- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Rep. Harriet Hageman is seeking to redefine Wyoming’s at-large congressional seat to ebb away the legacy of her unpopular predecessor, Trump foe Liz Cheney.

The Wyoming Republican, who defeated Ms. Cheney in a crowded GOP primary last year to win the state’s sole House seat, said she wants to restore the role as one that focuses on state issues, including energy and agriculture.

“I represent Wyoming and that’s probably the biggest difference,” Mrs. Hageman told The Washington Times. “Liz Cheney very seldom came to Wyoming. Liz Cheney had not lived in Wyoming, since she was about 12 years old. She had a second home there, but Liz Cheney focused on things that were much more important to what I would say [was] Virginia, than Wyoming.”

The Washington Times reached out to Ms. Cheney, but did not hear back.

Mrs. Hageman, who former President Donald Trump endorsed, sits on the Natural Resources Committee and the Judiciary Committee, where she also serves on the Weaponization subcommittee.

The congresswoman ran a campaign that attacked Ms. Cheney on her criticism of Mr. Trump, who handily won Wyoming twice in his presidential bids, and her work on the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee that investigated the pro-Trump 2021 Capitol riot.

Before her entrance in the race, Mrs. Hageman had supported Ms. Cheney in her 2016 bid for Congress, calling her a “proven, courageous, constitutional conservative” who could defend Wyoming on the national stage.

Ms. Cheney, who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, accused Mrs. Hageman last year of exacerbating Mr. Trump‘s unproven claims that the 2020 election was stolen. She urged voters not to support her if they didn’t want someone who would buck the GOP in the name of upholding democracy.

While in office, Ms. Cheney was among the most anti-Trump lawmakers in the House GOP conference, voting to impeach him over the Capitol riot and serving on the Jan. 6 committee.

Since losing her seat, Ms. Cheney said she would continue to fight against what she sees as the erosion of the Republican Party and American democracy, particularly surrounding doubts cast on election results.

“If we do not condemn the conspiracies and the lies, if we do not hold those responsible to account, we will be excusing this conduct and it will become a feature of all elections. America will never be the same,” Ms. Cheney told NBC’s “Today Show.”

Mrs. Hageman touted her presence in Wyoming, having held town halls in seven counties since taking office in January. She said it contrasts with Ms. Cheney, whose primary residence was in Virginia suburbs outside of Washington.

A former staffer in Ms. Cheney’s congressional office pushed back on Mrs. Hageman‘s reshaping of the Wyoming district.

“So she says she wants to move on from Liz, but her only quote is about Liz? Got it,” the aide said, on condition of anonymity.

Mrs. Hageman said she wants to focus on policies that will promote U.S. energy independence and protect her state’s farmers and ranchers.

Last month, she introduced legislation challenging the Biden administration’s energy policies.

Mrs. Hageman also wants to promote fiscal responsibility and advocate for returning the role of government agencies to their original intent.

“The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] was created largely to address diseased animals and then they’re adopting an eviction moratorium? It was so far outside the authority the CDC has, but you see that across the board with agency after agency,” Mrs. Hageman said.

While Mrs. Hageman was a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump on the campaign trail, she did not weigh in on whether she would support the former president in the 2024 race, which may also feature Ms. Cheney.

Ms. Cheney said she would make a decision in the coming months about running, but has asserted that she would do “whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.”

Mrs. Hageman, who said she’s glad Mr. Trump is in the race, said Ms. Cheney‘s distaste for Mr. Trump proved her being out of touch with Wyoming, and it’s likely to continue to haunt her among the GOP base.

“Having not lived in Wyoming for decades, Liz Cheney just simply did not have her finger on the pulse of where the people in Wyoming were,” Mrs. Hageman said. “That was demonstrated by what she did in terms of impeachment then her involvement with Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and those folks on the J6 committee.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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