Liz Cheney endorses Michigan Democrat in tight reelection race

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is endorsing Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) in her competitive reelection bid, marking the first time the Wyoming Republican has crossed the aisle to formally throw her support behind a Democrat.

“I’m proud to endorse Elissa Slotkin,” Cheney said in a statement. “Serving together on the Armed Services Committee, I have come to know Elissa as a good and honorable public servant who works hard for the people she represents, wants what’s best for the country, and is in this for the right reasons.”

The two lawmakers are scheduled to appear together at an event in the Lansing, Mich., area on Nov. 1, titled an “Evening for Patriotism and Bipartisanship.”

Slotkin, a second-term congresswoman representing Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, is embroiled in a tight reelection race that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated a “toss up.” She is running in the newly redrawn Michigan 7th Congressional District against Republican state Sen. Thomas Barrett, who has questioned the fairness of the 2020 presidential election.

Slotkin is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program, which is reserved for lawmakers running for competitive seats. According to FiveThirtyEight, however, she is favored to win the race over Barrett, with the outlet’s polling average showing Slotkin leading with 50.7 percent to Barrett’s 46.6 percent.

Cheney, who lost her reelection primary over the summer, previously expressed an openness to campaigning for Democrats this fall, but her Thursday endorsement of Slotkin marks the first time she has officially endorsed a Democrat.

The Wyoming Republican has also said she would “absolutely” vote for a Democrat in Arizona next month, where two candidates on the ballot have touted former President Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Cheney has been a leading voice opposing Trump’s election fraud claims, particularly in her post as the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

That may be one reason why Cheney is throwing her support behind Slotkin. Barrett told the Detroit Free Press “it’s an unknowable thing” regarding the fairness of the 2020 presidential election, and sent a letter to the Michigan secretary of state in November 2020 asking for an official audit of the election that month because of affidavits that allegedly outlined allegations of voter fraud and irregularities.

And, according to the Detroit Free Press, Barrett would not say if he would have certified the results of the 2020 presidential election if he were in Congress at the time.

A source close to Cheney characterized Barrett as an “election denier” because he “refuses to acknowledge the results of the 2020 election, fought the certification of the Electoral College, and continues to push former President Trump’s fraudulent claims to this day.”

Aside from her opposition to Barrett, Cheney has spoken highly of Slotkin in the past. The two lawmakers serve on the House Armed Services Committee together, and Slotkin worked at the Defense Department during the Bush administration, when Cheney served at the State Department.

During a speaking event at Harvard University last week, Cheney said she has “the most respect” for Slotkin and a handful of other Democrats.

“Women who, I may have big disagreements with them on some issues, but man, they are there for the right reason, they work hard, and I know they want what’s best for the country and I know that we can have a discussion and a disagreement and figure out where we agree,” she said. “And I know that those are the kinds of people that you can trust with the future of this country.”

Cheney expressed a similar sentiment in a statement on Thursday, noting that while the two have disagreements, Congress needs “serious, responsible substantive members like Elissa.” She said it comes “at a time when our nation is facing threats at home and abroad.”

Slotkin welcomed the endorsement, calling Cheney’s voice “critical” at a time “when the very heart of our democracy is being challenged.”

“I’m grateful for her support in this race and I’m proud of the work we’ve done together to strengthen our national security and America’s role in the world. We all know that our country is going through a difficult moment right now. But throughout our history, two things have helped us weather times like these: engaged citizens and principled leaders, from both sides of the aisle,” she said.

Tags 2022 midterms Donald Trump Elissa Slotkin Elissa Slotkin Liz Cheney Liz Cheney Michigan House race

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