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Cheney would ‘absolutely’ vote for a Democrat in Arizona

Associated Press/Jae C. Hong
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, at a primary Election Day gathering at Mead Ranch in Jackson, Wyo. Cheney lost to challenger Harriet Hageman in the primary.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday said she would “absolutely” vote for Democrats running for governor and secretary of state in Arizona.

The comments, which come in the final stretch before the midterm elections, were a direct rebuke of Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and the GOP’s pick for secretary of state, Mark Finchem, both of whom have touted former President Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

“For almost 40 years now I’ve been voting Republican. I don’t know that I have ever voted for a Democrat. But if I lived in Arizona now I absolutely would … for governor and for secretary of state,” Cheney said during a McCain Institute event at Arizona State University.

“We cannot be in a position where we elect people who will not fundamentally uphold the sanctity of elections, and I think that’s got to be, you know, more important than anything else,” she added.

Lake, a former television news anchor, is running against sitting Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) for the job of governor, and Finchem, a state legislator, is facing Democratic candidate Adrian Fontes, a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran.

The race for governor has tightened in recent days, with the candidates drawing within less than a percentage point of each other, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls.

A poll from CBS News and YouGov conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4 has the two candidates tied at 49 percent.

Lake, who is endorsed by Trump, has come under criticism for her belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, going so far as to describe President Biden as an “illegitimate president.”

Last month, Cheney said she would “do everything I can to make sure that Kari Lake” does not win her race in November. She also said she would be willing to campaign for Democrats.

Lake said those remarks from Cheney “might be the biggest, best gift I ever received.”

“Liz Cheney probably should change her voter registration. Turns out she really is a Democrat after all,” Lake added, claiming that “the people of Wyoming can’t stand” Cheney, and that “the people of Arizona don’t like Liz Cheney” either.

Cheney on Wednesday, in response to a question about what the best avenue is for anti-Trump Republicans, said, “I’m not ready to say we’re gonna allow Trump and those who are at war with democracy to hijack our party,” adding, “I think the party is in a very bad state.”

Later on, she said it is important for Republicans to demand that leaders of the party “not accept this unraveling of democracy.”

“As Republicans, there have to be consequences. And we have to make sure that people understand that we’re gonna vote for those that we can trust and depend on to do the right thing and to uphold their oath,” she said.

Cheney last month said she would not vote for Trump-backed Harriet Hageman, who defeated her in a GOP primary to serve as Wyoming’s only lawmaker in the House.

Asked during a separate event on Monday about having liberal Democrats as supporters, Cheney responded, “I’m not choosy these days.”

Tags 2022 midterm elections Adrian Fontes Arizona Arizona gubernatorial race Biden kari lake Katie Hobbs Liz Cheney Mark Finchem

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