CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Donald Trump-backed opponent of Liz Cheney finished 2021 with what in any previous year would have been a major fundraising haul for Wyoming but amounted to a small fraction of the over $2 million raised by Cheney for her best quarter yet.
Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman raised $443,000 over the last three months of the year, similar to what Cheney raised in her last full quarter before winning a third term in 2020.
Cheney, though, has been setting multiple personal fundraising records despite a GOP backlash for voting to impeach Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and for not relenting in her public criticism of Trump.
Her $2.04 million raised in the fourth quarter of 2021 topped her previous record of $1.9 million in the year’s second quarter, according to year-end Federal Election Commission filings due Monday.
Hageman launched her campaign for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat last summer, running on her ties with the state’s ranching community and her experience in agriculture-related legal issues.
Like Cheney, she comes from a Republican political family. Her late father was a rancher and state representative who was well-known in Wyoming, if not as famous as Cheney’s dad, former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Trump’s endorsement of Hageman soon after she entered the race last year caused some but not all in a crowded field of Republicans who lined up to oppose Cheney to drop out.
“Wyoming deserves to be represented by someone who cares about Wyoming, not someone who is consumed by her own personal war with President Trump,” Hageman said in a statement Monday.
Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler declined to comment. But opposing Trump has helped Cheney’s campaign finances, at least, even as Republicans in the U.S. House stripped her of a top leadership job and Wyoming Republicans voted to censure her and to no longer even recognize her as a Republican.
Her $7.2 million raised this cycle ranks sixth among U.S. House candidates, according to the FEC.
After spending about $1 million last quarter, Cheney finished the year with $4.7 million. Hageman spent about $307,000 over the quarter and had $381,000 left.
Both candidates reported getting the vast majority of their contributions from individuals — Hageman about 96% and Cheney about 94% — as opposed to political action committees.
Hageman finished third in Wyoming’s six-way GOP gubernatorial primary in 2018, getting about 22% of the vote.
Trump and others have worried a similar vote split this year could seal the nomination for Cheney. But efforts to change Wyoming’s voting system in time for the state’s Aug. 16 Republican and Democratic primaries came up short.
Other Republicans still actively running include state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, of Cheyenne, who reported raising $639,000 in 2021 and having $60,000 left at the end of the year. Retired U.S. Army Col. Denton Knapp, of Gillette, reported raising $21,000 in 2021 and having $3,700 left.
No Democrats have announced they’re running against Cheney. The winner of the GOP primary in August is almost always heavily favored to win the Nov. 8 general election in Republican-dominated Wyoming.
A Democrat hasn’t represented Wyoming in the U.S. House since Teno Roncalio decided not to seek reelection and Dick Cheney first won the seat in 1978.