Rep. Liz Cheney lost her House seat Tuesday, but she’s considering a run for even higher office.
Cheney was as clear as she’s ever been that she’s contemplating a bid for president in 2024, but stopped short of committing to a run for higher office.
“That’s a decision that I’m going to make in the coming months, and I’m not going to make any announcements here this morning, but it is something that I am thinking about,” she said on the “TODAY” show Wednesday morning.
In possibly the biggest congressional race in Wyoming’s history, Cheney lost to Trump-backed natural resources attorney Harriet Hageman. It marked the first time a Cheney has lost an election in Wyoming in nearly half a century.
The congresswoman has become the face of the anti-Trump movement and she cemented that role Tuesday night.
Cheney ousted by Trump-backed Hageman
“I have said since Jan. 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office,” she told supporters in Jackson on election night. “And I mean it.”
Trump, meanwhile, took to social media to dismiss the idea that there were brighter days ahead for Cheney politically.
“The Fake News Media is claiming that Liz Cheney has such a “wonderful and bright” political future,” he wrote on Truth Social. “Maybe they didn’t notice that she lost by nearly 40 points? She’s too angry and sick to succeed in the future, but who knows!”
With more than 95% of the vote counted Wednesday morning, Hageman led Cheney by about 37 points.
Lauren Miller, Star-Tribune
Liz Cheney talks to the crowd about the importance of keeping Trump out of the Oval Office at the her primary election watch party on Tuesday in Jackson.
“Tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in the primary,” Cheney said Tuesday. “She won. I called her to concede the race. But now the real work begins.”
The “real work” appears to be an organization dedicated to keeping Cheney’s efforts alive beyond her defeat.
“In coming weeks, Liz will be launching an organization to educate the American people about the ongoing threat to our Republic, and to mobilize a unified effort to oppose any Donald Trump campaign for president,” Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler told POLITICO Playbook.
The Cheney camp also converted a joint fundraising committee, Great Task PAC, to a leadership political action committee, a clear sign that her political career is nowhere near over.
“Politicians often use their [leadership] PACs to donate to other candidates because they are considering seeking a leadership position in Congress, a higher office, or leverage within their own party as they show off their fundraising ability,” according to OpenSecrets, a DC-based nonprofit that tracks campaign finance data.
Speculation around Cheney’s presidential prospects started in the spring of 2021 when she told the New York Post that a 2024 bid is not something she’s ruling out.
Although she’s been officially ousted by Hageman, Cheney still has a few months left in her term and work to do as vice chairman of the Jan. 6 investigative committee.
Following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach the former president, beginning her fall from power. Less than a month later, the House Republican Conference held a secret ballot on whether to remove Cheney as their chair. Cheney safely survived 61-145, but did not back down in her criticism of the former president. Only days later, the Wyoming GOP censured her for her vote to impeach Trump. In mid-May, Cheney was ousted from House leadership in a voice vote. But her adversaries did not stop there — in November, Wyoming Republican leaders voted to symbolically no longer recognize Cheney as a member of their party.
“Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same again,” Cheney said Tuesday night. “The path was clear, but it would’ve required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election.”