Liz Cheney decides to forgo Senate bid to stay in House minority

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This is the second time Liz Cheney will skip a Senate campaign against a prominent Wyoming Republican opponent.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney announced Thursday that she will not seek Wyoming's open U.S. Senate seat this year, opting instead to seek reelection for her at-large House seat. This marks the second time she has decided to skip a possible Senate race against a prominent Wyoming Republican.

In a statement to the the Casper Star-Tribune, full of smears about "Nancy Pelosi and the Socialist Democrats in the House of Representatives," Cheney claimed she "can have the biggest impact for the people of Wyoming by remaining in leadership in the House of Representatives and working [to] take our Republican majority back."

In July 2013, Cheney announced she would mount a primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi, despite allegedly promising him she would not do so. Citing "serious health issues" relating to her "children and their futures," she dropped out of the race some months later.

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In 2016, she ran for Wyoming's lone House seat when then-Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) declined to seek reelection. Days after she was reelected in November 2018, Cheney was elected chair of the House Republican Conference, the third highest position in the House GOP minority.

When Enzi announced last May that he will retire rather than seek reelection in 2020, speculation immediately turned to Cheney. She delayed an announcement on whether she would run for Enzi's seat, but Lummis jumped in the race and began raising money. Republican mega-donor and anti-contraception extremist Foster Friess, who infamously suggested "gals" should put aspirin "between their knees" to prevent pregnancy, is also considering a run.

Cheney's time in the House has been marked by a series of extremist comments and fierce Donald Trump apologia.

She has claimed that the world is "safer" thanks to Trump, attempted to delay the impeachment process by requesting an hours-long out-loud roll call, urged military strikes against Iran over oil, blamed Democrats for Turkey's attacks on the Kurds, and pushed to punish House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff for paraphrasing Trump's phone call with Ukraine's president.

Under her leadership, the House GOP caucus also circulated talking points urging its members to blame white supremacist violence on "the left."

In what experts say is a sign that they do not expect to regain a GOP majority any time soon, more than two dozen House Republicans have announced they will retire, rather than seek reelection this November.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.