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Trump-targeted Cheney touts conservative credentials in first TV ad this year in re-election bid

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Aiming to show her support in Wyoming as she runs for re-election, Rep. Liz Cheney spotlights praise from voters in the first ad this year of the embattled Republican congresswoman’s bid for a fourth term representing the state’s at-large House district.

The release of the commercial comes a week after Cheney formally filed for re-election – and less than week after former President Donald Trump headlined a large rally in Wyoming on behalf of Harriet Hageman, who with Trump’s endorsement and support is challenging Cheney. Wyoming holds its primary on Aug. 16.

The Cheney campaign tells Fox News the 60-second spot will run statewide on TV and radio, with a shorter digital version, and that it’s backed by a “significant” six-figure ad buy.

The ad, titled “Fighting for Wyoming,” features what the campaign calls “everyday Wyomingites praising Liz Cheney’s leadership, highlighting the work she has done on behalf of the state, and explaining why they are voting for her.”

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A voter identified as Laura from Cheyenne says, “As a mom, I want a statesman not a politician. I want someone who is civil and serious and someone my children can look up to.”

Philip from Chugwater, Wyoming, emphasizes that Cheney “stands up for Wyoming farmers and ranchers against crippling regulation.”

Among the others featured in the spot, Ronna from Casper says, “So many people today claim to be a constitutional conservative. Liz truly is one.”

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Cheney, a longtime vocal GOP Trump critic, was the most senior of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the then-president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The attack was waged by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory in the 2020 election.

Cheney, a conservative lawmaker and defense hawk who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, immediately came under verbal attack from Trump and his allies, and a year ago she was ousted from her number-three House GOP leadership position.

Rep. Liz Cheney speaks to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her as chair of the GOP conference, at the Capitol, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Cheney, who has been vocal about the importance of defending the nation’s democratic process and of putting country before party, is one of only two Republicans serving on a special select committee organized by House Democrats to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

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Trump, stepping up his efforts to oust Cheney from Congress, endorsed Hageman as she entered the race late last summer. And the former president and his allies successfully urged some, but not all, of the other anti-Cheney candidates to drop out of the primary and coalesce around Hageman. The highest-profile of the handful of candidates staying in the race is state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, a strong supporter of the former president.

The Republican National Committee censured Cheney in February, after a push by Trump allies, for her role on the Jan. 6 committee. Defending herself, the congresswoman said at the time, “I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump.”

Republican congressional candidate Harriet Hageman speaks with voters at an Albany County GOP breakfast in Laramie, Wyoming, on Jan. 8, 2022. (Harriet Hageman congressional campaign)

Cheney caught a break in March when the Wyoming legislature decided against scrapping same-day party registration in primaries, which would have prevented Democrats from crossing party lines and registering as Republicans to vote for Cheney in the state’s primary. The move by Wyoming’s legislature was seen as a defeat for Trump and his allies, who pushed to end same-day party registration.

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The Hageman campaign told Fox News they’ll be going up with an ad on TV and radio in the coming weeks. A digital spot that’s currently in rotation calls the candidate “Wyoming through and through.”

And a pro-Hageman super PAC backed by Donald Trump Jr. launched a three-week ad blitz leading up to Trump’s rally that highlighted the former president’s endorsement of Hageman.

Polling by groups supporting Hageman suggest she holds a large lead over Cheney.

But Trump’s repeated attacks on Cheney have fueled her fundraising.

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Cheney hauled in $2.94 million in the January-March first quarter of 2022 fundraising. And the congresswoman reported holding a formidable $6.8 million cash on hand in her campaign coffers as of the end of March. 

Hageman announced that she brought in more than $1.3 million during the first quarter, according to figures shared first with Fox News. Hageman reported just over $1 million cash on hand.

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