Liz Cheney Challengers Drop Out of Race, Back Trump-Endorsed Candidate Hageman Instead

Two Wyoming Republicans seeking to replace U.S. Representative Liz Cheney in a GOP primary dropped out of the race after former President Donald Trump endorsed another candidate this week.

On Thursday, Trump endorsed attorney and former Republican National Committee official Harriet Hageman.

Within two hours of the endorsement, Bryan Miller and Darin Smith backed out of the race, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

In an email obtained by the newspaper, Joey Correnti, chairman of the Carbon County Republican Party, asked the candidates to leave the race following Trump's endorsement.

Miller said he would, and that he would endorse Hageman, according to the report. Smith also left the race and said he would endorse Hageman.

"I said hell would freeze over before I'd be the reason Liz Cheney gets re-elected to represent the great state of Wyoming in the U.S. House," Smith said in a press release.

In an interview with Newsweek on Friday, Smith said he exited the race because he had to follow through on his word.

"I said that I would get behind the candidate that Trump endorsed if it wasn't me," Smith said.

Smith added that the Trump endorsement "meant a lot here."

"Because the people of this state have taken what Liz has done personal. It's not about Liz Cheney vs. Donald Trump. Really, it's about world view. It's about the direction of our nation," he said.

"And people, they're going to get behind one candidate in this race, and I've gotten behind Harriet, as long as Liz is in the race, because that's what I said I would do."

Miller did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on Friday.

In a statement on Thursday endorsing Hageman, Trump said: "Unlike RINO Liz Cheney, Harriet is all in for America First. Harriet has my Complete and Total Endorsement in replacing the Democrats number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney."

Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it. pic.twitter.com/VmET1JUs12

— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) September 9, 2021

Responding to Trump's endorsement on Twitter on Thursday, Cheney wrote: "Here's a sound bite for you: Bring it."

Cheney, an outspoken critic of the former president, was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting a mob of his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Hageman ran for governor of Wyoming in 2018 and came in third in the Republican primary. She previously was close to Cheney, advising her during her ultimately unsuccessful 2014 bid for the U.S. Senate and working on the 2016 House race that Cheney won.

On her campaign website, Hageman criticizes Cheney.

"Liz Cheney cast her lot with the Washington, D.C. elites and those who use their power to further their own agenda at our expense. She doesn't represent Wyoming and she doesn't represent conservatives," the website states.

Liz Cheney Challengers Drop Out of Race
Two Wyoming Republicans seeking to replace U.S. Representative Liz Cheney in a GOP primary dropped out of the race after former President Donald Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman on Thursday. Above, Representatives Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) speak to the press after the House Select Committee hearing investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021. Chip Somodevilla