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Liz Cheney plans next move after defeat to Trump-backed Hageman in Wyoming

Cheney called the race 'the first battle in a much larger and longer war'
Hageman Cheney Wyoming
Posted at 5:10 PM, Aug 16, 2022

Liz Cheney conceded defeat to rival Harriet Hageman in Wyoming's Republican primary on Tuesday.

Hageman's win would surely see former President Donald Trump gloat amid his continued campaign to remove his critics from the Republican Party persists.

While Cheney brought the fundraising prowess along with a higher profile as thepublic Jan. 6 hearings continued, Hageman, a lawyer in Wyoming's capital city Cheyenne, was boosted by a coveted endorsement from Trump, helping her beat the daughter of a former vice-president to win the state's House seat.

"We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face, and about what is required to defeat it," Cheney said. "I have said since January six that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the oval office, and I mean it."

As Rep. Cheney braced for a loss to Trump-backed Hageman in the race for Wyoming's Congressional seat, the story seemed to focus heavily on the perceived consequences of leading public Jan. 6 hearings on former President Donald Trump, which is a story that her team optimistically brushed to the side.

A Cheney ally said, "This race is the first battle in a much larger and longer war that Liz is going to win because the future of the country depends on it,” Axios reported.

The election has been seen as a dramatic wrench in Cheney's larger plan after she was widely praised for her defiant spirit to do what she had considered an honorable task, attempting to hold former President Trump responsible for his actions on the day of the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol involving his supporters.

Some Republicans have supported Cheney in her mission. Still, many in the GOP have not broken away from their party's support for Trump to join in a bipartisan effort to closely examine the timeline of events in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.

As the New York Times reported, surveys have shown that even though Cheney was able to fundraise far beyond Hageman and had spent much more on her campaign than her opponent, she stagnated well behind in the race.

Cheney told CBS News earlier on Tuesday, “Today, no matter what the outcome is, [it] is certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue.”

Cheney said after casting her vote, “We’re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat. And those of us across the board — Republicans, Democrats and Independents who believe deeply in freedom and who care about the Constitution and the future of the country — have an obligation to put that above party.”

Hageman's campaign adviser Tim Murtaugh said they felt good about the election, "which is the culmination of nearly a year and almost 40,000 miles traveled within Wyoming," Axios reported.

The polls, which closed at 7 p.m. MT, 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, had more than just Wyoming on edge in the hours leading up to the final results. Cheney awaited her fate from Jackson, a town on Wyoming's western side with popular ski resorts. Hageman and her team watched from the state capital of Cheyenne in the southeast corner near Colorado's border, where she would ultimately give her speech after the win.

Murtaugh pushed back on Cheney's message and her team's optimism about their path, criticizing their focus on Jan. 6.

"Liz Cheney made the race all about her and her war on President Trump, but it was always about the people of Wyoming, who haven’t had the representation they deserve for the last 18 months," Murtaugh said.

Donald Trump responded to the win on his Truth Social platform, writing, "This is a wonderful result for America and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs. Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others."

In another race in Alaska, Senator Lisa Murkowski, who was one of seven Republicans to vote to convict former President Trump of inciting an insurrection, was in a re-election battle of herown against Kelly Tshibaka, who is a former official in Alaska endorsed by Trump.