Aug 16, 2022 - Politics

Liz Cheney raises big cash from North Texas

Rep. Liz Cheney wearing white, in front of a microphone
Cheney has become yet another political Rorschach test. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney is expected to lose her Republican congressional primary in Wyoming on Tuesday, but she's far outraised her opponent in Texas, per an Axios examination of federal campaign finance data.

Why it matters: In light of Cheney's steadfast post-Jan. 6 opposition to former President Trump — she voted to impeach him and serves on the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol — the donations are a glimpse into Texas' anti-MAGA and pro-MAGA forces.

  • And it's a window into Cheney's deep financial network should she run for higher office.

What's happening: Notable North Texas donors to Liz Cheney include...

  • Dallas-based energy executive Jere Thompson
  • Real estate developer Harlon Crow
  • Oil executive Ray Hunt
  • Former Mavericks owner Ross Perot Jr.
  • Attorney — and brief Supreme Court nominee — Harriet Miers

Zoom out: Other Texas contributors include…

  • George W. Bush loyalists Karl Rove and Karen Hughes
  • Houston beer bottler John Nau
  • Bobby Ray Inman, who served as director of national intelligence and has served as dean of UT's LBJ School
  • Houston philanthropist Nancy Kinder — whose husband founded energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan

Yes, but: Texas money is also flowing to Cheney's opponent, Harriet Hageman, who's backed the former president's false claims about the 2020 election.

  • The single largest Texas contribution came from Windi Grimes, who gave Hageman $10,000 in December.
  • Of note: Grimes, on the board of the Austin-based, conservative-minded Texas Public Policy Foundation, is a Trumpette. "I try to make the world a better place through investments, policy initiatives, and if all else fails, I decorate it!" she wrote about herself on the Trumpettes' website.

Meanwhile: Sen. Ted Cruz, who harbors presidential ambitions of his own, endorsed Hageman in late July.

  • Hageman told Fox News she appreciated Cruz's endorsement. "In many ways, Texas and Wyoming face the same struggles against the relentless onslaught of the federal government."

The big picture: In total, Cheney's campaign has received $950,000 in Texas contributions this election cycle — and Hageman has received $150,000.

  • Cheney has received at least 392 contributions this election cycle worth at least $1,000 from Texans.
  • Hageman has received only about 50 such contributions.

The bottom line: Though she's expected to lose her congressional seat, if she runs for president in 2024 — especially if it's as a third-party candidate — Cheney could get the ultimate revenge by splitting the conservative vote and dramatically shifting the results.

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