JACKSON, Wyo. (Reuters) -U.S. Republican Representative Liz Cheney vowed to do all she could to keep Donald Trump out of the White House and said she would decide in the coming months whether to run for president herself, after she lost to a Trump-backed primary challenger in Wyoming on Tuesday.
But Senator Lisa Murkowski, another Republican who has defied the former president, cleared a hurdle in Alaska. She was set to face Trump-endorsed challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the Nov. 8 congressional election, as the two candidates advanced in that state’s non-partisan primary.
Cheney’s defeat, by Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, marks a significant victory for the former president in his campaign to oust Republicans who backed impeaching him after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building last year.
In conceding the race, Cheney — a fierce critic of Trump who has played a prominent role in the congressional investigation of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — said she was not willing “go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election” to win a primary.
“It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take,” she told supporters.
Cheney told NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday that she “will be doing whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office” and that she was considering running for president.
“It is something that I am thinking about, and I’ll make a decision in the coming months,” she told “Today” when asked about a presidential bid, adding she had a lot of work left to do with the Jan. 6 committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol assault.
“I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic. And I think that defeating him is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents. And that’s what I intend to be part of,” Cheney said.
With 99% of expected ballots counted in Wyoming, Hageman led the Republican field with 66.3% of the vote, followed by Cheney with 28.9%, according to Edison Research, an election monitoring firm.
The results were less clear cut in Alaska.
With 72% of expected ballots tallied, Murkowski narrowly led with 42.7% of the vote, followed by Tshibaka at 41.4% and Democrat Patricia Chesbro at 6.2%, according to Edison. The non-partisan primary format in that state weeds out all but the top four vote-getters.
Murkowski, a moderate who is one of the more independent voices in the Senate, has held the seat since 2003.