Trump has embarked on a month-long search for a challenger to support in the race to oust Cheney, who blamed Trump for the January 6 uprising and was one of 10 House Republicans to back his impeachment. The former president has interviewed several other candidates alongside Hageman, including attorney Darin Smith and State Representative Chuck Gray. Trump’s eventual support, the hope of his aides, will crowd out other candidates and prevent a fragmented primary that could allow Cheney to win with a multitude of renominations.
Hageman would be an unconventional candidate should she choose to run. She donated to Cheney’s 2014 and 2016 campaigns, and served on Cheney’s leadership team during her short-lived Senate run in 2014. She praised Cheney in a 2018 Facebook post, and so has her since Tuesday night Website contained a picture of her with the congressman.
Hageman, however, sharply criticized Cheney in her letter on Wednesday, saying that the state’s Republican Party’s decision to reprimand Congressmen “sent a strong message that we expect our elected officials to respect people’s views and values that you have chosen. Accountability is key and I am proud of our party for calling it up. “
Hageman has been a member of the Republican National Committee for a year. Party rules do not specifically prohibit members of the seat committee from running for office, but the practice is generally frowned upon.