The Cheney Challenger Lurking on the Sidelines

When former President Donald Trump officially endorsed Harriet Hageman in Wyoming’s GOP congressional race last month, Republican primary challenger Anthony Bouchard knew he’d have to act quickly. He’d spent months establishing himself as a die-hard Trump ally and fashioning his campaign in opposition to the former president’s greatest foe in the House GOP Conference: incumbent GOP Rep. Liz Cheney.

“Wyoming was President Trump’s best state both times he ran,” Bouchard said in a press release on January 20 announcing his run. “That’s because Wyoming voters are strong conservatives who want our leaders to stand up for America, defend our freedoms, fight for our way of life and always put working people first as President Trump did.”

But his hopes of flaunting Donald Trump’s endorsement on the campaign trail were suddenly dashed on September 9, when the former president formally threw his support behind Hageman, who is an admittedly unconventional choice. Hageman served as a delegate for GOP Sen. Ted Cruz in 2016, advised Cheney’s short-lived 2014 Senate bid against Mike Enzi, and donated to Cheney’s congressional campaigns in 2014 and 2016.

Since announcing her candidacy, Hageman has said that she came around on Trump after he won the nomination, and that “Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media … lied about him before he was elected and continue to lie about him to this day.” She also called him “the greatest president of my lifetime.”

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