The bill would have forced Cheney and other candidates to receive more than 50% of the vote to win a primary, and could pit her against a Trump-backed opponent in a second-round primary election. So far, State Senator Anthony Bouchard and State Representative Chuck Gray have said they will compete against Cheney. In deep red Wyoming, a Democrat is unlikely to win a general election for the only seat in the US House of Representatives.
Gray told CNN he supported the legislation “because Wyoming deserves the choice between the two best candidates for the position.”
“Liz Cheney’s betrayal of our Wyoming values is a clear indicator that a runoff election is needed,” he added. “It’s no wonder his team is working behind the scenes to end this legislation.”
Before the vote on the bill, a spokesperson for Cheney told CNN that she “is confident that the state legislature will do the right thing for Wyoming” and that “neither she nor her allies are trying to influence the state legislature over it. bill one way or another.. “
But despite Trump Jr.’s efforts, a Wyoming state Senate committee amended the bill so it wouldn’t take effect until 2023, as some lawmakers pushed to give county clerks enough time to adjust. .
Wyoming State Representative Dan Zwonitzer, a Republican co-sponsor of the legislation, had doubted it would pass this year, telling CNN that the state needed more time to fully understand the cost and impacts of moving the August primaries. to May, and creating a new runoff election. Zwonitzer also said that national attention put lawmakers in a tough spot.
“When Republican national politics come to Wyoming, it further divides us and creates those same difficulties for us,” he said. “Now all of a sudden the bill will be seen as ‘Are you loyal to Trump or not?'”
“These strange purity tests are going to start rolling out and it’s just more divisions that we don’t need in the Republican Party or in Wyoming.
Supporters of the bill now say the fight for it will move to next year’s legislative session.
“For now, it’s done,” State Representative Hans Hunt told CNN.