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Donald Trump Jr.

Photo by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Wyoming's Republican-controlled Senate killed a scheme by Donald Trump backers to make it harder for a pro-impeachment congresswoman to keep her seat.

The state Senate voted on Wednesday to defeat a bill to require primary candidates in future elections to receive an outright majority or face a runoff.

Supporters said such a bill would prevent unpopular candidates from winning with a narrow plurality, while opponents called it unnecessary and costly for county elections officials. It failed following a 15-14 vote.

The bill was largely seen as targeted against Wyoming's at-large U.S. representative, House Republican Caucus Chair Liz Cheney — who has already drawn multiple 2022 primary challengers.

Cheney earned the ire of Trump and his supporters for not being loyal enough to the twice-impeached, one-term president. She criticized his foreign policy, voted to impeach him for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and said in February that she does not believe Trump "should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country."

While it is unclear how he knew about it, Trump's longtime strategist Corey Lewandowski endorsed the Wyoming legislation before it was even publicly announced, suggesting it would help Republicans defeat her.

"What we have in Wyoming — which is a statewide district, one member of Congress represents the whole state — we've got six, seven, or eight candidates who all think that they're the best candidate to beat Liz Cheney," he told a right-wing outlet in February. "The problem with that is, in a multi-candidate field, the incumbent has an advantage — name ID, money, recognition, which means if we have six or seven candidates running, she may have the chance to get through a primary."

"Now, I believe they're going to change the rules in Wyoming and that would then require a runoff if you don't get over 50 percent," he added. "That's very good news for the Trump candidate. The former president will choose, I believe, and a small group of advisors will help him make some recommendations on who he ultimately endorses in that race, but I can assure you, it will not be Liz Cheney."

Don Trump Jr. also got involved, urging pro-Trump forces in Wyoming to pressure their legislators to back the bill, Senate File 145, to punish Cheney.

"Any Republican in Wyoming who does Liz Cheney's bidding and opposes SF145 is turning their back on my father and the entire America First movement," he tweeted on March 9. "Support SF145 and let's send Lincoln Project Liz into retirement in 2022!"

The Team Trump effort to change the law and oust Cheney is part of a wider plan to retaliate against the handful of congressional Republicans who voted to impeach him, backed his conviction, or spoke out against his seditious attempts to overturn President Joe Biden's 2020 victory.

Donald Trump himself reportedly told Wyoming's Republican state chair last month that he was willing to come campaign in the state, aiding the anti-Cheney effort.

Last month, he endorsed a primary challenger to an Ohio representative who backed Trump's second impeachment.

"Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart," Trump said in a press release. "Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"

He has also vowed to campaign against other "disloyal" Republicans, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and "disloyal and very bad" Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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Photo by The White House

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