Monday, February 6, 2023
HomePoliticsLiz Cheney endorses Democrat Abigail Spanberger in high-stakes Va. race

Liz Cheney endorses Democrat Abigail Spanberger in high-stakes Va. race


Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the GOP’s most vocal critic towards Trumpian politics’ threats to democracy, has endorsed Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) over Spanberger’s Republican challenger in one in all Virginia’s most consequential races this yr, transcending occasion strains to push for the susceptible Democrat days earlier than the election.

In an announcement to The Washington Put up, Cheney acknowledged that she and Spanberger have coverage variations, however mentioned she was “honored” to again Spanberger, describing her as a lawmaker “devoted to working throughout the aisle to search out options” whereas criticizing her Donald Trump-backed Republican opponent, Yesli Vega, a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

“We don’t agree on each coverage, however I’m completely sure that Abigail is devoted to serving this nation and her constituents and defending our Structure,” Cheney mentioned. “Abigail’s opponent is selling conspiracy theories, denying election outcomes she disagrees with, and defending the indefensible. We want our elected leaders to be sincere, severe, and accountable, which is why I might urge voters in Virginia’s seventh District to help Abigail Spanberger.”

A spokesman didn’t make Cheney out there for an interview. A spokesman for Vega pointed to a earlier assertion from Vega that she didn’t imagine the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

In Virginia, candidates in tight congressional races make closing pitches

Spanberger is the third congressional Democrat that Cheney has backed this yr, a exceptional evolution for the previous Home Republican Convention chief who espoused staunchly conservative politics throughout her profession. However since Trump’s stress marketing campaign to overturn the 2020 election and the ensuing Jan. 6, 2021, riot, Cheney has been keen to put aside ideological variations to thwart Trump-backed candidates and promote others she views as defenders of democracy, even in the event that they’re Democrats.

Cheney, who misplaced her Republican main earlier this yr, was excised by GOP leaders for her outspoken disavowal of Trump’s false stolen-election claims and her service on the Home committee investigating the assault on the Capitol.

She campaigned towards Arizona’s election-denying gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and the Republican candidate for secretary of state, later chiding Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) for flying there to stump for Lake. She formally endorsed and stumped for Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin in Michigan over Republican opponent Tom Barrett, and whereas in Ohio this week mentioned she would help Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan over Trump-backed J.D. Vance.

Spanberger’s opponent, Vega, was endorsed by Trump final week — an endorsement she downplayed — and he or she has beforehand sympathized with Jan. 6 rioters as unfairly persecuted, calling them “a gaggle of individuals exercising their First Modification proper,” in response to audio the Virginia Democratic Celebration launched early within the marketing campaign of an April 20 candidate discussion board.

In a recording of the identical discussion board obtained by VPM, Vega moreover mentioned “there’s proof that continues to return out that signifies that the election of 2020 was interfered with.” She mentioned she wouldn’t name the election “stolen.” However the feedback additionally led ex-Republican Virginia congressman Denver Riggleman to look in a marketing campaign advert backing Spanberger, calling Vega’s feedback concerning the election “coded language for everyone on the stop-the-steal bus.”

A information to the 2022 Virginia basic election

In an interview with The Put up in September, when questioned if she acknowledged President Biden as legitimately elected, Vega answered, “He’s the president of america.” She wouldn’t give a sure or no reply when pressed, bristling that the road of questioning was irrelevant to voters in her district who had been involved concerning the financial system. She reiterated Biden is president and added that “the American folks elected him.” Requested what she considered Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, Vega mentioned, “I’m not Donald Trump, I don’t know what goes on in his thoughts, and I can’t converse to what he acknowledged.”

Vega has in any other case prevented discussing Trump, whose unpopularity in Virginia suburbs largely powered the blue wave that in 2018 carried Spanberger into workplace, together with two different Democratic colleagues, Elaine Luria and Jennifer Wexton, who are actually in tight races.

Cheney has developed a rapport with a number of of the Democrats with nationwide safety backgrounds elected that yr, together with Luria, who serves with Cheney on the Jan. 6 committee. Spanberger, in actual fact, has mentioned that she and Cheney had been huddled in the identical protected room collectively as violence enveloped the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Talking at a discussion board at Harvard Kennedy College final month, Cheney described Spanberger, Luria, Slotkin and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.) as “girls whom I’ll have huge disagreements with on some points, however man, they’re there for the best purpose.”

“They work laborious, and I do know that they need what’s finest for the nation,” Cheney mentioned, in response to the Harvard Gazette. “And I do know that we are able to have a dialogue and a disagreement and work out the place we agree. These are the sorts of individuals that you could belief with the way forward for this nation.”

In an announcement, Spanberger mentioned she valued that Cheney “has persistently put the protection and safety of our nation and protection of our democracy above occasion allegiance, and I thank her for demonstrating principled management in doing so.”

“I’m grateful for her help of my reelection marketing campaign, and whereas she and I’ll usually disagree on coverage, we share a dedication to public service, governing with integrity, and defending the energy of our democracy,” Spanberger mentioned. “She understands that my work for Virginia is grounded within the precept of placing our nation first — over occasion — at all times.”

The race in Virginia’s seventh District is taken into account a toss-up, and together with aggressive races in Virginia’s 2nd and tenth districts, political analysts see it as a key bellwether to gauge how nicely Republicans carry out of their bid to take management of Congress.

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