Of the 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Donald Trump last week, nine of them are mostly anonymous.
You may have heard of Michigan Rep. Fred Upton if just because he’s been in the House forever or because his niece is supermodel Kate Upton, depending on whether you really do read Playboy for the articles.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger has made some headlines in recent years for being a prominent critic of Trump. As for the rest of those nine, unless they’re your congressman, you probably don’t know them. (You may not know them even if they are, depending on how diligent you happen to be when it comes to local politics.)
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the tenth, is different.
She’s the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and the chair of the House Republican Conference. At one point, she was widely thought to be in line to move up in the world, floated as a possible candidate for House speaker if the Republicans regain the majority. Now, there are calls for her resignation and for her to step down from House leadership. Not that she’s heeding them.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she told Wyoming reporters during a conference call, according to The Associated Press.
“This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference,” she added. “But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the Civil War, constitutional crisis.”
She may be going somewhere in 2022, thanks to a primary challenger in a state that backed Donald Trump by a 43-percentage-point margin over Joe Biden.
Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard has also ruffled some feathers with GOP leadership, according to KPVI-TV. The thing is, that’s because he’s more conservative than the Wyoming Republican establishment — something that’s pretty impressive, given the makeup of the state.
In a statement Wednesday, Bouchard said Cheney was out of touch with the state’s conservatives.
“Wyoming was President Trump’s best state both times he ran,” Bouchard said in a news release.
“That’s because Wyoming voters are strong conservatives who want our leaders to stand up for America, defend our freedoms, fight for our way of life and always put working people first as President Trump did.”
“Liz Cheney’s long-time opposition to President Trump and her most recent vote for impeachment shows just how out of touch she is with Wyoming,” he continued.
“Wyoming taxpayers need a voice in Congress who will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, and not give them cover. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”
Also on Wednesday, Bouchard filed papers with the Federal Election Commission announcing his intention to run.
On his website, Bouchard said he’s “running for Congress to stand up and defend our rights and our republic against angry Socialists and their allies in Big Tech, academia and the Fake News Media.”
“Our way of life is being threatened by the Socialist way of thinking,” Bouchard is quoted as saying. “It’s time to confront, expose and defeat these radicals before they take away our freedoms and turn America into a weak European-style politically correct welfare state. That’s why I’m running for Congress.”
Bouchard is the founder of gun rights group Wyoming Gun Owners and a hardline voice in the legislature. He’s not the only one who’s announced his intention to take on Cheney, but he’s the highest-profile individual to do so. (This is by a wide margin, too; former Pavillion Mayor Marissa Joy Selvig owns a kombucha-brewing business and runs a YouTube channel called “The Practical Patriot,” which has 26 subscribers as of Thursday morning.)
The issue is that, for all of its Trump-supporting ways, Wyoming tends to be more moderate when it comes to statewide elections; while this is for a House seat, Wyoming only has one of them.
That social media post might raise some eyebrows in 2022. However, here are what most people are likely to remember:
“Liz Cheney’s insistence on ATTACKING President Trump at this late hour is a despicable representation of the people of Wyoming, which President Trump won very easily and which supports the Trump agenda 100%,” Bouchard wrote shortly after Cheney’s decision.
This is the same day the Wyoming Republican Party published a message castigating Cheney for her decision, as well.
“There has not been a time during our tenure when we have seen this type of an outcry from our fellow Republicans, with the anger and frustration being palpable in the comments we have received,” the party’s statement read.
“Our telephone has not stopped ringing, our email is filling up, and our website has seen more traffic than at any previous time. The consensus is clear that those who are reaching out to the Party vehemently disagree with Representative Cheney’s decision and actions.”
These are people who aren’t going to forget this in a year and change. They’re also the kind of people who vote in primaries. They could be the kind of people who send Liz Cheney packing, as well. She may be the one name out of those 10 House Republicans who you could recognize, but she could also be the one most likely to be toppled by a primary candidate.
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