Harriet Hageman: who is the Donald Trump-backed candidate who defeated Liz Cheney to win the Wyoming Primary?

Harriet Hageman has been publicly endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

Liz Cheney has lost her seat in Congress to Trump-backed candidate Harriet Hageman in the Wyoming Primary.

The incumbent Wyoming House Representative was ostracised by senior members of the Republican Party after she voted to impeach former president Donald Trump and criticised his handling of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Approximately 70% of Wyoming voted for Mr Trump in 2020, so it is relatively unsurprising that Ms Cheney’s renunciation of the former president caused her to lose favour with Republicans.

Harriet Hageman has won the Republican nomination for the U.S. House in Wyoming

She was defeated by Harriet Hageman, who Mr Trump himself publicly endorsed.

But who is Ms Hageman, what are her ties to Mr Trump, and what has she said about Ms Cheney?

Who is Harriet Hageman?

Ms Hageman is an American lawyer and politician.

A Wyoming native, she received both her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Wyoming - in 1986 and 1989 respectively.

She began her career as a law clerk for federal appeals judge James Barrett, before she began working in private practice throughout Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado.

Her specialties as an attorney were natural resources and water litigation.

According to the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), Ms Hageman opened her own law firm in August, 2000.

In May, Donald Trump held a rally to support Harriet Hageman

The NCLA said she is well known for “challenging federal overreach, protecting water rights and users, exposing federal land and wildlife mismanagement, protecting private property rights, challenging unconstitutional acts by both state and federal agencies, and working with local governments to ensure they meet long-term water demands.”

Ms Hageman joined the NCLA as Senior Litigation Counsel in May, 2019.

One year prior, in 2018, Ms Hageman first ran for public office.

She comes from a political family, as her father - Jim Hageman - who died in 2006, served as a state legislator for 24 years.

During her campaign to become governor, which was ultimately unsuccessful, she spoke about the lessons he taught her: “Without honesty, there is no worth. Optimism wins, pessimism loses.

“Public service is uplifting, self service is not.

“Be generous. If it is going to be a long day, pace yourself and your horse.”

What are her ties to Donald Trump?

Ms Hageman has fondly praised the former president for his political record.

“President Trump was an excellent president for the United States of America and particularly for the state of Wyoming,” she said at a debate in June.

Often, Ms Hageman has repeated the baseless theories about the 2020 presidential election being “stolen”, and has also criticised Ms Cheney’s role as vice chairwoman of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 storming of US Capitol.

The US Capitol was stormed on January 6, 2021 in protest of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election

At a rally which Mr Trump organised, she said: “We are fed up with the January 6 commission and those people who think that they can gaslight us.”

Mr Trump went on to endorse Ms Hageman to replace Ms Cheney as House Representative for Wyoming’s sole seat in US Congress.

And he is not the only Republican who supported Ms Hageman.

House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who helped remove Ms Cheney from her role as House Republican Conference chairwoman, has endorsed Ms Hageman - as has Ms Cheney’s replacement in that role, Elise Stefanik.

Bill Stepien, Mr Trump’s former campaign manager, also helped Ms Hageman with her efforts to replace Ms Cheney.

What has she said about Liz Cheney?

In addition to her criticism of Ms Cheney’s involvement in the investigation into the riot at the US Capitol, Ms Hageman also slammed her opponent in a video announcing her decision to run for House Representative.

She said she would be running against Ms Cheney because she “betrayed Wyoming, betrayed the country, and she betrayed me.”

What did Liz Cheney say?

In her defeat speech, Ms Cheney said: “Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could have easily done the same again.

“The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with Mr Trump’s lie about the 2020 election.

“It would have required that I enabled 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.”

Three-term congresswoman Liz Cheney gave a concession speech to her supporters in Jackson, Wyoming. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The three-term congresswoman is also part of a political family.

Her father, Dick Cheney, represented the state in the US House for a decade before becoming Defence Secretary under George HW Bush between 1989 and 1993, and then vice-president under George W Bush from 2001 to 2009.

Mr Cheney supported his daughter earlier this month, calling Mr Trump the greatest “threat to our republic” in US history.

He added that he was proud of his daughter “for standing up to the truth,” “doing what’s right,” and “honouring her oath to the constitution when so many in our party are too scared to do so.”