UPDATE: Requests to Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne, Wyoming Republican Party Executive Director Kathy Russell and the state party’s legal counsel Brian Shuck for comment and a copy of the Rule 11 letter, which would initiate the resolution, have not been answered. Similar requests to the national press secretary for the Republican National Convention have also not been returned.
With the support of the Wyoming GOP, the Republican National Committee passed a special resolution at its meeting Friday to recognize Harriet Hageman as the presumptive Republican nominee in Wyoming’s U.S. House race, according to reports by The Washington Post and the New York Times. That could make it possible for the national party to financially support Hageman ahead of the primary election against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney. Wyoming election law, however, prohibits any political party from backing an opposed candidate before the primary election.
- What we know: Wyoming statute 22-25-104 states, “no political party funds shall be expended directly or indirectly in the aid of the nomination of any one person as against another person of the same party running in the primary election.” Neither Wyoming’s attorney general nor secretary of state returned WyoFile’s request for comment on the potential violation before press time.
- Why it matters: The resolution is the latest move by the Republican party against the congresswoman, who has criticized former President Donald Trump for his disproven claims of a stolen election and his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Cheney has so far out-fundraised the Trump-endorsed Hageman by a remarkable margin. The rule would allow the RNC to funnel money, volunteers and other support to Hageman’s campaign through the state’s GOP party.
- Who said what: Cheney lambasted the move through a spokesperson. “Frank Eathorne and the Republican National Committee are trying to assert their will and take away the voice of the people of Wyoming before a single vote has even been cast,” Jeremy Adler, a Cheney spokesperson said. Eathorne did not respond to WyoFile’s request for comment by press time.
- Related news: The RNC also voted to censure Cheney along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) for their participation in the Jan. 6 investigation, declaring the attack on the Capitol “legitimate political discourse.”
This story has been updated to include the name of Cheney’s spokesperson – Ed.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to attribute previous reporting by The Washington Post and The New York Times. – Ed