Cheney campaign sees second-highest fundraising quarter

CASPER — Rep. Liz Cheney’s House reelection campaign enjoyed its second-biggest fundraising quarter ever this summer, a Cheney aide told the Star-Tribune. The donations came on the heels of Cheney’s all-time fundraising record, which occurred one quarter earlier.

Cheney’s campaign raised just over $1.7 million during the third quarter, which runs from July to September.

Although she did not break her all-time fundraising record of roughly $1.9 million, which she achieved in the second quarter of 2021, the $1.7 million represents the second most she has raised in a quarter. The third-most was in quarter one of this year, when the campaign raked in $1.5 million.

The Cheney campaign has now collected over $5 million this year and ended the third fundraising quarter with nearly $3.7 million in cash-on-hand (essentially, money it has available to spend), the aide said.

“Rep. Cheney continues to receive historic levels of support because she is upholding her oath to the Constitution, delivering for the people she represents in Wyoming, and offering a serious path forward for the Republican Party,” said Amy Edmonds a senior adviser to the Cheney campaign. “She is humbled that so many are standing with her in this fight and she will never waver in her commitment to Wyoming or her determination to do what’s right for our country.”

Cheney has a fundraiser planned with former President George W. Bush for early next week. It will be Bush’s first campaign event of the 2022 midterms, according to the Wall Street Journal. The campaign experienced some of its biggest spikes in donations for the fundraiser announcement and when members of the House Freedom Caucus sought to remove Cheney from the House GOP Conference, the aide told the Star-Tribune.

Since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Cheney has criticized Trump for lying about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election and the role he played in encouraging the insurrection, making her one of Trump’s primary targets over the last few months. She voted to impeach the former president in light of the riot at the Capitol and has not backtracked in her beliefs, even as she was censured by the Wyoming Republican Party. Since then, a number of county level Republican Parties have voted to “unrecognize” Cheney as a member of the GOP (a move that is symbolic and doesn’t actually strip her of any title or power).

Cheney’s unrelenting criticism of Trump has prompted a tough reelection challenge, with several GOP candidates announcing runs for her seat. During the third quarter, the long-awaited Trump endorsement came when he chose Wyoming lawyer and former gubernatorial candidate Harriet Hageman as his candidate.

Although Hageman was not in the race prior to the endorsement announcement, she has come out of the gate as a formidable candidate — Hageman’s campaign team has multiple former Trump aides, she has been appearing in different places across the state and has already cemented her anti-Cheney talking points.

Hageman’s entrance did not result in a significant bump in fundraising for Cheney, one of the congresswoman’s aides said.

Hageman’s candidacy prompted Darin Smith and Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, to drop out of the race.

But the field is still crowded.

Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, Denton Knapp, Marissa Selvig and Robyn Belinksey remain candidates. None of them, other than Bouchard, have put up notable fundraising numbers yet.

The rest of their quarter three fundraising numbers, as well as a fuller picture of Cheney’s numbers, will be released later this week and early next week.