Aug 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney braces for a big loss — and plots a new beginning

Liz Cheney
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney's political reign in Congress is likely coming to a close Tuesday in Wyoming, where polls close at 7pm MT (9pm ET).

Why it matters: The former No. 3 House Republican's expected loss to Trump-backed Harriet Hageman underscores how her anti-Trump rhetoric and role as vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee have made her a pariah within her party.

  • But Cheney's time as a politician isn’t ending, her team insists.
  • Instead, she sees it as the beginning of a new chapter — one that will likely lead to a future run on the national stage.

What we're hearing: Cheney’s remarks in Jackson, Wyoming, later Tuesday — after the race is called — are expected to reflect this perspective.

  • "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,” a Cheney ally told Axios.
  • "Regardless of what the results in this election turn out to be, she is going to lead a broad coalition going forward of Americans across the political spectrum who will stand up for freedom and restore the foundational principles that Donald Trump continues to dangerously undermine."

Cheney's closing message, in a final ad before her primary, echoes the themes she’s expected to touch on in her speech.

  • "Here’s my pledge to you: I will work every day to ensure that our exceptional nation long endures. My children and your children must grow up in an America where we have honorable and peaceful transitions of power. Not violent confrontations, intimidation and thuggery. Where we are governed by laws and not by men. Where we are led by people who love this country more than themselves."
  • "No matter how long we must fight, this is a battle we will win. Millions of Americans across our nation — Republicans, Democrats, independents — stand united in the cause of freedom. We are stronger, more dedicated, and more determined than those trying to destroy our Republic."

Hageman is also planning to make remarks this evening. She’ll be watching the polls close in Cheyenne with her family and supporters, her campaign tells Axios.

  • "Harriet feels good about today’s election, which is the culmination of nearly a year and almost 40,000 miles traveled within Wyoming," said campaign adviser Tim Murtaugh.
  • "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."
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