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Trump’s Support of Prospective Candidates Determines a Win or Loss in the Primary

Rep. Elizabeth Cheney, R-Wyo., celebrates with the Wyoming National Guard. Photo Courtesy: Tyler Schiele, State Public Affairs Office.

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, eight have either lost their reelection campaigns or decided not to run for office, a sign of the former president’s major influence on the party. 

Rep. Elizabeth Cheney of Wyoming, a leading Republican figure in opposing the GOP’s claims of election fraud and currently Vice Chair of the Select Committee on January 6th, has lost her seat as the U.S. Representative for Wyoming’s At-Large Congressional District. Attorney Harriet Hageman, who was endorsed by Trump last fall, defeated Cheney by nearly 64,000 votes. Cheney commented in a press release conversation on ABC’s “This Week” with Jonathan Karlon, that the nine other members of The Impeachment 10 reached out after her primary loss. 

“You know, we have differences of opinion, among the 10 of us about a whole range of issues, of other issues. But the fact that we all made the decision we did and have faced the consequences for that decision will be a bond, I would imagine, forever,” she said.

Cheney, however, has expressed that she will not give up that easily, announcing on the TODAY Show that she’ll make a decision on her bid for president within the coming months.

Another noteworthy ousting of a public official who spoke out against Trump is Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers – a key witness to the January 6th Committee’s fourth hearing – who lost his primary election for state Senate of Arizona’s 10th Congressional District. Bowers gave a very detailed account of Trump campaign officials pressuring state legislators in Arizona to reverse the 2020 presidential election, which certified Biden as the winner of the state. A month later, Bowers was censured, or disapproved, by the Republican Party of Arizona.

“The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Arizona hereby formally censures Representative Rusty Bowers and shall immediately cease all recognition and support of him as a member of the Republican Party for his inaction on election integrity …. The Executive Committee calls on the Republican Party in Maricopa County… to encourage all registered Republicans to expel him permanently from office in the impending primary election,” the statement read.  

Bowers lost his primary election to David Farnsworth, another Trump-endorsed candidate who led Bowers by nearly 11,000 votes, according to the state’s election board. 

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Also in the state of Arizona, Kari Lake – a previous news anchor for a local Phoenix television station and a Republican candidate who is endorsed by Trump – ​​won the gubernatorial Republican primary by a narrow margin of about five points against Karrin Taylor Robson, an opposing candidate who several outlets reported was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. 

“It is not only disheartening to watch Trump-endorsed candidates win seats in Arizona and Wyoming, but reveals a much more dangerous reality about his time after his presidency. Trump’s recent wins in these states prove that his views and ideology are still prevalent within the Republican party and have implications far beyond his four years in office,” Murphy Jones, a sophomore political science major, said.

These recent elections prove that Trump has a substantial influence on the Republican base, and therefore the Republican candidates running for office in the November midterms. Despite this, Cheney, who publicly opposed the former president and by default lost her seat in office – expressed in the TODAY interview that she has never regretted her decision. 

“No regrets. You know, I feel sad about where my party is. I feel sad about the way that too many of my colleagues have responded to what I think is a great moral test and challenge of our time, a great moment to determine whether or not people are going to stand up on behalf of democracy and on behalf of our Republic,” Cheney said.

Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman

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