Liz Cheney, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is running for Congress in Wyoming. Cheney is eyeing the lone seat Wyoming has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The seat was held by her father from 1979 until 1989, when he resigned to become Secretary of Defense.
Though the news isn’t official yet, according to the Associated Press, Liz filed federal election documents Friday to run for the seat Wyoming has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Campaign officials say the 49-year-old attorney will make a formal announcement on Monday in Gillette, Wyoming, of her intention to run for Congress.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 31, 2016
Gillette is one of the towns in Wyoming that’s been hit hard by the downturn in the coal industry. It’s believed Cheney will run her campaign playing off fears that the Obama administration is waging a “war on coal.”
The seat Liz is running for is currently held by four-term Republican Cynthia Lummis, who plans to retire at the end of her term this year.
Liz’s recent run for Congress comes two years after her failed attempt to run for the U.S. Senate, also in Wyoming. A number of problems and issues plagued her campaign for the Senate back in 2013. She ran against U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, also a Republican, who wasn’t happy when he found out Liz was challenging his seat. He said at the time he had been under the impression she wouldn’t run against him, USA Today reports.
“She said that if I ran, she wasn’t going to run, but obviously that wasn’t correct,” Enzi said. “I thought we were friends.”
According to the Washington Post, Cheney’s decision to challenge Enzi divided Republicans, and no mainstream Republicans in the state would endorse her.
Another issue Liz faced was the fact that her short residency in Wyoming caused many to question how well she knew and could serve the state. Much of her adult years have been spent living in Northern Virginia.
Liz also had a very public fight with her sister Mary over Liz’s opposition to gay marriage. Mary, who is married to a woman, claimed her sister supported her relationship privately but opposed it publicly while campaigning. Liz said she opposed same-sex marriage but thought states should be allowed to decide whether to legalize it or not.
The mother of five quit her bid for the Senate seven months before the 2014 primary, citing “serious health issues” in her family which were never disclosed. Enzi was re-elected.
This time around, however, Cheney may not face as many challenges in her run for Congress.
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) January 31, 2016
Political science professor at the University of Wyoming, Jim King, said Cheney will have an advantage with her name recognition, fundraising ability and network of supporters; however, she will still need to establish strong ties to the state and convince voters she can serve them best.
“But the biggest difference between two years ago and her current campaign is she won’t be challenging an incumbent. Sen. Enzi during the 2014 election cycle had none of the vulnerability we consider with an incumbent: He hadn’t lost connection with the state, and he didn’t have a voting record that was out of line with the voters. So (Cheney) always faced an uphill battle there.”
Matt Micheli, the Republican Party Chairman for Wyoming, welcomed Liz to the Senate race with open arms.
“Wyoming is lucky to have so many great candidates step forward. Once the primaries are over, Wyoming Republicans will rally around our nominee and make sure that the seat stays Republican,” Micheli said in a statement.
The 2016 House race is already well underway with Liz facing eight other Republican candidates. The first debate was held on January 23, but Liz didn’t attend. The primary is scheduled for August.
What do you think Liz Cheney’s chances are of being elected to the Senate? Will she be successful running for Congress this time around?
[Photo courtesy of AP]