U.S. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has drawn her first 2022 primary challenger after voting last week to impeach President Donald Trump.
Wyoming Republican state Sen. Anthony Bouchard filed a statement of candidacy on Wednesday for Wyoming's lone congressional seat, initiating a primary challenge against Cheney for the next midterm elections.
"Wyoming was President Trump's best state both times he ran. That's because Wyoming voters are strong conservatives who want our leaders to stand up for America, defend our freedoms, fight for our way of life and always put working people first as President Trump did," Bouchard said in a statement.
"Liz Cheney's long-time opposition to President Trump and her most recent vote for Impeachment shows just how out-of-touch she is with Wyoming. Wyoming taxpayers need a voice in Congress who will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, and not give them cover. That's why I'm running for Congress."
Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, infuriated Republicans in her home state by supporting the Democratic-led effort to oust Trump from office two weeks before his term was set to expire in response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The backlash was so severe that the Wyoming Republican Party felt obligated to publish a "message" to Cheney sharing some of the scathing remarks they had received from Republican voters upset with her position.
On Tuesday, Republicans in Carbon County, Wyoming, voted unanimously to censure Cheney and submitted their resolution to the state GOP for consideration.
"Representative Cheney has violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party and the will of the people who elected her to represent them," the resolution states.
Additionally, some of Cheney's colleagues in the House last week circulated a petition to remove her from GOP leadership, an action opposed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
In a conference call with Wyoming reporters last week after the impeachment proceedings, Cheney defended her vote and condemned President Trump.
"I will continue to talk to and hear from my constituents all over Wyoming. But when it came down to it, the president of the United States inciting a mob ... is, in my mind, absolutely high crimes and misdemeanors," she said.
"I really don't consider the politics at all. There are just times when those of us who are elected officials are called on to act in a way that does not take politics into consideration," she added. "I think it would be wrong to think about this decision and this vote in the context of politics."
According to KPVI-TV, Bouchard, the founder of the gun rights activist group Wyoming Gun Owners, has a reputation in the Wyoming legislature as one of the most conservative lawmakers, an uncompromising legislator who has at times been at odds with state Republican leadership.
In the 2020 election, Bouchard was challenged in the state Republican primaries by a lobbyist supported by incumbent and former state senate Republicans, going on to defeat his challenger and win re-election to the Senate.
After Cheney announced her intention to impeach Trump on Jan. 12, Bouchard slammed her on social media.
"Liz Cheney's insistence on ATTACKING President Trump at this late hour is a despicable representation of the people of Wyoming, which President Trump won very easily and which supports the Trump agenda 100%," he posted on Facebook.
His campaign website indicates he's running for Congress to "to stand up and defend our rights and our republic against angry Socialists and their allies in Big Tech, academia and the Fake News Media."