U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney has conceded defeat to her opponent Harriet Hageman in the 2022 Wyoming Republican primary on Tuesday night. The concession came with 23% of the state’s precincts showing a 19% lead for Hageman.
“This is not a game,” Cheney said in her concession speech. “Everyone one of us must be committed to the eternal defense of this miraculous experiment called America.”
Cheney said she called Hageman personally to concede the race.
She has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump since the 2020 election. Hageman’s win over Cheney is a major milestone in Trump’s run of candidate endorsements, as Cheney was one of the few within the Republican Party to speak out against him.
In 2020, Cheney won the Republican primary with 73% of the vote. In her concession speech, Cheney claimed “I could have easily done the same again.”
“But it would have required that I went with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election, it would have required that I label his ongoing effort to stop his efforts to unravel the Democratic system and attack the foundations of our Republic. That is a path I would not and could not take.”
In order to have won the election, Cheney would have had to change the minds of a significant number of Republican voters in Wyoming. Trump won Wyoming in 2020 by a larger margin than any other state.
Cheney stayed consistent in her explanation for speaking out against Trump, despite the state’s propensity for the former president, in that it was her duty to the Constitution and her oath of office.
“I well understood the potential consequences,” she said.
Cheney said she loves the Republican Party, but her oath to the country rose above this.
In her concession speech, Cheney laid some potential groundwork for a 2024 presidential run. She mentioned how former President Abraham Lincoln was defeated in elections for the U.S. Senate and House before becoming elected president.
“Now, the real work begins,” she said.
Cheney has owned a residence in Wyoming since 2013. Prior to that purchase, she spent a limited time in the state.
Hageman addressed this in her victory speech.
“Wyoming has made clear that we are done being governed by the Washington, D.C. uniparty – those Democrats and Republicans who don’t really care which party is in power, just so long as they are,” Hageman said in her victory speech. “Wyoming has sent the message- if you are going to claim to live in Wyoming, you better damn well live in Wyoming.”
She also mentioned the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Cheney is serving as vice chair on the Jan. 6 Committee. Cheney said she assumed that most others would join her in opposing Trump after that day.
She sees this event as giving credibility and credence to extreme conspiracy theories and lies.
“Our great nation must not be ruled by a mob provoked over social media,” she said.
Cheney also briefly weighed in on Wyoming’s state-level elections, saying these races are just as critical for ensuring democracy and free and fair elections.
“As we leave here tonight we will stand together, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, against those who will destroy our Republic,” Cheney said. “They are angry and they are determined. But they have not seen anything like the power of Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom.”