(NewsNation) — Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the fiercest and most vocal Republican critic of former President Donald Trump, lost her primary Tuesday night in a race that reinforced Trump’s influence in the party.
The three-term congresswoman faced a challenge from Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, who was once an ally of Cheney and critic of Trump in 2016.
In a pointed address following her concession to Hageman, Cheney, Wyoming’s lone House representative, vowed to continue her fight to make sure Trump is never again elected president.
“Our work is far from over,” she said from her campaign headquarters in Jackson, Wyoming. “This is not a game.”
Cheney’s political future was cast in doubt this year following her decision to vote to impeach Trump and serve as vice chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots. Prior to Tuesday’s election, she trailed in multiple polls by over 20 points.
The congresswoman, who was first elected in 2016, faced backlash from her constituents over her decision to staunchly oppose and criticize Trump for his role in the riots and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He won the state with nearly 70% of the vote in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Likewise, Cheney won reelection in 2020 with 70% of the vote, and she said her path to doing so again this year was clear: support Trump and his election lies.
“That was a path I could not, and would not take,” Cheney said. “No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect.”
Speaking to her crowd of supporters across the state, Hageman said Tuesday’s election was about the “elites” in Washington, D.C., and out-of-touch politicians.
“Wyoming has spoken and we have made it clear — we are taking our country back,” Hageman said. “We are no longer going to tolerate representatives who don’t represent us.”
Cheney’s defeat was the clearest example yet of the influence Trump continues to wield within the Republican Party and its midterm elections. Cheney is the fourth and final pro-impeachment House Republican to lose their primary this year. Four of the 10 chose to retire, and the only two still standing are Dan Newhouse and David Valadao.
Issuing a stark warning, Cheney called on her Republican colleagues to condemn the “conspiracies and lies” that have been spread about the 2020 election, as well as the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“Our nation is once again barreling toward crisis, lawlessness and violence,” she said. “Our survival is not guaranteed.”