman, a former Cheney supporter and former member of the Republican National Committee who was heavily boosted by Mr. Trump, was declared the winner shortly after polls closed.
More than any other primary race this election cycle, the contest for the at-large seat in deep-red Wyoming was more about Mr. Trump’s looming influence over the GOP and his disdain for Republicans willing to cross him, in particular those who blamed his stolen election claims for inciting the Jan. 6 attack and poisoning the body politic.
Political analysts said Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Ms. Hageman last fall all but sealed Ms. Cheney’s fate.
Despite his loss in 2020, Mr. Trump remains a political titan in Wyoming — a state he carried by over 40 points against President Biden in 2020 and by over 50 points against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ms. Cheney, however, was unintimidated and emerged as the most vocally anti-Trump Republican on Capitol Hill.
She was among the ten House Republicans to vote to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot and served as vice chair of the Democrat-picked select committee investigating the events that led to the mayhem.
From that perch, Ms. Cheney insisted Mr. Trump’s unsubstantiated but insistent claims of election theft were lies that led to the attack.
She also argued that he has a tortured relationship with the truth, which has had a cancerous effect on the Republican Party and the country writ-large.
Voters, though, sided with Mr. Trump.
Now no more than two of the pro-impeachment House Republicans will be returning to Congress next year. Of the 10 lawmakers, four choose to retire and the other six went 2-4 in Republican primaries.
The two survivors are Reps. Dan Newhouse of Washington and David Valadao of California, both of whom had the advantage of running in an all-party primary. Mr. Newhouse is heavily favored in November while Mr. Valadao is locked in a tight race.
The primaries Tuesday were the first to play out in the wake of an FBI raid of Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Mr. Trump’s clout was also being tested Tuesday in Alaska, where Sen. Lisa Murkowski is running for re-election against 19 candidates, including Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka.
Polls closed there at midnight EST.
Former Gov. Sarah Palin had Mr. Trump’s blessing in the special congressional election to replace the late Don Young in Alaska’s at-large U.S. House seat. The race also featured Republican Nick Begich III and Democrat Mary Peltola.
Those same three candidates were running concurrently in a primary race to fill the House seat for a full two-year term starting next year.
The elections in Alaska are the first to play out under the state’s new ranked-choice voting system.
Ms. Murkowski, Ms. Tshibaka and the rest of the Senate contenders are running in a nonpartisan primary where the top four vote getters, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the November general election under the new rules.
In the special election race to fill out Mr. Young’s term, if a candidate receives more than 50% of the first-choice votes, then that person will win the race outright.
Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and those votes shift toward the next choice on each voter’s ballot.
The ranked-choice process repeats itself from there until a candidate captures a majority.
The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Mr. Young’s term, which ends in January.
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