Liz Cheney said in a statement early Monday morning that her decision to abruptly end her Senate campaign was prompted by health concerns in her family.
“Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign. My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority,” she said in the statement.
“Phil and I want to thank the thousands of people in Wyoming and all across the country who have supported my campaign. As a mother and a patriot, I know that the work of defending freedom and protecting liberty must continue for each generation. Though this campaign stops today, my commitment to keep fighting with you and your families for the fundamental values that have made this nation and Wyoming great will never stop.”
News of Cheney’s decision first broke on Sunday night. It marks the end of a contentious five-month primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) that never got off the ground.
She drew carpetbaggging charges from the beginning, having moved to Wyoming from Virginia in 2012. Those accusations had more credence after she wrongly claimed to be a 10-year resident of the state on an application for a fishing license, an error for which she later paid a fine.
Her campaign may have reached its lowest point in November after she used an appearance on Fox News to reiterate her opposition to same-sex marriage. On the same day of that television appearance, Mary Cheney, Liz’s openly gay younger sister, and her partner, Heather Poe, fired back on Facebook.
“Liz — this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree you’re just wrong — and on the wrong side of history,” Mary Cheney wrote.
Later it was revealed that the two sisters hadn’t spoken in months and that they would not be celebrating the holidays together.
The quarrel prompted their parents, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, to release a statement in which they seemingly backed Liz.
But the campaign caused more than just familial divisions. Former Sen. Alan Simpson, a stalwart of Wyoming politics and close friend of the former vice president, described a tense exchange with Lynne Cheney over his support for Enzi. Simpson later weighed-in on the dispute between the Cheney sisters and blasted Liz for “destroying family relationships” in her effort to unseat Enzi.
Compounding matters for Liz Cheney, poll after poll showed showed Enzi holding massive leads among Wyoming Republicans.