Cheney again breaks fundraising record in Wyoming House race

Sam Metz
Associated Press

Congresswoman Liz Cheney raised almost $3 million in campaign contributions over the first three months of the midterm election year, continuing her record-breaking fundraising streak as she attempts to defend her seat against a Trump-backed challenger.

The third-term Wyoming Republican began April with $6.8 million cash on-hand, while her opponent Harriet Hageman began the final four-month stretch leading up to Wyoming’s Aug. 16 Republican primary with more than $1 million in her campaign coffers.

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, April 4, 2022.

Though deep-red Wyoming traditionally draws significantly less in campaign contributions than more populous battleground states, Cheney’s unrelenting criticism of former President Donald Trump and statements blaming him for the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 have transformed the race for the state’s lone U.S. House seat into one of the most closely watched contests of the 2022 midterms.

Cheney, who chaired the Republican House Conference before being ousted from her post last year, has broken her personal fundraising records in five consecutive quarters and has raised more than $10 million throughout the election cycle, her campaign said in a statement.

Cheney’s criticisms of Trump have alienated her from many of her colleagues in the U.S. House and the Wyoming Republican Party and made her among the most endangered Republican incumbents facing reelection this year. But they’ve also expanded her profile and allowed her to build a nationwide fundraising network.

Given her vote to impeach him and her position on the Jan. 6 House Select Committee, Cheney’s seat is among Trump’s top 2022 targets. Hageman has received endorsements from Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Elise Stefanik, Cheney’s replacement as House Republican Conference Chair.

Hageman, a Cheyenne attorney, raised $1.3 million over the first three months of 2022, her campaign said in a news release Monday. Though her haul pales in comparison to Cheney’s, it is roughly triple what she raised in the final three months of 2021 and a comparatively large sum for a Wyoming candidate.

Political parties typically do not campaign against their incumbent members. But the Republican National Committee censured Cheney in February, effectively opening the door for them to throw their support behind Hageman’s challenge.

The Federal Election Commission is scheduled to publish campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2022 on Friday, which will detail campaign spending and the sources of each candidates’ contributions.

Other Republicans running include state Sen. Anthony Bouchard and retired Army Col. Denton Knapp. No Democrat has announced plans to challenge Cheney, and her candidacy could benefit from Democratic crossover voters, who in Wyoming can change their party affiliation from now until the day of the August primary.