U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney speaks at an event in Jackson on March 22, 2022. (Angus M. Thuermer, Jr./WyoFile)

Harriet Hageman raised $1.3 million during the first three months of 2022 in her bid for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House, according to campaign documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission. Despite almost tripling the amount she raised in the previous quarter, Hageman is still trailing behind her primary opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney whose campaign has raised $3 million since the new year. 

The volume of cash flowing into the race for Wyoming’s lone House seat is anything but typical, though indicative of a race with national attention and implications. Cheney has taken a hard stance against former President Donald Trump and his discredited claims of a stolen election, and it has cost her the support of much of her own party. Meanwhile, Trump has backed Hageman, making August’s primary election a test of his grip on power. 

Who remains in the race

Both Cheney and Hageman broke their previous fundraising records during this most recent quarter, outraising the handful of others that remain in the race by staggering amounts. But it’s not quite a two-woman race, according to Jim King, a political science professor at the University of Wyoming. 

“I would say it’s getting close to that,” King said. 

Wyoming Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) was the first to step into the fray and challenge Cheney. However, his fundraising numbers slumped when Trump-endorsed Hageman entered the race. Bouchard brought in less than $11,000 during the first quarter of 2022, according to FEC documents. His campaign has $50,000 available, which may not be enough to be competitive, King said. 

Other Republican candidates have brought in even smaller sums than Bouchard. Denton Knapp raised about $5,000 in the first quarter, while Casey Hardison raised around $1,100. Bryan Keller and Robyn Belinskey, two other Republican candidates, did not file financial reports for the first quarter. Marissa Joy Selvig, the sole Constitution Party candidate in the race, has $2,600 left to spend. 

No Democratic candidate has yet declared their candidacy. 

Harriet Hageman talks with attendees of a campaign event at the Hangar Bar and Grill in Bar Nunn on March 14, 2022. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

In-state donations

As with the previous quarter, Hageman outraised Cheney among Wyoming residents — Hageman received about $179,000 from in-state donors, while Cheney collected nearly $53,000. 

Much has been made of this discrepancy, King said, but it may not indicate favored support for Hageman. 

“Cheney has always been a candidate who raised a lot of money out of state,” he said, and added that campaigns interested in large fundraising numbers don’t have much choice but to go outside of Wyoming. 

“There just aren’t enough donors within Wyoming with a deep pocket to fund campaigns,” King said. 

With less than four months until the primary, Hageman has a little more than $1 million cash in hand. Cheney has more than six times that amount with about $6.8 million. Hageman’s warchest may pale in comparison to Cheney’s, but it remains larger-than-usual for a congressional race in the state. 

The primary election is Aug. 16. 

Maggie Mullen reports on state government and politics. Before joining WyoFile in 2022, she spent five years at Wyoming Public Radio.

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