After a number of Wyoming Republicans competed for Trump’s support, and some of his supporters nervous that the anti-Cheney vote would disintegrate, the former president rallied behind Ms. Hageman almost a year ago. The daughter of a rancher, she has been active in Republican politics for a long time, finishing third in the 2018 GOP primaries for governor.
As a trial attorney, Hageman has been a fierce advocate on issues important to the state’s powerful ranching, mining and energy interests, and has fought environmental activists in court over land use and federal regulations. She and Mrs. Cheney were once political allies. Ms. Hageman served as an advisor to Ms. Cheney’s short-lived 2014 Senate campaign and endorsed when she claimed the House seat in 2016.
The women debated just once, in June, and Ms. Cheney used the forum to urge Wyomingites to “vote someone else” if they wanted a politician who would violate the oath of office.
In the closing weeks of the primaries, Mrs. Cheney ran an ad in which her 81-year-old father called Mr. Trump “a coward,” making it even more apparent that she was using the primary as a stage for her crusade against Mr. Trump instead of trying to fend off Ms Hageman. Equally noteworthy, Ms. Cheney withheld millions from her campaign fund, more than $7.4 million since last month.
Her approach differed greatly from that of other Republicans who became embroiled with Mr Trump in the wake of his defeat in 2020 and then muted their criticism. That list included figures like Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia and Representatives David Valadao of California and Daniel Newhouse of Washington, the two House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump but managed to reach the general election.
However, Ms. Cheney was defiant and insisted that Mr. Trump be confronted and convicted. Her language resonated with the dwindling ranks of anti-Trump Republicans and with even more independents and Democrats, whom she tried to get to vote in the GOP primaries in the final months of the race.