CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Republican Harriet Hageman has beaten a Native American activist to win Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House, cementing her place as successor to ousted GOP Rep. Liz Cheney.
The race between Hageman and Lynnette Grey Bull drew little attention outside Wyoming compared with the GOP primary, when voters turned against Cheney for her criticism of former President Donald Trump. But Hageman kept up her campaign pace.
“I never took anything for granted,” Hageman told The Associated Press at a small gathering of supporters at a Cheyenne restaurant. “We have not really rested for even one minute. We have been on the road almost the entire time.”
A Cheyenne natural resources attorney, Hageman will now enter Congress among freshmen legislators who typically must jostle for desired committee assignments.
She was optimistic Tuesday she would land seats on the House natural resources and judiciary committees. On the latter, she said, she would push for investigations into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, whom Republicans accuse of improper business dealings in Ukraine; and into the FBI, which Republicans criticize for investigating allegedly top secret documents kept at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
She would also want to look into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
“If I’m on the Judiciary Committee, we’ll be looking at a lot of different things that have happened over the past couple of years,” Hageman said.
Whether Hageman will attain power as quickly in the House as Cheney did — before Cheney’s quick and dramatic fall from Republican favor — remains to be seen.
Cheney in her three terms in office rose to the No. 3 GOP leadership position in the House, a job she lost after voting to impeach Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and then not relenting in criticizing the former president.
Hageman, with Trump’s coveted endorsement, ran in part on her deep family ties to Wyoming’s ranching community to connect with rural voters in the least-populated state.
When Hageman was born, her parents were hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt after purchasing their ranch in southeastern Wyoming, she said in a recent television ad.
“Through grit, dedication and determination, they made it work. Ranch life isn’t always easy. But as a family and as a community, we get it done. That’s the Wyoming I know and love,” Hageman said in the ad.
Hageman ran as an advocate for gun rights, less government spending and regulation, lower taxes and reducing illegal immigration from Mexico. She promised to support laws against abortion.
Grey Bull has been a longtime advocate for missing and slain Indigenous women and girls, saying on her website it’s a fight she would “continue to wage with my determination and experience.”
Grey Bull was also the Democratic nominee for U.S. House in 2020. She lost to Cheney by a 44-point margin that year, wider than the 37-point margin by which Hageman beat Cheney less than two years later.
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