Liz Cheney rejects carpetbagging charge in Wyoming race

Liz Cheney (R) is rejecting accusations that she's a carpetbagger who moved to Wyoming just to run for its Senate seat.

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"I am a fourth-generation Wyomingite. My family first came here in 1852, walking the Mormon Trail in search of religious freedom. My great-grandfather settled here in 1907. Wyoming has always been home," Cheney told The Hill Thursday afternoon. 

"In my experience, people who launch the carpetbagger charge do so to avoid talking about issues and substance. I intend to run a campaign worthy of the people of Wyoming, focused on policy and how we can defend the values that have made this state and nation great."

Cheney announced Tuesday that she would run against longtime Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and has already been attacked by some as a political opportunist for running in a state she hasn't lived in for years. 

The former Fox News commentator, state department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney moved to Wyoming in 2012 after decades spent mostly in the Washington, D.C., area. She lived in Wyoming as a child and moved to the East Coast when she was 12 after her father won his seat in Congress.

A number of Republicans have questioned why she's running in Wyoming.

"I like Liz, I've been a longtime friend of her father's, but it'll be portrayed as they've been away from the state a long time, a housewife who's kind of bored who moved back to Wyoming after a long time to run for the Senate," longtime GOP strategist Ed Rollins told The Hill earlier on Thursday.

"Unfortunately for Liz, that's not a state like California or New York where you can carpetbag very easily, and even though she was born there she hasn't been there for a long time."

Rollins said he wanted to see Cheney in Congress, but wished she wasn't challenging Enzi.

"It's two good people," he said. "I wish she was running somewhere else, I'd like to see her in the Senate."

Others have been less kind to Cheney. 

“It is a unique strategy to live your entire life elsewhere and then come to a state a year before you’re going to announce you’re going to run for that state’s highest office," Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) told reporters this week. 

The News Record of Gillette, Wyo. said in an editorial before Cheney announced that "if you want to run for U.S. Senate, try it from Virginia or some other state."

- This post was corrected on July 22 to reflect that the Cheney family moved to Wyoming in 1852.