Liz Cheney Pulls Out of Wyoming Primary

Image: Liz Cheney Pulls Out of Wyoming Primary

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 06:48 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Liz Cheney suddenly announced Monday that she is dropping her controversial Republican primary challenge in Wyoming against incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi.

Citing health concerns in her family, Cheney said in a statement released to Politico and other news outlets that the unspecified issues were the reason she was departing the race.

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"Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign," the statement read. "My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority."

Despite her sudden departure, Cheney vowed to stay involved in politics.

"Phil and I want to thank the thousands of people in Wyoming and all across the country who have supported my campaign. As a mother and a patriot, I know that the work of defending freedom and protecting liberty must continue for each generation. Though this campaign stops today, my commitment to keep fighting with you and your families for the fundamental values that have made this nation and Wyoming great will never stop."
 
Cheney was reportedly trailing in the race and some state Republicans were critical of her decision to relocate from Virginia in 2012 to challenge the conservative Enzi.

She also had been engaged in a very public spat with her sister Mary, who is a married lesbian, by passionately opposing same-sex marriage.

The oldest daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who earlier in his career represented a Wyoming district in the House, Liz Cheney embraced a neoconservative line on foreign policy that many considered out of synch with the libertarian-leaning wing of the Wyoming GOP.

Cheney, a lawyer who once served in the U.S. State Department during the administration of President George W. Bush, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cheney's entry onto the political stage in the deeply conservative state has been bumpy. Cheney, who spent much of her youth and adult life in Virginia, had her Wyoming credentials challenged in spite of her family's deep roots in the state.

Last summer, she committed an embarrassing political gaffe in a state where hunting and fishing are taken very seriously by mistakenly buying the wrong fishing license after living in Wyoming for just a few months.

State law requires a year of residency before applying for such a license, which is less expensive than ones for visitors or newcomers.

Her candidacy was further complicated after her younger sister, a lesbian who married her long-time partner Heather Poe last year, publicly chastised her for taking a stance on gay marriage that is "dead wrong."

Last November, the former vice president entered the fray, saying in a joint statement with his wife, Lynne, that Liz Cheney "has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage," and has also "always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect."

Cheney has long said he supports extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.

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