Who is Harriet Hageman? Liz Cheney’s GOP challenger wins Kevin McCarthy's endorsement
GOP House Leader backs Cheney's challenger in upcoming 2022 midterms so he can 'hold the Biden Administration accountable'
The fracturing of the Republican Party continued to grow after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy backed a challenger for Liz Cheney in Wyoming. On February 17, 2022, McCarthy officially endorsed Harriet Hageman for the GOP primary, further alienating himself from Cheney. "I look forward to welcoming Harriet to a Republican majority next Congress, where together, we will hold the Biden Administration accountable and deliver much-needed solutions for the American people," he said.
The move is just the latest example of House Republicans moving away from Cheney, who sits on the January 6 Select Committee. As one of the few Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump, Cheney's vocal attacks of the former President have been met with severe backlash. In 2021, she was replaced as House Republican Conference chair by Elise Stefanik. More recently, she was censured by the Republican National Committee.
Her strong anti-Trump stance has forced McCarthy and other House Republicans to push her away, as they remain fiercely loyal to Trump. It was widely expected they would back a challenger to Cheney, and now that moment has come. Meet Hageman, who is hoping to unseat Cheney and take her place in Congress.
Who is Harriet Hageman?
A native of Fort Laramie, Hageman graduated with a BSc and JD from the University of Wyoming. She then clerked for Judge James Barrett on the Federal Appeals Court, before moving into private practice. A trial attorney for over 30 years, she's well-known for challenging federal overreach and battling both the state and federal government on a variety of issues. Some of her more notable cases include blocking the EPA's efforts to take control of Wyoming's irrigation infrastructure and blocking the USDA from forcing livestock producers to use radio-frequency ear tags.
Ironically, in 2014, Hageman was part of Cheney's campaign for the US Senate. Reportedly, the Hageman family were long-time allies of Cheney, which led her to tap Hageman as an advisor. Then in 2018, Hageman decided to enter politics by running for Governor of Wyoming. She only garnered 21.5% of the vote in the GOP primary and was pushed out by the eventual winner of the general election - Mark Gordon.
Now in 2022, Hageman has once again thrown her hat into the ring, becoming the fifth GOP challenger to Cheney. On her campaign website, Hageman says Cheney "doesn’t represent Wyoming and she doesn’t represent conservatives."
Winning McCarthy's backing
In an email to The Daily Mail, McCarthy's office said Hageman "has championed America's natural resources and helped the people of Wyoming reject burdensome and onerous government overreach." In response, Hageman said, "I pledge that when I am Wyoming's congresswoman, I will always stand up for our beautiful state and do the job I was sent there to do. Liz Cheney is doing nothing to help us, she is actively damaging the Republican Party – both in Wyoming and nationally – and it's time for her to go."
Hageman was also previously endorsed by Trump himself, but it appears that did little favor for her campaign's cash flow. In 2021, Hageman only raised around $746,000 compared to Cheney's $7.2 million. However, Hageman could see a massive influx of cash in the coming days, after the RNC voted to get involved in Wyoming's primary and provide support to Cheney's opponent.
It means Cheney will be up not just against Democrats in 2022, but her own party. Nonetheless, she seems confident of winning her bid to stay in Congress.