Liz Cheney backs Democrat Abigail Spanberger in high-stakes race in Virginia

Liz Cheney backs Democrat Abigail Spanberger in high-stakes race in Virginia


Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the GOP’s most vocal critic of Trump’s anti-democracy policy threats, endorsed Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) on Spanberger’s Republican challenger in the one of the most important races in Virginia this year, crossing party lines to lobby for vulnerable Democrats days before the election.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Cheney acknowledged that she and Spanberger had political differences, but said she was “honored” to support Spanberger, describing her as a legislator “dedicated to working on the other side of the border.” ‘went to find solutions’ while criticizing Donald Trump. -a supported Republican opponent, Yesli Vega, member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

“We don’t agree on every policy, but I’m absolutely certain that Abigail is dedicated to serving this country and her constituents and defending our Constitution,” Cheney said. “Abigail’s opponent is promoting conspiracy theories, denying election results she disagrees with and defending the indefensible. We need our elected leaders to be honest, serious and accountable, which is why I urge the voters of Virginia’s 7th District to support Abigail Spanberger.

A spokesperson did not make Cheney available for an interview. A Vega spokesperson pointed to a previous statement by Vega that she did not believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

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Spanberger is the third congressional Democrat Cheney has sustained this year, a remarkable development for the former House Republican Conference leader who has espoused staunchly conservative politics throughout her career. But since Trump’s pressure campaign to nullify the 2020 election and the resulting Jan. 6, 2021 riot, Cheney has been willing to put aside ideological differences to thwart Trump-backed candidates and promote new ones. others whom she considers to be defenders of democracy, even if they are Democrats.

Cheney, who lost her Republican primary earlier this year, has been excised by GOP leaders for her outspoken disavowal of Trump’s stolen election claims and her service on the House committee investigating the attack. against the Capitol.

She campaigned against Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Republican nominee for secretary of state later chastising Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) for flying to Lake . She officially endorsed and stumped for Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin in Michigan against Republican opponent Tom Barrett, and while in Ohio this week, she said she would support Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan over Trump-backed JD Vance.

Spanberger’s opponent Vega was endorsed by Trump last week – an endorsement she downplayed – and she has previously sympathized with the January 6 rioters as being unjustly persecuted, calling them “a group of people exercising their right to the First Amendment,” according to audio Virginia The Democratic Party released at the start of a candidates forum campaign on April 20.

In a recording from the same forum obtained by VPM, Vega also said “there is evidence continuing to come out that indicates the 2020 election was obstructed.” She said she wouldn’t call the election “stolen.” But the comments also led former Republican congressman from Virginia Denver Riggleman to appear in a campaign ad supporting Spanberger, calling Vega’s comments about the election “code language for everyone on the stop-the-bus.” -steal”.

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In an interview with The Post in September, when asked if she recognizes President Biden as legitimately elected, Vega replied, “He’s the President of the United States.” She would not answer yes or no when pressed, saying the line of questioning was irrelevant to voters in her constituency who were concerned about the economy. She reiterated that Biden is president and added that “the American people elected him.” When asked what she thinks of Trump’s false voter fraud allegations, Vega said, “I’m not Donald Trump, I don’t know what’s going on in his mind and I can’t talk about what he said.”

Vega has otherwise avoided discussing Trump, whose unpopularity in suburban Virginia largely fueled the Blue Wave that in 2018 spanberger worn in power, along with two other fellow Democrats, Elaine Luria and Jennifer Wexton, who are now in tight races.

Cheney developed relationships with several of the Democrats with national security backgrounds elected that year, including Luria, who sits with Cheney on the Jan. 6 committee. Spanberger, in fact, said she and Cheney were crammed into the same secure room as violence enveloped the Capitol on January 6.

Speaking at a Harvard Kennedy School forum last month, Cheney described Spanberger, Luria, Slotkin and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.) as “women I may have big feelings with. disagreements on some issues, but man, they’re there for the right reason.

“They work hard, and I know they want the best for the country,” Cheney said, according to the Harvard Gazette. “And I know we can have a discussion and a disagreement and work out where we agree. They are the kind of people you can trust for the future of this country.

In a statement, Spanberger said she appreciates that Cheney “has always put the safety and security of our country and the defense of our democracy above party allegiance, and I thank her for showing principled leadership in doing so”.

“I am grateful to her for her support of my re-election campaign, and although she and I often disagree on politics, we share a commitment to public service, governing with integrity and protecting the strength of our democracy,” Spanberger said. “She understands that my work for Virginia is grounded in the principle of putting our country first – above the party – always.”

The race in Virginia’s 7th District is considered a draw, and along with the competitive races in Virginia’s 2nd and 10th Districts, political analysts see it as a key indicator to assess the performance of the Republicans in their attempt to take control of Congress.

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