Wyoming Rep Liz Cheney has found unlikely support for her fast-approaching primary next month in Kevin Costner, touting the Hollywood actor’s support by tweeting a picture of him wearing a tee saying as much.
“Real men put country over party,” tweeted the Republican congresswoman on Tuesday night alongside a picture of the Yellowstone star donning a black cowboy hat and white shirt offset with the text: “I’m for Liz Cheney.”
The star of the critically acclaimed Paramount Network series lives in California, meaning he can’t actually vote for the Republican lawmaker, while the TV show – which is both set and filmed in Montana – is bordered on the south by Ms Cheney’s state of Wyoming.
The endorsement arrives just a few weeks ahead of Wyoming’s 16 August primary for the state’s at-large House seat, with the three-term incumbent sorely needing some kind of boost as recent polling from the Casper Star-Tribune released earlier this month indicates that she’s currently trailing Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman by 22 points.
Though Ms Hageman, who has repeated the former president’s claims that the 2020 US election was stolen, leads Rep Cheney 52 per cent to 30 per cent in some polls, her fundraising goals have fallen well behind that of the vice chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot.
Rep Cheney, who hauled in $2.9m in the second quarter of the year, continues to leapfrog ahead of her Republican challenger, who for the same time period only saw $1.8m come in.
In her position as the vice chairman of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, Rep Cheney – who was stripped of her GOP leadership post following her decision to cross the aisle alongside nine other House Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump last year – has frequently painted the one-term president as a threat to democracy during the panel’s summertime broadcasts.
In red-state Wyoming, where Trump beat Joe Biden by more than 40 points, Rep Cheney’s remarks throughout the public hearings have likely not served as a boost for her reelection campaign. For instance, recent polling suggests that only 2 per cent of Republicans say the Jan 6 hearings are top of mind ahead of the midterm elections.
But for the seven-year congressional lawmaker, she has seemed to concede that her purpose in this particular political moment goes beyond this month’s primary, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper recently that Americans have to “recognise what’s at stake.”
“I am working hard here in Wyoming to earn every vote,” Ms Cheney said during an interview on State of the Union. “But I will also say this. I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to say things that aren’t true about the election. My opponents are doing that, certainly simply for the purpose of getting elected.”
“If I have to choose between maintaining a seat in the House of Representatives or protecting the constitutional republic and ensuring the American people know the truth about Donald Trump, I’m going to choose the Constitution and the truth every single day,” said Ms Cheney, who has been labelled by opponents from the MAGA movement as a Republican in name only (RINO).
The Wyoming primary is scheduled to take place on 16 August.
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