CASPER — Former President Donald Trump is preparing to endorse Harriet Hageman in a bid against Rep. Liz Cheney in the 2022 House race, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.
Hageman, a former Cheney ally and a 2018 Republican candidate for governor in Wyoming, did not respond to numerous requests for comment, nor has she formally announced her candidacy.
But two sources told the Star-Tribune that Hageman met with the former president in mid-August and got the call that she was chosen for the endorsement early last week.
The news was first reported by Politico early Wednesday. The Associated Press also cited sources indicating Hageman was Trump’s pick to run against Cheney.
The endorsement comes months after Cheney became public enemy No. 1 of Trump and his allies following her vote to impeach him for the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and her repeated rebukes of the former president for his unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
Cheney’s impeachment vote has so far drawn eight GOP challengers for a primary that won’t be decided until August. All of her opponents in the House race, including state Rep. Chuck Gray and state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, have ran their campaigns on an anti-Cheney platform. Many sought to encourage Trump’s endorsement in a state where the former president remains popular among many Republicans.
Hageman officially resigned her position as national committeewoman for the state’s Republican Party earlier this week, seemingly in preparation for her bid to unseat Cheney.
“I am proud of the direction the party has taken, and in particular, that we increased President Trump’s vote percentage in Wyoming in 2020 to nearly 70 percent, compared to a little over 68 percent in 2016,” Hageman wrote in her resignation letter to Wyoming Republican Party chairman, Frank Eathorne. The Star-Tribune obtained a copy of the letter. “I also believe that by censuring Rep. Liz Cheney we sent the strong message that we expect our elected officials to respect the views and values of the people who elected them. Accountability is key and I am proud of our party for demanding it,” she continued.
Hageman was an adviser on Cheney’s 2013 Senate race — which Cheney eventually dropped out of — and the representative’s 2016 House race. Hageman donated $1,500 to Cheney’s House race and $500 to her Senate race.
Not only are Hageman and Cheney politically affiliated, but their families are longtime friends — Hageman’s father, the late state lawmaker, Jim Hageman, was a Young Republican with former Vice President Dick Cheney.
In 2018, Hageman came in third in the Republican gubernatorial primary, collecting almost 22 percent of the vote. She beat the fourth-place candidate, businessman Sam Galeotos, by a healthy margin, despite the fact that he outspent her.
She ended up losing to Gov. Mark Gordon and the late Foster Friess, a prominent Republican megadonor from Jackson. Trump endorsed Friess in that race.
Hageman is a fourth-generation Wyomingite, according to what appears to be the start of her campaign website. She has practiced as a lawyer for a number of years and currently serves as senior litigation counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance.