One of former President Donald Trump's primary targets is officially defeated by his endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman in the Wyoming GOP primary, according to Decision Desk HQ election returns.
"Decision Desk HQ projects Harriet Hageman (@HagemanforWY) is the winner of the Republican nomination for Wyoming's at-large U.S. House congressional district," DDHQ tweeted just 27 minutes after polls closed and just 4% of the vote tallied. "She has defeated incumbent Rep Liz Cheney (R). #DecisionMade: 9:27pm EDT"
Trump quickly came out to hail Hageman's victory Tuesday night.
"Congratulations to Harriet Hageman on her great and very decisive win in Wyoming," Trump posted on Truth Social. "This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs.
"Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others. Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now. Thank you WYOMING!"
Two hours later, Trump slammed Cheney again on Truth Social, calling her "a fool who played right into the hands of those who want to destroy our Country!"
Cheney was widely expected to lose the Trump-backed challenger in the state in which he won by the largest of margins during the 2020 campaign.
"Over 70% of the state of Wyoming voted Republican in the last presidential election and she turned right around and voted against us," Jackson Republican voter Dan Winder, a hotel manager, said. "She was our representative, not her own."
Tuesday's contests in Wyoming and Alaska offer one of the final tests for Trump and his brand of hard-line politics ahead of the November general election. So far, the former president has largely dominated the fight to shape the GOP in his image, having helped install loyalists in key general election matchups from Arizona to Georgia to Pennsylvania.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, hailed the result with a one-word post on Truth Social.
"Wyoming!" he wrote.
Taylor Budowich, Trump's Save America PAC communications director, tweeted a video of Trump dancing at Save America rallies.
"Bye bye, @Liz_Cheney," he tweeted with the celebratory dancing Trump.
Trump spent much of the day attacking the FBI on social media, but he briefly weighed in on the Wyoming contest.
"If Liz Cheney loses tonight, the Fake News Media will do everything within their power to play it down and pretend that it was not a referendum on the Unselects – That it was no big deal," Trump wrote on Truth Social hours before Cheney's ultimate defeat. "Actually, it would be a very big deal, one of the biggest!"
That is a reference to Cheney's role as vice chair of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee.
Hageman will face Democrat Lynnette Grey Bull in November's midterm election in the heavily Republican state. Bull defeated Meghan Jensen and Steven Helling with nearly 59% of the vote when Decision Desk HQ called the race around 10:42 p.m. ET.
The victory runs Trump's endorsement record to 181-16 (92% winning percentage) in the midterm primary season, according to Ballotpedia.
Cheney spent her concession speech speaking out against Trump, blaming him for her loss, instead of focusing on the details of her race. She read her speech from prepared remarks.
She told her supporters, "our work is far from over," and vowed to "make sure Donald Trump is never again near the Oval Office."
In Alaska, a recent change to state election law gives a periodic Trump critic, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, an opportunity to survive the former president's wrath, even after she voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial. She is the only Senate Republican running for reelection this year who backed Trump's impeachment.
The top four primary Senate candidates in Alaska, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election, where voters will rank them in order of preference.
In all, seven Republican senators and 10 Republican House members joined every Democrat in supporting Trump's impeachment in the days after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify President Joe Biden's victory.
Just two of those 10 House members have won their GOP primaries this year. The rest have lost or declined to seek reelection.
Murkowski is facing 18 opponents — the most prominent of which is Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who has been endorsed by Trump — in her push to preserve a seat she has held for nearly 20 years.
On the other side of the GOP's tent, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee, hopes to spark a political comeback Tuesday. She is actually on Tuesday's ballot twice: once in a special election to complete former Rep. Don Young's term and another for a full two-year House term starting in January.
Anti-Trump groups such as retiring GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger's Country First PAC and the Republican Accountability Project have worked to encourage independents and Democrats to support Cheney in recent weeks.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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