By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Congressional candidate Harriet Hageman on Monday received a non-surprising endorsement for her congressional campaign with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, a longtime political foe of incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
Paul said on Monday that he had the chance to meet with Hageman and discuss their shared conservative views of the federal government, which made him want to endorse her.
“Harriet represents the spirit of Wyoming, which is full of people who want to live their lives without the oppressive weight of the federal government on their backs,” Paul said.
“She has a record of fighting against government overreach and will bring that same tenacity to Congress. On foreign policy, she shares my view that we should pursue policies that put America First,” he said. “I encourage everyone to get behind Harriet Hageman and make her the next congresswoman from Wyoming.”
Hageman thanked Paul for his endorsement, saying it indicates that her campaign is doing something right.
“Sen. Paul is a national leader in the conservative movement, and his views are perfectly in line with Wyomingites, who are largely libertarian in nature,” she said. “Just as I have in my professional life, as a member of Congress I will fight for Wyoming, putting our people and America first. We need a member of Congress who will stand up to the Biden administration and the unelected bureaucracy that is relentless in its quest to take away our ability to control our own future.”
Hageman, a Cheyenne attorney who supported Cheney’s initial run for Congfress in 2016, announced her GOP primary challenge to Cheney in September, with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump quickly following.
Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler declined to comment about Paul’s endorsement.
Paul endorsed Leland Christensen, one of Cheney’s opponents in her first GOP primary for the U.S. House, in 2016. Cheney defeated Christensen by more than 16 percentage points.
However, their feud stretches back to before Cheney’s time in Congress, with the Kentucky senator mocking her run for U.S. Senate in 2013.
“When I heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia,” Paul said at the time.
Nor has Cheney shied away from throwing barbs at Paul herself. She has even said the jabs she and Paul have exchanged can be “enlightening,” according to Politico.
“Rand and I do have one thing in common, though. We’re both 5’2” tall,” she tweeted once about the senator.
Last year, Paul said he didn’t think Cheney was good for the country and alleged that she was trying to sabotage Trump’s foreign policy.
“I mean she tries to sabotage everything he tries to do in foreign policy, so I don’t know whether she’s a good advocate for the president or not,” Paul said in July 2020.
Cheney voted with Trump more than 90% of the time when he was in office, while Paul only voted with him about 69% of the time, according to the political voting tracking website, FiveThirtyEight.
Former U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin, who represented Wyoming in Congress from 1995 to 2007, has joined about 20 current and former elected officials to back Hageman in her challenge of Cheney.
Former legislators who have endorsed her include former House Speaker Bill McIlvain, R-Cheyenne, Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette, Rep. Hans Hunt, R-Newcastle, former Rep. David Miller, R-Lander, Rep. Marti Halverson, R-Etna, and Rep. Teense Willford, R-Saratoga.
Current legislators who have endorsed her include Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette, Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, R-Lingle and Rep. Chip Neiman, R-Hulett.