Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is running for Wyoming’s lone Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, the only female member of the House Freedom Caucus, who announced her decision not to run for re-election last year.
Cheney, who previously withdrew from a 2014 race for the U.S. Senate, is facing a primary election Tuesday against Tim Stubson, Leland Christensen and Darin Smith. Cheney is favored in the race, according to a recent poll.
Hoping to occupy the seat her father once had, Cheney, who worked in a number of different posts in the Bush administration, told the Washington Post recently her brand of Republicanism was different from her father’s brand — or even GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s.
“[A] Liz Cheney Republican is somebody who is a strong constitutional conservative, believes in limited government,” she said.
Here is what you need to know about Cheney as she gears up for Tuesday’s primary and hopes to secure a spot on the ballot in November:
1. Cheney Is Gunning For the Seat Her Father, Dick, Once Had in Wyoming
Long before she announced her bid for Congress, Liz Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, held the Congressional seat from 1978-1989.
Dick Cheney served as Wyoming’s only House member until March 1989 when President George H.W. Bush tapped him for the Secretary of Defense spot, where he was confirmed by the Senate 92-0.
“At this perilous time,” Liz Cheney wrote in a Facebook post declaring her candidacy, “we must have a strong, conservative voice representing Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives. I am running because I will be that voice.”
2. Cheney Previously Ran for a Wyoming Senate Seat, but Dropped Out
Cheney previously tried her hand at a Congressional seat — but dropped out before the voters could decide if they liked her more than incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi. In the months before that 2014 primary, Cheney announced she wouldn’t contend for the seat, citing family health issues.
The failed bid came after some accused Cheney of carpetbagging. She had moved to Wyoming from Virginia in 2012 and had rarely spent time there.
Additionally, Cheney and her younger sister, Mary Cheney, a lesbian, traded jabs publicly over gay marriage. The debate bogged down Cheney’s campaign when Mary Cheney’s wife, Heather Poe, took to Facebook and blasted the Senate hopeful.
“To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least,” Poe wrote.
3. Cheney Worked in the Bush Administration While Her Dad Was Vice President
In 2002, Cheney was hired to a position in the State Department, serving as its deputy assistant secretary of state in the Near East bureau, while her father worked as vice president in the same administration.
“We’re delighted to have Ms. Cheney join our team,” the spokesman told the Times. “She brings a very strong legal and economic background to her new position, having previously served with both the private and government sectors, including with U.S.A.I.D. and the Department of State.”
The hiring brought with it criticism and declarations of nepotism, according to the Washington Post.
4. Sen. Rand Paul has Opposed Cheney in Both Her Senate & Her House Bids
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican who ran for president this year, publicly backed one of Cheney’s opponents, Leland Christensen, and called him the “Constitutional conservative in the race.”
Similarly in 2014, Paul supported Cheney’s then-opponent in the Senate race, incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi.
Paul and the Cheneys have rarely been on the same side. In 2010, the former vice president endorsed Paul’s primary opponent and Paul has said the former Wyoming representative, a war hawk, created a “disaster” for the United States.
“I think Dick Cheney has probably been wrong about almost every foreign policy decision over the last 20 or 30 years,” Paul told conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham.
In a recent Casper Star-Tribune and Wyoming PBS poll, Cheney has 21 percent of the Republican vote while Tim Stubson garnered 8.7 percent. Paul’s horse in the race, Christensen, followed with 4.1 percent.
5. Cheney Has Raised $1.4 Million, Including Donations From the Bush Family
Federal election records show Cheney has received more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions and, as of Tuesday’s primary, has $542,530 in cash on hand. A glimpse at the campaign’s contributors shows a who’s-who of the former Bush administration:
Cheney has received a combined $11,300 from the Bush family, from George H.W. and Barbara to George W. and Laura, records show. Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, each gave $2,700 twice.
Cheney’s parents, Dick and Lynne, each contributed $2,700 twice.
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