Liz Cheney, a Republican congresswoman from Wyoming and a fierce critic of Donald Trump, lost her primary election to a candidate favoured by Trump on Tuesday. Cheney had been a key player in the congressional investigation into the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
However, Senator Lisa Murkowski, another Republican who has stood up to Trump, overcame a hurdle in Alaska as election-monitoring firm Edison Research predicted she would do alongside three other candidates to proceed to the November election for Congress.
Cheney’s defeat, by Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, marks a significant victory for the former president in his campaign to oust Republicans who backed impeaching him after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building last year.
In conceding the race, Cheney said she was not willing “go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election” to win a primary.
“It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take,” she told supporters.
In Alaska, Edison projected that Murkowski would advance to the November election to face another Republican Trump-backed candidate, Kelly Tshibaka. The firm predicted Democrat Patricia Chesbro also would advance in a nonpartisan format that weeds out all but the top four vote-getters.
Another race in Alaska looked like it would not be resolved soon. Edison predicted that no candidate would emerge as a clear winner in the three-way contest to complete the term of Representative Don Young, who died in March.
That race pits Sarah Palin, a former governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee who has been endorsed by Trump, against fellow Republican Nick Begich III and Democrat Mary Peltola. The winner will be announced on August 31.
Both Wyoming and Alaska are reliably Republican, making it unlikely that the results will influence whether President Joe Biden’s Democrats lose their razor-thin majorities in Congress. Republicans are expected to retake the House and also have a chance of winning control of the Senate.
The ousting of Cheney is the latest sign of Trump’s enduring sway over the Republican Party.
Trump, who has hinted that he will run for president in 2024, made ending Cheney’s congressional career a priority among the 10 House Republicans he targeted for supporting his impeachment in 2021.
Cheney, the daughter of Republican former Vice President Dick Cheney, has used her position on the Jan. 6 committee to keep attention on Trump’s actions around the Capitol riot, and his false claims that he won the 2020 election.
If Republicans take control of the House in November, it is anticipated that they would end the Jan. 6 probe. In January, the representatives in the next Congress are sworn in.
Cheney’s concession speech, according to Hageman, a natural resources lawyer who has embraced Trump’s election falsehoods, demonstrated that she cared nothing about the challenges confronting her state.
On Fox News, Hageman said, “She’s still focusing on an obsession about President Trump and the citizens of Wyoming, the voters of Wyoming sent a very loud message tonight.”
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES