Republican Representative Liz Cheney is having a hard time finding support for the upcoming primary race in the state of Wyoming. It is not the rival party she is up against, it’s the GOP Party that is standing in her way.
Ogden Driskill, the Republican Senate Majority leader in Wyoming said recently that he did not intend to endorse Lis Cheney even though she is the incumbent in the race. He offered that he will be in his own difficult race and even though he has done endorsements in the past, he is now just going to focus on his future. Driskill said that at this time he was going to sit on the sidelines and watch what was going to happen.
Ogden Driskill did concede that he is in support of “most of” former President Donald Trump’s policies. He said they are just good for business. But he will not endorse Cheney or Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s primary challenger. Hageman has already been endorsed by Kevin McCarthy, the Senate Minority Leader, and Elise Stefanik, the Conference Chair.
Former President Trump has made his will clear in the race. He is in opposition to Liz Cheney. She voted to impeach the former president in 2021 and she is one of just two GOP colleagues that served on the January 6 Capitol riot investigation committee.
Driskill was asked in Cheney’s participation in what other Republicans deem as a “partisan” committee influenced his lack of support for Cheney, but he did not respond.
He said that he is looking for the best person to do the job and he will be watching as Cheney and Hageman work out their platform differences.
“I truly don’t like the lockstep and the parties are working to do that. You need to have critical decision-makers that are not afraid to do away with their opinion and represent their constituents. They obviously have differences, as does everyone else,” Driskill said.
Cheney’s team did not respond to a request for comment on Driskill’s decision. There is growing tension between Cheney and a number of GOP leaders. She was voted out of House leadership by her colleagues in May. And the GOP Party in Wyoming censured her after her January impeachment vote against Trump. That was also done by the Republican National Committee because of her part in the January 6 committee.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is fully placing his support behind Cheney’s challenger. “After spending time with Harriet, it is readily apparent she will always listen and prioritize the needs of her local communities and is focused on tackling our nation’s biggest problems,” McCarthy said to The Federalist in an interview. He said that he looks forward to serving with Hageman for many years.
Former President Trump went so far as to announce his support for legislation in Wyoming that would not allow non-Republicans from voting in the state’s GOP House primary. Trump said simply that it makes sense to only allow Democrats to vote in the Democrat primary and only Republicans in the Republican primary.
In Trump’s endorsement message for Hageman, he took aim at Cheney calling her “disloyal” and a “warmonger.”
The voters seem to agree with these leading Republicans. In a Wyoming state straw poll that was given last month, Hageman beat Cheney with a 59 to 6 margin.
With Driskill on the sidelines watching and McCarthy and Trump so vocal in their support of Hageman, Cheney’s days in Washington may be numbered. Hageman may be one of many Trump-endorsed candidates to win in the coming elections.