Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) announced a rare speaking event with her constituents in Wyoming next week with the added stipulation of a $10 admission fee which voters are calling “a slap in the face.”
As the only House representative for her state, Cheney has fallen out of favor with Republicans in the wake of the 2020 election, voting to impeach President Donald Trump, and her appointment to the January 6 committee, which is running an investigation that has more to do with denigrating conservatives and the rule of law than it does exposing the events that led to the incident at the Capitol building.
Facing a primary challenge from Trump-endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman, Cheney is hosting a limited engagement event permitting only 350 attendees, Politico reported. Set to take place at Jackson’s Center for the Arts, Cheney also reportedly intends to only answer pre-selected questions.
“Can you believe it?” Rebecca Bextel, 41, said. Bextel is one of roughly a quarter of the attendees who support Trump and plan on going to give Cheney a piece of their mind. “Charging for a ticket! It’s a slap in the face. We have one person representing us and she shows up in town and it costs $10 to see her. It’s embarrassing.”
“She’s not in the state,” Republican donor Nancy Donovan said, “she has not been anywhere, maybe one or two places. She doesn’t show up…she’s very entitled. Her parents have events at their house, I’ve spent money to go to her house to fund her.”
Donovan later added, “…I truly will never vote for her again.”
Though polling has been limited in the state, a straw poll conducted by the Wyoming Republican Central Committee in January found Hageman victorious with 59 votes. Cheney placed second with six votes, followed by state Sen. Anthony Bouchard of Cheyenne with two and Denton Knapp with just one.
With Trump victorious in the state in 2020, winning 70 percent of the vote to candidate Joe Biden’s 27 percent, his endorsement looks to hold a lot of sway in the race. Additionally, Cheney has been censured by both the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Wyoming which has brought some to conclude she intends to sway Democratic voters to her side for the primary.
Wyoming maintained an open primary system, allowing voters to change party status the day of an election, after a Trump-endorsed bill targeted at ending the practice failed to pass. Now she’ll seek the help of the same voters who had a statue of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, carried through the streets of Jackson in 2007 and summarily toppled in protest of the Iraq War.
“I was here,” Rebecca Cloetta said of the protest. “Democrats dragged her father’s effigy down a village road behind a truck at one of their rallies, and those are the people who are supporting her now, that she’s embraced.”
Exhibit 4,000 on how profoundly the GOP has changed / is changing: slide from a Dec. poll of Wyoming GOP primary voters by Tony Fabrizio, for Hageman’s super-PAC.
*Dick* Cheney is underwater! pic.twitter.com/RZHSH1NAX1
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 14, 2022
Cheney’s favorability is blown among Hageman supporters, supporting the notion that the Cheneys have fallen more in line with Democrat voters.
“She’s been MIA since Jan. 6,” Teton County GOP chair Mary Martin said. “And what we all truly believe is that the Wyoming seat is a stepping stone to running for president in 2024 and she needs to get Trump out of the way. And to raise money, she’s using the anti-Trump commentary.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who endorsed Hageman for the seat is concerned that the numbers will play out in Cheney’s favor and that she’ll maintain her seat come November. A three-way race with Cheney urging Democrat support could see Bouchard as the spoiler for Hageman by pulling as much as 15 percent of the vote away from the Trump candidate.
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