Representative Liz Cheney has drawn many of the consideration within the race for Wyoming’s lone congressional seat thanks to her vocal denunciations of former President Donald J. Trump and what she describes because the threats to democracy posed by his far-right followers.
But the challenger who seems poised to unseat her in Tuesday’s Republican major, Harriet Hageman, has a observe file in Wyoming of fierce advocacy on points notably related to the state’s ranchers, vitality and mining pursuits.
She spent many years as a trial lawyer combating environmentalists in America’s least populated state and opposing federal guidelines defending land, water and endangered species. Her most far-reaching case was a profitable problem of Clinton-era federal laws to shield thousands and thousands of acres of National Forests from road-building, mining and different growth. A federal choose positioned an injunction on the laws in 2003.
Ms. Hageman additionally represented teams that sought to take away protections for the grey wolf below the Endangered Species Act and permit the state to manage hunting. As an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 2018, she suggested transferring a million acres of federal land to the state, which opponents warned would have lead to promoting off prized looking, fishing and mountain climbing areas.
“She has a long reputation among the conservation and sportsman groups of being an anti-federalist, particularly when it comes to ownership of land,” stated Dan Smitherman, the Wyoming state director on the Wilderness Society. “Most of the main conservation groups and probably 50 to 60 percent of the sportsman groups assume we’ll be playing defense against her when it comes to public land issues and perhaps some issues like wolves and bears.”
At a luncheon final week for the Chamber of Commerce of Rock Springs, a group constructed on fossil-fuel extraction, Ms. Hageman promised to be a champion in Washington for these industries if elected.
“I think we need to make the federal government largely irrelevant to our everyday lives,” Ms. Hageman instructed the viewers.
And she warned that Democrats’ climate and tax bill could be “devastating” to Wyoming, after stating that coal was an “affordable, clean, acceptable resource that we all should be using.”
A spokesman for Ms. Hageman, Tim Murtaugh, stated on Tuesday that, if elected, “Harriet Hageman will make fighting against the administrative state her signature issue in Congress, because Wyoming is often targeted by the federal government, which attacks its resource industries and controls too much of its land.”
Before the first, Ms. Hageman, 59, had a lead of almost 30 factors in current polls, a mirrored image of the Republican loyalty to Mr. Trump in a state he received with 70 % of the vote in 2020.
Ms. Cheney, 56, has infuriated the previous president and far of her get together’s base by serving as co-chairwoman of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol. Of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the mob that day, she is the final to face major voters. Four of the 10 House Republicans who voted against the former president retired, three misplaced their primaries and two survived to make it to the overall election this fall.
“We’re fed up with the Jan. 6 committee,” Ms. Hageman stated at a rally in Casper in late May that Mr. Trump headlined. “And we’re fed up with Liz Cheney.”
It wasn’t all the time so. Ms. Hageman is a former shut ally of Ms. Cheney’s. She launched Ms. Cheney at a state get together conference in 2016 as a “courageous constitutional conservative.” That yr, Ms. Hageman additionally known as Mr. Trump “racist and xenophobic.”
But, like many officers and aspiring candidates within the Republican Party, Ms. Hageman skilled a conversion by which she got here to assist Mr. Trump enthusiastically. By 2020, when she campaigned in and received an inside get together race to be one in every of Wyoming’s members of the National Republican Committee, Ms. Hageman brazenly supported Mr. Trump. She defined that she had been misled earlier by “lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media” instructed about Mr. Trump.
As her marketing campaign gained momentum this yr, she grew bolder in embracing Mr. Trump’s false claims that he was robbed of re-election. “Absolutely the election was rigged,” Ms. Hageman stated lately at a discussion board in Casper. “What happened in 2020 is a travesty.” (There isn’t any proof of widespread fraud in 2020.)
At the one debate of the marketing campaign, in June, Ms. Hageman bristled after the primary two questions zeroed in on Mr. Trump’s function within the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol, the topic of the House investigation whose prime-time hearings have prominently featured Ms. Cheney.
“The J-6 situation,” as Ms. Hageman known as it, is “not what the people in Wyoming are talking about.” She added: “What they’re talking about is the gas crisis. They’re talking about food prices.”
In touring 1000’s of miles round Wyoming, Ms. Hageman broadened her message, in search of to make the race much less of a referendum on Mr. Trump than a selection between whether or not she or Ms. Cheney extra faithfully represented the state’s core traditions.
She launched herself as a “fourth-generation Wyomingite.” She described her upbringing on a ranch close to Fort Laramie, the place she realized the worth of “riding for the brand” — that’s, she defined, “loyalty to the outfit you’re working for.”
Despite Ms. Cheney’s personal Wyoming roots — her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and her mom, Lynne, have been highschool sweethearts in Casper — Ms. Hageman portrayed her rival, a three-term congresswoman, as a disloyal outsider and a captive of Washington.
“I am going to reclaim Wyoming’s lone congressional seat from that Virginian who currently holds it,” she stated on the rally with Mr. Trump.
Ms. Hageman, the daughter of a longtime member of the State Legislature, earned her regulation diploma from the University of Wyoming. She turned lively within the Laramie County G.O.P. and was a delegate on the National Republican Convention in Cleveland in 2016. There, she was a part of a last-ditch effort by supporters of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to cease the nomination of Mr. Trump, whom she known as “the weakest” candidate Republicans may nominate.
Two years later, Ms. Hageman ran for governor of Wyoming, by no means mentioning Mr. Trump in her TV promoting. She completed third within the major.
Eleven months in the past, Mr. Trump endorsed Ms. Hageman after interviewing and vetting potential candidates at his golf membership in New Jersey. By then, she had accomplished her full reversal on Mr. Trump’s health for workplace, declaring him “the greatest president of my lifetime.”