CHEYENNE — Hours after receiving an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman officially announced her candidacy Thursday to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
Speaking in front of supporters in a small ballroom at Cheyenne’s Little America Hotel and Resort, Hageman said she is running to return the congressional seat “to someone from Wyoming who represents Wyoming’s conservative values, to someone with Wyoming’s best interests at heart.”
In an email statement announcing his endorsement, Trump took shots at Cheney, one of the most vocal Republicans to speak out against the former president. She voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
“I strongly endorse Republican House of Representatives Candidate Harriet Hageman from Wyoming who is running against warmonger and disloyal Republican, Liz Cheney,” Trump says in the email. “Harriet is a fourth-generation daughter of Wyoming, a very successful attorney, and has the support and respect of a truly great U.S. Senator, Wyoming’s own Cynthia Lummis.”
Referencing Cheney’s break from many of her Republican colleagues, Hageman said that, “Wyoming is entitled to a representative in Congress who remembers who sent her there and remembers what their wishes are. Liz Cheney is doing neither, and I will do both.”
Describing herself as a “constitutional conservative,” Hageman said she would fight against Democrats and elites in Washington, D.C., who she said show contempt for Americans “by demanding to control every aspect of our lives.”
She said she would spend her time in Congress exposing that contempt, doing what she knows is right and “fighting against the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who ignore our Constitution and who seek to govern by executive fiat and tell us how to run our states and our country.”
Trump lauded Hageman for her conservative values and Western heritage.
“Harriet Hageman adores the Great State of Wyoming, is strong on Crime and Borders, powerfully supports the Second Amendment, loves our Military and our Vets, and will fight for Election Integrity and Energy Independence (which Biden has already given up),” he said in the email. “Unlike RINO Liz Cheney, Harriet is all in for America First. Harriet has my Complete and Total Endorsement in replacing the Democrats number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney. Make America Great Again!”
Hageman said Trump’s endorsement makes it clear that he believes she can beat Cheney.
Previously an ally of Cheney’s, Hageman said they spent most of their time talking about regulatory issues.
She said the turning point in her support began when Cheney “attacked” Trump in relation to Russians allegedly putting out bounties on U.S. troops, and again when Cheney called Hageman to say there had been “no election irregularities,” that Joe Biden was the legitimate president, and that Trump needed to concede.
“I said that I believed that there were issues that needed to be looked at related to the election in various states. That was probably the end of our relationship,” Hageman said. “I haven’t spoken to her since then.”
In a Thursday morning statement announcing her intention to challenge Cheney, Hageman said Wyoming’s current representative has betrayed her and the rest of the state with “her personal war with President Trump, who won Wyoming by massive majorities twice.”
In a statement, Cheney responded to Hageman.
“I am honored to represent the people of Wyoming and proud of my strong conservative record. I look forward to an extended public debate about the importance of the rule of law and the solemn duty of elected officials to uphold their oath to the Constitution.
“It is tragic that some in this race have sacrificed those principles, and their duty to the people of Wyoming, out of fear and in favor of loyalty to a former president who deliberately misled the American people about the 2020 election, provoked an attack on the U.S. Capitol, and failed to perform his duties as president as the violence ensued.”
Hageman served as the Republican National Committeewoman from Wyoming before stepping down in anticipation of her campaign announcement, according to her Thursday statement.
She ran for Wyoming governor as a Republican in 2018, eventually losing to Gov. Mark Gordon in the party’s primary that year.