House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy backs Liz Cheney’s main challenger Harriet Hageman

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House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy approved the deputy Liz Cheneymain challenger of in Wyoming, general counsel Harriet Hageman.

In a statement confirming the endorsement, first shared with The Federalist, McCarthy praised Hageman’s ties to Wyoming.

“The most successful representatives in Congress are focused on the needs of their constituents, and throughout her career, Harriet has championed America’s natural resources and helped the people of Wyoming reject burdensome and onerous government excesses. “, wrote McCarthy.

“I look forward to welcoming Harriet to an upcoming Republican-majority Congress, where together we will hold the Biden administration to account and provide much-needed solutions to the American people,” he added.

Hageman said in a statement that she was “grateful” to have McCarthy’s support.

House Republican leaders hold a press conference on Capitol Hill
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) whispers to Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) during a House Republican leadership press conference at the United States Capitol on February 24, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Al Drago/Getty Images


“I promise that when I am a congressman from Wyoming, I will always stand up for our beautiful state and do the job I was sent there to do,” she added. “[Liz] Cheney is doing nothing to help us, she’s actively harming the Republican Party – both in Wyoming and nationally – and it’s time for her to go.”

“Wow, she must be really desperate,” Cheney campaign spokesman Jeremy Adler said in response to news of McCarthy’s endorsement.

McCarthy’s support for Hageman follows months of public disputes involving Cheney and the Republican Party, stemming from his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump after the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Cheney previously served on McCarthy’s leadership team as House GOP conference chair, before being elected in May 2021.

The Republican National Committee Censored Cheney and Republican Congressman from Illinois Adam Kinzinger earlier this month because of their role on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

Cheney denounced McCarthy’s support of Trump in an interview with “60 Minutes” in September.

“There are people who supported Donald Trump because of his politics. But there’s a difference between someone who voted for Donald Trump and being the Republican leader after an insurgency, and putting all that aside and going to Mar-a-Lago, and rehabilitate him, bringing him back in,” she said. “That, to me, is unforgivable.”

Hageman was also endorsed by Trump. She lagged behind Cheney in fundraising and raised about $746,000 compared to Cheney’s $7.2 million in 2021. But Hageman reportedly brought in more contributions from Wyoming donors, according to the WyoFile.

RNC censorship said it would no longer provide resources to Cheney. Separately, RNC members in Wyoming signed a letter to allow the RNC to get involved in Cheney’s main challenge and provide support for his opponent.

“It’s an internal rule that’s available to us and we just chose to use it,” Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne said. told CBS News earlier this month.

The national party is only supposed to provide resources to candidates who have won the nomination or run unopposed in a primary.

Asked about McCarthy’s decision, Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the Senate Republican campaign arm, told CBS News “It’s a choice for the House. I don’t get involved in the primaries. .”

Meanwhile, Wyoming lawmakers are pushing to change voter registration laws in the state. The bill, SF0097, would end voters’ ability to change their party’s registration on primary day. If passed, it could make it harder for independents and Democrats to vote for Cheney in the primary.

Instead, voters should change their party affiliation about three months before a primary. Voters must be affiliated with a party to participate in that party’s primary. Currently, voters in Wyoming have the option to change their registration on primary day.

In a statement Thursday, Trump endorsed the bill, saying, “It makes perfect sense that only Democrats vote in the Democratic primary and only Republicans vote in the Republican primary.”

State Senator Bo Biteman, who introduced the bill, told the Senate that “it’s important that people have confidence that their vote won’t be nullified.”

Republicans fear Democrats will change their affiliation to support Cheney in his primary – there are no Democrats vying for Cheney’s seat.

After Governor Mark Gordon won his primary in 2018, some Republicans accused Democrats of swaying the vote, but an analysis of registration changes found there weren’t enough Democrats switching parties to influence the results.

Wyoming’s primary is August 16.

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