Trump-Backed Hageman Easy Winner Over Rep. Cheney Harriet Hageman is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who stumped for her in Wyoming earlier this summer. (Mead Gruver/AP)
By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 16 August 2022 09:39 PM EDT
One of former President Donald Trump's primary targets is officially defeated by his endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman in the Wyoming GOP primary, according to Decision Desk HQ election returns.
"Decision Desk HQ projects Harriet Hageman (@HagemanforWY) is the winner of the Republican nomination for Wyoming's at-large U.S. House congressional district," DDHQ tweeted just 27 minutes after polls closed and just 4% of the vote tallied. "She has defeated incumbent Rep Liz Cheney (R). #DecisionMade: 9:27pm EDT"
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was widely expected to lose the Trump-backed challenger in the state in which he won by the largest of margins during the 2020 campaign.
"Over 70% of the state of Wyoming voted Republican in the last presidential election and she turned right around and voted against us," Jackson Republican voter Dan Winder, a hotel manager, said. "She was our representative, not her own."
Tuesday's contests in Wyoming and Alaska offer one of the final tests for Trump and his brand of hard-line politics ahead of the November general election. So far, the former president has largely dominated the fight to shape the GOP in his image, having helped install loyalists in key general election matchups from Arizona to Georgia to Pennsylvania.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, hailed the result with a one-word post on Truth Social.
"Wyoming!" he wrote.
Trump spent much of the day attacking the FBI on social media, but he briefly weighed in on the Wyoming contest.
"If Liz Cheney loses tonight, the Fake News Media will do everything within their power to play it down and pretend that it was not a referendum on the Unselects – That it was no big deal," Trump wrote on Truth Social hours before Cheney's ultimate defeat. "Actually, it would be a very big deal, one of the biggest!"
That's a reference to Cheney's role as vice chair of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee.
In Alaska, a recent change to state election law gives a periodic Trump critic, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an opportunity to survive the former president's wrath, even after she voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial. She is the only Senate Republican running for reelection this year who backed Trump's impeachment.
The top four primary Senate candidates in Alaska, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election, where voters will rank them in order of preference.
In all, seven Republican senators and 10 Republican House members joined every Democrat in supporting Trump's impeachment in the days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify President Joe Biden's victory.
Just two of those 10 House members have won their GOP primaries this year. The rest have lost or declined to seek reelection.
Murkowski is facing 18 opponents — the most prominent of which is Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who has been endorsed by Trump — in her push to preserve a seat she has held for nearly 20 years.
On the other side of the GOP's tent, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee, hopes to spark a political comeback on Tuesday. She's actually on Tuesday's ballot twice: once in a special election to complete former Rep. Don Young’s term and another for a full two-year House term starting in January.
Anti-Trump groups such as retiring GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger's Country First PAC and the Republican Accountability Project have worked to encourage independents and Democrats to support Cheney in recent weeks.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.