The Wyoming state senator challenging Rep. Elizabeth L. Cheney in the 2022 Republican primary told the Star News Network he raised more than $400,000 in his underdog drive to unseat the No. 3 in the GOP’s House leadership.
“Well, we had set some goals early on and we surpassed them within, I want to say the first 30 days, and now we set another goal of 400,000 and we’ve reached that goal,” said state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, announced his campaign Jan. 20.
“I’m just humbled by the support. We were at $344,000 at the end of first quarter, so with the $400,000, it is live, man,” he said.
“We got the numbers up,” he said. “It’s just over 600 donors from Wyoming, which is still a big number, man. This is a small state. There’s only 580,000 people in our state.”
There is also tremendous support from across the country, said the small business owner, who supports his family with a septic service company he runs with his wife. “We’ve got is we’re over 9,000 in individual contributions from all 50 states.”
In addition to his fundraising success against such a senior party leader, and daughter of Vice President Richard B. “Dick” Cheney, Bouchard seems to be on the verge of getting an endorsement from President Donald J. Trump.
The president sent out this message April 27 supporters and the media:
Liz Cheney is polling sooo low in Wyoming, and has sooo little support, even from the Wyoming Republican Party, that she is looking for a way out of her Congressional race. Based on all polling, there is no way she can win. She’ll either be yet another lobbyist or maybe embarrass her family by running for President, in order to save face. This warmongering fool wants to stay in the Middle East and Afghanistan for another 19 years, but doesn’t consider the big picture—Russia and China!
Then, there was “the fist bump.”
The night President Joseph R. Biden Jr. addressed a joint session of Congress, Cheney and Biden chatted each other up on the House floor like old friends.
I disagree strongly w/@JoeBiden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the US House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful & dignified way. We’re different political parties. We’re not sworn enemies. We’re Americans.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) April 30, 2021
Bouchard met Cheney and raised him, when he revealed that he had been at Mar-a-Lago at the April 24 fundraiser for the House Freedom Fund.
Me fist bumping my president last weekend versus @RepLizCheney's fist bump seen 'round the world. Any questions on who has Wyoming and America's best interest at heart? #AmericaFirst #fistbump #impeachlizcheney pic.twitter.com/LQIYTVi1zY
— 🇺🇸Anthony Bouchard for Congress Against Cheney (@AnthonyBouchard) May 1, 2021
Bouchard said he launched his campaign after years of frustration with Cheney that culminated with her leading nine other House Republicans to vote Jan. 13 to impeach President Donald J. Trump.
“I think that it’s a raging hatred for Trump that is motivating her,” he said.
“A conservative state like Wyoming – which gave Donald Trump the nation’s largest percentage of the vote both times he ran – should be electing one of the most conservative members of Congress,” he said. “But, Liz Cheney is anything but a conservative.”
The state senator, who also is the founder of Wyoming Gun Owners, said beyond her lack of conservative credentials, she is alienated from a state she rarely visits.
“Most of what I see her doing around the state is she’s doing Zoom meetings and it’s only with a small select group of either the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club,” he said. “I’ve actually visited the state and what’s amazing is I’m getting a great response and I think she’s going to be afraid to go into those same places because they’re not going to be very happy.”
Bouchard was a legendary political operative from his days running Wyoming Gun Owners and the local opposition to President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
“Being in state senate from the level of going after the national politics, I’ve been the guy that stands up to leadership, I’m the guy that I don’t get backed into the corner,” he said.
“I don’t get pushed around and bullied and when they do that to me, I push back and I think that the public’s seen that and that’s the light in the end of the tunnel, to have somebody who’s to go back and fight for them,” he said. “That’s what thinking excites and why my campaign is a success.”
With Cheney afraid to come home and face the voters, he is energizing his legacy networks into a statewide organization, he said.
In the first quarter, Cheney raised $1.54 million, which is her best quarter, since her public career began in the 2016 cycle.
Helping her raise the funds were a gallery of stalwarts, including Senate Minority Leader A. Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr. (R.-Ky.), Sen. W. Mitt Romney (R.-Utah), John E. “Jeb” Bush, former Florida governor; Andrew H. Card Jr., former White House chief of staff and Paul D. Ryan, former speaker of the House. In fact, Ryan hosted a virtual fundraiser for Cheney March 25, right before the March 31 end of the quarter.
Bouchard said he will have the money he needs to take on Cheney, and he is always running radio ads in the state.
“You see with her raising money from either corporate PACS or Speaker Boehner,” he said. “All the swamp rats are lining up and the people are really starting to see what’s going on. And I think that’s what’s continuing to anger them.”
One of the things that does concern Bouchard is someone from out-of-state coming in to vulture the seat, because they see Cheney is weak.
If that happens, the anti-Cheney vote could be split up, giving her another term.
Another thing he worries about is Trump supporters dropping out of the Republican Party out of frustration.
“I think what the Republican party is missing here is that the people look at people like me as the only thing left holding it together,” he said.
“I’ve heard so many people say that they’re going to walk away and even people that I say: ‘Hey, stay and let’s keep fighting. We’re winning. We’ve got to stay and fight and we can win this thing,'” he said. “I’m trying to hold it together because the Republicans are tired of the same old game. The same old disappointments they get out of these things.”
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Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based national political reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. In addition to The Star, he has covered the White House, Capitol Hill and national politics for One America News, Breitbart, Human Events and Townhall. Before coming to Washington, he was a staff reporter for Boston’s Catholic paper, The Pilot, and the editor of two Boston-area community papers, The Somerville News and The Alewife. McCabe is a public affairs NCO in the Army Reserve and he deployed for 15 months to Iraq as a combat historian.
Photo “Anthony Bouchard” by Anthony Bouchard.