Rep. Liz Cheney used to be one of the standard-bearers of the Republican party—she’s literally the heir to one of the most prominent Republicans in modern history. But since she broke with former president Donald Trump, she’s strayed far from the party and is now not just campaigning against pro-Trump Republicans, she’s endorsing Democrats. After endorsing Michigan Democrat Elissa Slotkin, Cheney says she is now endorsing Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger.
Spanberger is one of the most moderate Democrats, having criticized President Joe Biden for trying to enact too sweeping of an agenda and called for Nancy Pelosi to step down. She’s running for reelection in what was once one of the most conservative districts—it was considered a safe seat for former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, but he lost it to right-wing challenger Dave Brat in 2014. Spanberger took the seat in 2018 but is in a close race with Republican Yesli Vega, who was endorsed by Donald Trump last week.
Spanberger has often clashed with Democratic House leadership, and Vega has played down her Trump endorsement, with both candidates clearly trying to appeal to a moderate middle. Cheney told the Washington Post she was endorsing Spanberger because Vega was an election denier.
“We don’t agree on every policy, but I am absolutely certain that Abigail is dedicated to serving this country and her constituents and defending our Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement the Post.
Cheney lost the Republican primary to keep her seat representing Wyoming earlier this summer, but is still a fundraising behemoth, with millions of dollars in her PAC, which she can use to support other candidates or eventually organize another run for herself, possibly for president. Cheney has also maintained a high profile as the highest-ranking Republican on the House’s Jan. 6 Committee.