Former President Donald Trump’s tour of political vengeance made a stop in Wyoming Tuesday, unseating one of his biggest critics in the Republican Party by a double-digit margin.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., lost to a Trump-backed challenger. Cheney is the vice chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Trump’s role in fueling it.
While some Republicans have stood up to Trump – 10 in the House voted for his second impeachment – none has taken him on as strongly as Cheney, who has said Republicans cannot have both loyalty to Trump and to the U.S. Constitution.
Cheney’s race is the main event on Tuesday, which also features a special election in Alaska to replace the late GOP Rep. Don Young, who died earlier this year. Alaska voters will use ranked-choice voting to select a member of Congress from a field of three.
And Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski is also in a primary to keep her seat.
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The Republican primary for Alaska Senate is as much about former President Donald Trump’s rivalry with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as it is about the two candidates on the ballot.
For months Trump has been heckling McConnell, calling the GOP leader an “Old Crow” who got “played like a fiddle” after Senate Democrats successfully pushed through their health care, tax and climate package.
The former president is also holding a grudge against incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a McConnell ally who was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict him during his impeachment trial. As a result she is facing Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka, who has also pledged she won’t support McConnell to hold the majority leader position should the GOP regain the Senate this fall.
The Alaska primary mirrors the Wyoming GOP contest, where Rep. Liz Cheney, another Trump antagonist, was defeated on Tuesday.
But unlike Cheney, who was kicked out of House Republican leadership, Murkowski has retained the support of Senate GOP chiefs and its political establishment.
In April, for instance, McConnell’s super PAC — the Senate Leadership Fund — dropped $7 million in ad buys for Murkowski.
— Phillip M. Bailey
Who is Murkowski’s challenger?:What to know about Kelly Tshibaka, who is trying to unseat Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski
With the Cheney race called, all eyes are now on Alaska, where another Republican who has faced off with Trump is on the ballot.
Alaskans will also choose who fills the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young’s term in Congress in a special election, and who will proceed to the general election to fill the seat in January in a nonpartisan primary.
But don’t expect results in the special election to replace Young tonight: Alaska adopted ranked choice voting, and only voters’ first-choice results will be reported for the first 15 days after the election.
Preliminary ranked-choice voting results will be released no earlier than Aug. 31.
The top four candidates in both the Senate primary and House primary will proceed to the general election, regardless of their parties.
— Dylan Wells
In all, seven Republican senators and 10 Republican House members backed Trump’s impeachment in the days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.
Just two of those 10 House members have won their primaries this year.
After two Senate retirements, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski remains the only such Senate Republican on this year’s ballot.
— Associated Press
In the immediate aftermath of Rep. Liz Cheney’s resounding defeat Tuesday, some Republican officials were quick to dance on her political grave.
“Few people in Washington have been as wrong and damaging on foreign policy as Liz Cheney… Bye Liz,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, said in a tweet Tuesday.
One of Cheney’s soon-to-be former colleagues, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, kept things short: “Girl, BYE!”
Sen. John Barrasso, of Wyoming, tried a more diplomatic approach, saying Cheney’s opponent, Harriet Hageman, will join the state’s federal delegation to make up a “strong, conservative, and effective team for the people of Wyoming.”
The Trump critics didn’t remain silent, however.
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele quoted Cheney’s concession speech where she pledged to do everything to keep Trump from returning to the White House.
“With every fiber of my being,” Steele said in a tweet Tuesday. “Sign me up for that mission! Democracy not only matters, it. Is. Everything.”
—Phillip M. Bailey
JACKSON, Wyo. – A country band is playing after Liz Cheney’s speech, but the blues might be more appropriate.
Cheney backers who trekked to a ranch in the Teton mountains were saddened by her defeat, but not surprised – and not resigned, given Cheney’s speech pledging to continue battling against Donald Trump in favor of Republican values.
“It was fantastic,” said Jackie Montgomery, 81, a local realtor. “I think she’s getting started. We can educate the country.”
Other Cheney backers in the smallish crowd – a few hundred – declined to be interviewed, or refused to give their names.
As the sun set behind the Teton mountains, the Cheney backers drifted away, while the staff urged members of the media to pack up and leave.
– David Jackson
Why Trump targeted Cheney (partly):Cheney: Committee, DOJ could each make Trump criminal referrals in connection with Jan. 6
Donald Trump couldn’t wait to crow about Liz Cheney.
After congratulating Harriet Hageman “on her great and very decisive WIN in Wyoming,” Trump said in a Truth Social post that 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.”
Cheney, meanwhile, told supporters she will continue to speak out, and do everything she can to keep Trump out of the White House after 2024.
– David Jackson
After acknowledging that Harriet Hageman had beaten her, Cheney told a crowd of supporters: “She won. I called her to concede the race. This primary election is over but now the real work begins.”
Cheney again denounced Trump for “lies” about the 2020 election, and indicated she would work against other Republican “election deniers” who are seeking offices across the country in this year’s election.
The three-term lawmaker did not allude to a presidential campaign of her own in 2024, nor did she discuss in detail her ongoing work on the Jan. 6 congressional committee investigation.
— David Jackson
Harriet Hageman, a trial lawyer and Trump ally who challenged the Cheney political dynasty, defeated the incumbent congresswoman in one of the most-watched House Republican primaries in the country.
Hageman’s win was expected, coming days after a University of Wyoming poll showed Rep. Liz Cheney trailing by 29 points.
But they weren’t always political foes. Hageman campaigned for Cheney during previous congressional runs, calling her a “friend” and “constitutional conservative” who could fight for Wyoming.
In this cycle, it was Cheney’s commitment to the constitution that the congresswoman said would cost her a seat. She said she knew her loss was imminent when she put her oath of office above loyalty to former President Trump.
— Candy Woodall
“By our vote today, Wyoming has put the elites on notice – we are no longer going to tolerate representatives who don’t represent us,” Hageman plans to say in a victory speech tonight.
“I will be accountable to the voters and citizens of Wyoming because I am one of you, and just like you, I am sick and tired of having no voice in the U.S. House of Representatives,” read her prepared remarks.
Hageman also plans to thank Trump, who endorsed her bid and was instrumental to the win.
“We are all grateful for President Donald Trump, who understood Wyoming has only one congressional representative and we need make sure it counts. His clear and unwavering support from the very beginning propelled us to victory tonight.”
– Dylan Wells
Learn more about her:What to know about Harriet Hageman, Liz Cheney’s opponent in Wyoming GOP primary
A defeated Liz Cheney left no doubt she will continue to speak out against Donald Trump, telling disappointed supporters that democracy itself is at stake.
“Our work is far from over,” Cheney told supporters at a ranch near Jackson, Wyoming.
She cited the comment of a soldier she met who said, “standing up for truth honors all.”
She added: “This is not a game.”
It was less a concession than a statement of defiance.
— David Jackson
At odds with her party:GOP Rep. Liz Cheney criticizes Republicans ‘attacking the integrity of the FBI’
JACKSON, Wyo. – U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, the highest profile Trump GOP target this primary season, has lost her primary to Trump-endorsed challenger Harriet Hageman, CNN and NBC projected.
Trump singled out Cheney after she voted to impeach him over the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021. Trump and Hageman also criticized Cheney for working on the Jan. 6 congressional committee investigating the attack.
Cheney promoted her disdain of Trump throughout the campaign, saying Republican Party members in Wyoming and across the country need to move on from volatile and oft-investigated ex-president.
Hageman, an attorney and one-time supporter of Cheney, said during the campaign that the House member first elected in 2016 was more interested in pursuing Trump than in serving the needs of Wyoming voters.
–- David Jackson
As expected, Harriet Hageman has taken a huge lead over Liz Cheney in the Wyoming race, though the Associated Press and the networks have not yet projected a winner.
– David Jackson
Hundreds of supporters have gathered in Jackson for what many expect to be a concession speech – a unique one.
Cheney is expected to deliver an address about the threat to the country posed by former President Donald Trump.
Signaling her approach in remarks with reporters earlier today, Cheney said democracy itself is at stake.
“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, I think, have an obligation to put that above party,” Cheney said after casting her vote in Jackson
– David Jackson
Former President Donald Trump’s vow to seek revenge on the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him for alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack is being tested in key primary elections this season.
The second House impeachment vote against Trump was the most bipartisan ever when those 10 Republicans defected from their party and joined with 222 other House Democrats to impeach him.
Trump has dedicated much of his post-presidency to purging the GOP of anyone he sees as disloyal.
Four of those 10 Republicans are retiring from Congress, while the other six faced re-election bids, including primaries in which Trump often loomed larger than their actual opponent.
Tonight, one of those Republicans, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, learns her fate.
— Kenneth Tran
Learn about them here:10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump. How are they faring now?
Recent polls established Hageman as a favorite, but Cheney hopes enough Democrats and independents cross over to the Republican primary to make things interesting.
This is probably the most watched race of the night, another test of Trump’s dominance within the Republican Party.
— David Jackson
A former Alaska state official who has the endorsement of Donald Trump will try to unseat Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Tuesday.
Republican-supported Kelly Tshibaka and Murkowski are both expected to advance beyond Tuesday’s primary in Alaska’s new voting system.
Kelly Tshibaka was born and raised in Alaska. She received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in 1999 and earned a law degree from Harvard University in 2002.
Her father worked as a union electrician and her mother as one of the first workers at the startup of Alaska’s largest oil field, according to her campaign website.
— Merdie Nzanga
In all, seven Republican senators — Murkowski among them and 10 Republican House members joined every Democrat in supporting Trump’s second impeachment in 2021, after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify President Joe Biden’s victory.
Just two of those 10 House members have won their primaries this year. The rest have lost or declined to seek reelection. Cheney would be just the third to return to Congress if she defies expectations Tuesday.
— Associated Press
In Alaska, winner-take-all party primaries, like the one Cheney is facing, have been replaced by a voter-approved process in which all candidates are listed together. The four who get the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election in which ranked voting will be used.
Murkowski benefits from avoiding a Republican primary, “which she would have had a zero percent — I mean zero percent — chance of winning,” said Alaska pollster Ivan Moore.
Murkowski was censured by Alaska Republican Party leaders last year over numerous grievances, including the impeachment vote and speaking critically of Trump and her support of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s nomination.
Tuckerman Babcock, a former state Republican Party chair who is running for state Senate, said Murkowski has lost the support of many Alaska Republicans, which he called a “political reality over a record of many years.”
– Associated Press
Sarah Palin is on the ballot twice in Alaska: once in a special election to complete Young’s term and another for a primary for a full two-year House term starting in January.
Voters approved an elections overhaul in 2020, ending party primaries and instituting ranked voting in general elections. Endorsed by Trump, Palin finished first among 48 candidates to qualify for a special election. They were seeking to replace Young, who died in March at age 88, after 49 years as Alaska’s lone House member.
Palin is now trying to secure the win against the No. 2 and 4 finishers, Republican Nick Begich and Democrat Mary Peltola. The third-place vote-getter pulled out of the race after the special primary.
The House primary, meanwhile, has 22 candidates, including Palin, Begich and Peltola.
– Associated Press
Earlier this year:Sarah Palin has early lead in Alaska special primary for U.S. House seat
JACKSON, Wyo. – The most frequent comment that voters have made about the Liz Cheney-Harriet Hageman race is … no comment.
Many voters said they did not want to discuss the primary because it has brought harassment from people who don’t share their opinion of Cheney, Hageman, or, especially, Donald Trump.
The political tensions of the Trump era have come to Jackson Hole, much to the dismay of residents of a community that prides itself on being a laid-back mountain-and-forest resort.
“It’s not good to be anti-Trump in this state,” said a voter who would identify herself only as Deborah. “And I don’t want to be a target.”
– David Jackson
WASHINGTON – The almost continual daylight in Alaska this month is revealing more than the state’s sweeping mountains and shorelines. It’s also showing the deep fissures in the Republican Party.
Two candidates on the ballot for two different offices – Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Gov. Sarah Palin – represent a growing divide in the GOP that is largely decided by a candidate’s allegiance to former President Donald Trump. Murkowski is fighting off a Trump challenger. Palin is fighting as a Trump challenger.
Murkowski is a moderate Republican who has crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats on some big issues. In February 2021, she was one of seven Senate Republicans to vote in favor of convicting Trump during his second impeachment, drawing ire from the former president and others in her party. She is the only one of the seven on the ballot this year.
Palin, once John McCain’s running mate in 2008, leans to the far right. She has been in lock step with Trump and joined him and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell last month at a “Save America” rally in Anchorage. After the FBI search last week of the former president’s Florida residence, she called the country’s top law enforcement agencies “dangerous thugs.”
Liz Cheney isn’t the only prominent member of Congress in Jackson Hole on this primary Tuesday.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who turned on Cheney during her battle with Donald Trump, is reportedly hosting a two-day fundraiser in Teton Village, Wyo. That’s about 10 miles from Jackson, where Cheney is expected to address supporters about her primary battle with Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.
10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump:Will any be left in Congress after November?
NBC News reported that McCarthy would be in Wyoming on Monday and Tuesday “raising money for both the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund.”
Other Republican lawmakers who now oppose Cheney are also at the resort where McCarthy is holding court, according to news reports. (So is Elon Musk, reportedly.)
McCarthy, who is hoping to become speaker of the House after the midterm election, initially supported Cheney after she voted to impeach Trump over Jan. 6. He later changed his mind and backed Cheney’s expulsion from House GOP leadership over the Trump issue.
Cheney said McCarthy sold out to Trump and is part of the problem Republicans face moving forward.
– David Jackson
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called out fellow Republicans on Thursday for their criticism of the FBI in the hours and days after its agents searched the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.
“I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search. These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk,” Cheney tweeted on Thursday, shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke at the Justice Department about the search.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday denounced the threats circulating online against federal agents and the Justice Department, calling them “deplorable and dangerous.”
Read the whole story:GOP Rep. Liz Cheney criticizes Republicans ‘attacking the integrity of the FBI’
JACKSON, Wyo. – Liz Cheney’s political world, based in this valley resort town, is bracing for the worst – largely because Wyoming as a whole has become Donald Trump country.
Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman is heavily favored to win the Republican primary for Cheney’s U.S. House seat and end Cheney’s three-term congressional career.
“It will be closer than most people think, but I think Hagesman will win … unfortunately,” said Hal Wheeler, 40, the owner of a bicycle shop in the quaint western-themed downtown of Jackson.
Hageman supporters said that Cheney, in her zeal to get Trump, has ignored the needs of people in Wyoming, on issue ranging from energy production to drug abuse.
“I think she went clear overboard,” said Dan Winder, 69, a local property manager who stood in a long line at the Teton County administration building to cast an early vote for Hageman. “She represents Wyoming – she’s not representing Liz Cheney.”
– David Jackson
In the 2020 general election, Alaskans voted to rid their elections of partisan primaries, instead implementing a ranked choice voting system across all parties.
The new system has lowered the stakes in races like Alaska’s Senate primary, where incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is all but guaranteed one of four spots in the November general election.
Two other candidates, Trump-backed Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Pat Chesbro, are expected to make the cut for the fall general election, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
– Ella Lee
Three candidates will be ranked by Alaska voters Tuesday in a special election for the late Republican Rep. Don Young’s seat.
The candidates — Democrat Mary Peltola and Republicans Nick Begich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — came out on top after an unprecedented 48-candidate primary, held under the state’s new election laws got rid of partisan primaries, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
– Ella Lee
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., tweeted actor Kevin Costner’s endorsement of her, noting “real men put country over party.”
Cheney, who has been in the spotlight for her position on the House Jan. 6 committee investigating the Capitol attack and her criticism of former President Donald Trump, tweeted a photo of Costner in a T-shirt that read “I’M FOR LIZ CHENEY.”
– Merdie Nzanga
Liz Cheney showed up at the polls Tuesday with a special guest – father and former Vice President Dick Cheney – and a special message: Win or lose this primary, the fight for democracy goes on.
Speaking briefly with reporters, Cheney said that, win or lose, the primary is the only the start of a long-term battle for the future of democracy and against her nemesis, Donald Trump.
It is “certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue to go on,” Cheney told CBS News. “And as a country, we’re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat.”
The Cheneys stood in line with other voters before casting ballots in a primary in which Liz Cheney is a decided underdog.
Dick Cheney made a much-discussed ad during the campaign, saying: “In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who has been a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump.”
After casting her ballot, Cheney tweeted: “Proud to cast my ballot today. The challenges we are facing require serious leaders who will abide by their oath and uphold the Constitution- no matter what.”
– David Jackson
Many elections are won by the best-funded candidate, but the money hasn’t shown signs of helping Cheney.
Through June 30, Cheney raised $11.3 million, and Hageman raised $3.7 million. That’s $15 million in a state with about 280,000 registered voters. And yet, a July 15 poll from the Casper Star Tribune showed Cheney 22 points behind Hageman and an Aug. 11 University of Wyoming survey found that just over one quarter of GOP primary voters support incumbent candidate Cheney.
In the most recent quarter, Cheney received 76% of her donations from large donors, and 73% were from out of state residents and political actions committees, or PACs, which are often formed to raise money for a candidate or group of candidates.
Hageman is getting 40% of her donations from Cowboy State residents and PACs. Hageman also has more pull with small donors, who make up 43% of her donations, a signal of grassroots support.
– Erin Mansfield, Ella Lee
More campaign finance news:Trump PAC formed to push debunked voter fraud claims paid $60K to Melania Trump’s fashion designer
Wyoming lawyer Harriet Hageman is the leading Republican challenger for Cheney’s congressional seat. She unsuccessfully ran for governor of Wyoming in 2018.
A former supporter of Cheney, having donated to her 2014 and 2016 congressional campaigns, Hageman unsuccessfully ran for governor of Wyoming in 2018 and sat on the Wyoming state Republican committee until announcing her challenge to Cheney.
The main difference between the two candidates is their relationship with Trump. Cheney was one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment over his alleged incitement of a riot, and she lost her spot as head of the House GOP conference after refusing to endorse the former president’s false claims of election fraud. Hageman, on the other hand, has Trump’s endorsement and is vocal in her support of him.
– Ella Lee
Where are they now:10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump. How are they faring now?
The long-awaited proxy battle between Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and former President Donald Trump will play out Tuesday as Cheney faces Trump-backed lawyer Harriet Hageman for the state’s sole House seat.
Cheney — whose leadership on the Jan. 6 House committee and persistent criticism of Trump has landed her on the former president’s political hit list — is not expected to win the race. But she’s made it clear that, no matter the outcome Tuesday, she won’t stop her mission to eradicate Donald Trump from American politics.
“I clearly put my oath of office above political calculations,” Cheney told USA TODAY. “What surprises me is there are so few who have done that.”
— Ella Lee, Candy Woodall
WASHINGTON – Cutting a campaign ad for daughter and embattled Republican lawmaker Liz Cheney, former Vice President Dick Cheney blistered ex-President Donald Trump on Thursday as a threat to the nation’s future.
“In our nation’s 246-year history, there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump,” the former vice president said in an extraordinary attack on a former president from the same party.
— David Jackson
Read the rest here:Dick Cheney calls Trump a ‘coward’ and a ‘threat’ in ad for Liz Cheney
Just two states hold primaries Tuesday: Wyoming and Alaska.
— Ella Lee
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism