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Leading Republican Trump critic Cheney loses seat in US Congress

#Leading #Republican #Trump #critic #Cheney #loses #seat #Congress

Republican rebel Liz Cheney lost her seat in Congress to an election conspiracy theorist on Tuesday, US media projected, in the latest sign her party is breaking with traditional conservatism to embrace Donald Trump’s uncompromising “America First” agenda.

The Wyoming lawmaker, once considered Republican royalty, has become a pariah in the party because of her membership on the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol — and Trump’s role in fanning the flames.

The defeat of the 56-year-old older daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the Wyoming Republican primary marks the end of the family’s four-decade political association with one of America’s most conservative states.

The Republican nomination to contest November’s midterm election instead goes to 59-year-old attorney Harriet Hageman — Trump’s handpicked nominee who has reinforced his false claims of a “rigged” 2020 election.

But there’s already speculation that Cheney could challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 — or even run as an independent — and insiders expect she’ll be delivering a concessionary speech in the next hour, which will double as a launchpad for her political future .

– ‘We will win’ –

“No matter what the outcome, it’s certainly the beginning of a struggle that will continue and will continue, and as a country we are facing very challenging and difficult times,” Cheney told CBS ahead of the election closing.

“We are facing a moment where our democracy is really being attacked and threatened.”

Cheney had portrayed her campaign as a battle for the soul of a party trying to save her from the anti-constitutional forces of Trumpism.

She was the last of 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives to back Trump’s second impeachment to face primary voters.

Four retired instead of running for re-election, three lost to Trump-backed opponents, and only two — California native David Valadao and Washington state’s Dan Newhouse — made it through to the November midterm elections.

Cheney voted 93 percent of the time when he was president, consistent with Trump’s positions, but he didn’t retract his punches as he sought revenge for her role in the House investigation.

Trump has made Cheney his bete noire, calling her “disloyal” and a “warmonger,” which has prompted death threats that have forced her to travel with a police escort.

The blond, bespectacled former attorney was made persona non grata by the Wyoming Republican Party, whose leader himself took part in protests on the day of the attack on the US Capitol.

– Palin comeback bid –

In her state, which first gave women the right to vote in 1869, the congresswoman was forced to conduct a kind of shadow campaign, without rallies or public events.

She even avoided the traditional Tuesday photo op on Election Day, avoiding the media at her local polling station, instead casting her ballot in nearby Jackson.

“Liz represents the voters she has in mind, and they are not Wyoming’s voters,” said Mary Martin, chairwoman of the Republican Party in Teton County — Cheney’s Wyoming base.

There was also Tuesday’s election in Alaska, where 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s comeback fight to end the term of a congressman who died in office divided locals.

Fourteen years after Palin rose to international fame with the losing Republican presidential nominee led by John McCain, Palin remains popular with women as the “football mom” who fueled the ultra-conservative “Tea Party” movement that paved the way for Trumpism .

But many voters blame her for giving up her only term as governor midway over ethics grievances, and a recent poll showed 60 percent of Alaskans view her negatively.

Palin’s race results are not expected for a few days.

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