CASPER, Wyo.—More than $20 million was collectively raised by the five candidates in Wyoming’s August 16 Republican congressional primary, making it the most expensive United States House race in the world. history of the state.

More than $15 million was raised by just one of the hopefuls, beleaguered incumbent Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) Much of the money came from out-of-state sources, including $1.2 million Californians and Democratic organizations.

But in the end, those dollars may have little sway over the changing minds of Wyoming voters.

Despite the huge fundraising upside, by all indications Cheney is set to lose her bid for a fourth term as Wyoming’s only congressional representative to Harriet Hageman, a land use and rights lawyer. water from Fort Laramie which is backed by former President Donald Trump. .

A A June 15 survey found Hageman leading by more than 22 points over Cheney, which incurred the wrath of Wyoming GOP officials, who censored and ousted from the state party. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and is co-chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Hageman has a big war chest of her own, declaring more than $4.3 million in donations on the July 27 campaign financial statements filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

In that filing, Hageman’s campaign documents that it had $1.4 million in cash as of mid-July.

That’s a fraction of the $7.4 million in cash Cheney’s campaign brought in on July 27.

Hageman raised most of his funding from individual Wyoming residents and state organizations and echoed that statistic enthusiastically. The campaign cited an OpenSecrets.org analysis that found that 96% of the $7.2 million Cheney had raised by then came from out-of-state donors. That pattern continues, Hageman’s campaign says.

Hageman’s July 27 FEC filing shows she received a total of $188,850 from 150 individual donors in the state between April 1 and June 30, more than 43% of her second-quarter contributions. According to his campaign, Hageman “collected $7 from Wyoming residents for every dollar Cheney took in.”

The volume of out-of-state campaign donations Cheney has received reinforces one of Hageman’s key claims that Cheney has spent little time in Wyoming, really lives in Virginia, and is out of touch with outstate voters. legality.

“Liz Cheney has turned her back on us to continue her own personal war with President Trump, and we’re sick of having no one to defend us in the House of Representatives against the Biden administration’s disastrous policies,” said Hageman. in July. “When I’m the next congresswoman from Wyoming, I will always stand up for our values ​​and remember who hired me for the job.”

The main group contributing to Hageman’s campaign is the Wyoming Values ​​Political Action Committee (PAC), which received $500,000 from Trump’s Save America PAC and spent more than $800,000 supporting her.

According to his July 27 FEC report, among the individual out-of-state donations Hageman collected was $5,000, the maximum amount allowed, from Trump’s Save America PAC. She also received $5,000 from the Madison Project PAC, run by former Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kansas), and $1,000 from America Matters PAC, run by Southern California conservative political activist Joy Miedecke.

Among the out-of-state donations is more than $100,000 from the 80,000 subscribers nationwide to Florida lawyer/blogger Jeff Childers’ Coffee & Covid blog. Hageman thanked them for their support in a July video.

Cheney’s July 27 FEC filing shows the top individual contributors are Capital Group ($33,950) and Capital Group Companies ($26,400), related PACs that channel 65% of their donations to Democratic candidates.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) speaks with supporters, including her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, during a private rally at a Cheyenne home Aug. 7. (Courtesy of Cheney for Wyoming)

Blackstone Group, which contributed $23,450 to Cheney’s campaign, donated more than $20 million of the $25 million it raised to GOP candidates.

Out-of-state dollars also fund in-state registered PACs supporting Cheney, according to filings.

Wyomingites Defending Freedom and Democracy has raised nearly $200,000 to support Cheney and is directing much of that money to get the state’s 78,000 registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters to “cross over” in the open primary and vote for incumbent in the GOP race.

Conservatives for a Strong America spent $47,108 attacking Hageman as a fake conservative, implying she is secretly in cahoots with Cheney and steering voters toward the other three candidates in the race.

Notable out-of-state Democratic donors to Cheney include: film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, who donated more than $43,000 to Cheney and the PACs who support her; LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman; and billionaire hedge fund manager Seth Klarman.

Since announcing his campaign to unseat Cheney in September, Hageman has crisscrossed Wyoming, traveling nearly 40,000 miles to meet and greet voters in the state’s 23 counties.

Cheney, meanwhile, until the end of July, was in Washington, D.C. engaged in the January 6 investigation into the Capitol breach, and the campaign she had waged in the state was mostly private matters. and discreet in front of small groups of invited supporters. .

John Haughey

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John Haughey has worked as a journalist since 1978 and has extensive experience in local government, state legislatures, growth and development. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, he is a Navy veteran who fought fires at sea during three deployments aboard the USS Constellation. He has reported for daily newspapers in California, Washington, Wyoming, New York and Florida; a writer for Manhattan-based trade publications.