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Liz Cheney loses her seat in Congress, but cements her place in history as the Republican who took on Trump

August 17, 2022, 1:52 PM UTC
Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! First Lady Jill Biden tests positive for COVID, Serena Williams faces a defeat ahead of the U.S. Open, and Liz Cheney says goodbye to Congress—but cements her place in history. Have a great Wednesday.

– More than a primary. The polling was right. Rep. Liz Cheney lost her seat in the House of Representatives last night, by a nearly 40-point margin—the consequence of Cheney’s stand against the Jan. 6 insurrection and former President Donald Trump.

Cheney is a conservative Republican who aligned with her party on most issues, but she drew a line when it came to the party’s embrace of Trump’s false insistence that he won the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same again,” the Wyoming congresswoman said in her concession speech last night. “The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election. It would have required that I enabled 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.”

Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

The congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was defeated in a 66-29 margin by Republican Harriet Hageman in a GOP primary. Hageman opposed Trump during the 2016 election cycle, but embraced his platform as she took on Cheney in this year’s race.

Cheney’s defeat sends a message about the state of the GOP: Trump continues to hold power over the Republican Party, and going against his messaging comes with political risks. Cheney is the highest-profile Republican to lose their seat of the 10 who voted to impeach Trump last year, but nearly all have also been ousted in primary contests.

While her Congressional career may be over, Cheney sees a potential opening as the anti-Trump candidate beyond Wyoming. She is considering a run for president, she hinted in an interview this morning. “It’s something I’m thinking about,” she said on the Today show.

With the 2024 U.S. presidential election approaching, Cheney says she will “do whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.” Will Cheney be the one to achieve that goal? Wyoming’s GOP voters have rejected her stance—but outside her home state, it’s a new ballgame.

Emma Hinchliffe

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