Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday endorsed Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan over Republican J.D. Vance in the Ohio Senate race, the latest sign of just how far the onetime member of House GOP leadership has fallen out with the Trump-dominated wing of her party.
“I would not vote for J.D. Vance,” Cheney, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, told journalist Judy Woodruff at a discussion about the state of the nation at Cleveland State University.
When Woodruff asked Cheney if she would vote for Ryan if she were an Ohio-registered voter, Cheney replied: “I would.”
It’s the latest sign of how far Cheney, who voted to impeach former President Trump and in August was defeated in Wyoming’s Republican primary by a Trump-backed challenger, has fallen out with fellow Republicans who remain loyal to the former president.
Vance, a past critic of Trump, now praises him as the “best president of my lifetime.”
Vance largely owes his spot as the GOP Senate Republican nominee to Trump’s backing.
He rallied from behind former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and businessman Mike Gibbons to win Ohio’s Republican primary after securing Trump’s endorsement in April.
Vance has also embraced Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 election, telling the Youngstown Vindicator last year: “There were certainly people voting illegally on a large-scale basis.”
In January, he told Spectrum News: “I think the fundamental problem is we had a massive effort to shift the election by very powerful people in this country.”
“I don’t care whether you say it’s rigged, whether you say it’s stolen, like, I’ll say what I’m going to say about it,” he said.
Cheney has repeatedly dismissed Trump’s claims of election fraud as false, and at a hearing last month, she said the former president himself knew he lost a fair election.
“President Trump knew from unassailable sources that his election fraud claims were false,” she said at the Jan. 6 committee’s October hearing on the state of Trump’s mind prior to and during the 2021 attack on the Capitol.
“He admitted he had lost the election; he took actions consistent with that belief,” she said.
Ryan, who has represented the blue-collar Youngstown area for nearly 20 years in the House, is trailing Vance by 2 points in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls.
Surveys conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and the Siena College Research Institute in mid-October showed the race tied. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rate the contest as “lean Republican.”