Liz Cheney prepares for primary loss as focus shifts to 2024

Cheyenne, Wyoming (AP) —Three weeks before the most important elections in her political career Liz Cheney Thousands of voters gathered at a large midsummer rodeo and cowboy festival in Wyoming’s largest city, so it wasn’t seen anywhere.

Instead, third-term Republicans were 1,600 miles away in Washington and presided over the US House of Representatives, which consisted primarily of Democrats aimed at exposing the former. Of President Donald Trump Attack on democracy January 6, 2021 Riot.. When Cowboy Fest returned home, Chainy confronted Trump’s failure.

“Donald Trump made a deliberate choice to violate his oath of office,” she said inside. Thursday hearing..

Wheatland rancher Dean Finaly, who participates in the Stair Wrestling Tournament, did not move.

“What do I say to you: I voted for Chainy the last time she ran, and I never vote for her. On behalf of the conservative American she voted for her. I don’t know if it is. “

Chainy’s relentless criticism of Trump from the Capitol Hill Commission’s room highlights an unconventional campaign strategy that could lead to her political end, at least in the short term. Many Chainy allies are preparing for the August 16 defeat in Wyoming. Republican primary Against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.

But as the first day approaches, there is widespread belief among Chainy’s team that her unorthodox strategy in 2022 may put her in a stronger position in the 2024 presidential election. Chaney’s fierce anti-Trump message as Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission investigating the riots has expanded the national network of donors and Trump critics from both parties that could boost the operation of the White House in the future. Strengthened her national brand.

Chainy has not yet finalized a decision around 2024, but has not ruled out a presidential election as a Republican or Independence Party.

“The most important thing is to protect the country from Donald Trump,” Chainy said in an interview with ABC News on Friday. She said she would “future” decide on the possibility of bidding for the White House.

Chainy’s supporters understand the political paradox she faces in Wyoming, where Trump scored his biggest winning margin of 43 points less than two years ago.

Landon Brown, a Wyoming parliamentarian and ally of Chainy, said of Chainy’s unwavering Trump, “I knew she was politically shooting her feet (in Wyoming). Criticism.” But I could see this blooming into something bigger. “

Former 55-year-old daughter, Chainy Vice President Dick CheneyIs probably the best known of a small group of so-called “Nebertrump” Republicans considering the 2024 presidential election. They will include Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Chainy’s only Republican for a limited time on the January 6 committee. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. , I chose not to ask for reelection this fall.

Trump, as he said, could dominate a wide area of ​​the presidential primary if he ran again. But there are also notable groups of Republican voters eager to overcome Trump and his ongoing struggle to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Still, few believe that candid Trump critics can ultimately win the Republican primary. The majority of Republican voters still approve Trump.

And while her allies may be optimistic about her long-term future, Chainy certainly wants to avoid an explosive loss next month in her home state.

It’s not easy.

Faced with a consistent and credible threat of murder, she was forced to abandon traditional retail campaigns and exchanged public rallies and city halls for private events.

She was essentially excommunicated by the Wyoming Republicans, Last year, he voted to blame Chaney before deciding to stop recognizing him as a Republican. The local GOP office provides ballots with garden signs for Hageman and many other Republicans, but not for Cheney.

With few choices, she turned to the Democratic Party for help. Her campaign website has a link to a form that allows voters to change their affiliation with the Republican Party in order to participate in the Republican primary.

Kinzinger’s political team is helping to accelerate the crossover push.

“We need more principled leaders like Liz to ensure that those who want to fail our democracy will not succeed,” Kinzinger told AP. “The urgency of voters in support of democratization to participate in the primaries is higher than ever.”

Chainy resisted private pressure from some allies to move away from her anti-Trump message. Many Republicans on this year’s ballot, who have criticized Trump since January 6, have since tried to avoid controversy by focusing on regional issues in their district. President Joe Biden or runaway inflation.

Chainy refused to soften her message and instead leaned on Trump at the moment of her campaign.

In a video announcing the re-election campaign in May this year, she promised to “reject lies” without giving in to “pressure and intimidation.”Me Her closing statement at the Republican primary last month, She called for “Donald Trump’s lies” and vowed that “I would never set up a party beyond my obligations to the country.”

Trump, on the other hand, makes Chainy’s defeat a top priority.

He called her a “sneaky man” on his social media site this month. And in May, Trump visited Casper, Wyoming’s second-largest city, in support of Conservative Harriet Hageman, the successor to Chainy.

As Chainy focused on the January 6th committee, Hagueman attacked a state courting a small crowd in the countryside, a traditional form of politics in Wyoming. This approach is similar to what Chainy himself outperformed the crowded Republican primary field to win the only house seat in Wyoming in 2016.

Neither my friends nor my enemies realized that she wasn’t there this year.

Paul Ulrich, a former chairman of the Wyoming Petroleum Association and a supporter of Chainy, said: “It’s painful for her to have these security concerns. She doesn’t like coming to this.”

Parliamentary police assigned Chainy personal security details last August. This is only taken when parliamentarians are faced with a credible security threat.

Dean “Doc” Schroeder, a registered Democrat who plans to change his registration to vote for Chainy in the Republican primary, was impressed with Chainy’s leadership on the January 6th committee. .. He said it might not matter if lawmakers spend more time in the state, given the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Wyoming.

“If she jumps into the election with angel wings, most of them won’t care. They’re not going to vote for her,” said Schroeder, a retired psychologist and frontier days rodeo volunteer. Told. “So I don’t know that it hurt her, and I’m a perfect example of how her actions in Washington helped her.”

Some Chainy allies are skeptical that there will be enough democratic crossover votes to put her on top next month.

“I don’t want to spend money on this race,” said Marilyn Kite, a former Supreme Court judge in support of Chainy. She said, “She hopes she succeeds, but if she doesn’t succeed, it may be more important in the long run to stay true to her vows.”


People reported from New York