(CNN) — Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Donald Trump’s staunchest Republican critic in Congress, vowed to continue her fight against the former president and the election-denying movement he leads in a speech Tuesday night after conceding defeat in your party’s primaries.

Cheney will lose to Harriet Hageman, a Trump-backed lawyer, according to a CNN projection.

“This primary is over,” Cheney said in his concession speech. “But now the real work begins.”

Cheney, the last of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment trial facing the polls, now becomes the eighth of them not to return to the House next year. Cheney’s defeat, while widely anticipated, represents a significant milestone in the broader struggle for the leadership of the Republican Party. Once considered an up-and-comer, she was ousted from the House Republican leadership last year for her unwavering opposition to the former president and trailed in the polls this year while helping lead the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. 2021 at the United States Capitol.

Although he made no announcement about his future plans, Cheney hinted at a future in elective politics.

“The great and original defender of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in the Senate and House elections before winning the most important election of all,” he said. “Lincoln ultimately prevailed, saved our union and defined our obligation as Americans for all of history.”

With his future undefined, Cheney’s attempt to project dignity in defeat was itself a clear response to Trump’s behavior since losing the 2020 election.

“No seat in the House, no office in this country is more important than the principles we are all sworn to uphold. And I well understood the potential political consequences of doing my duty,” Cheney said. “Our Republic depends on the good will of all candidates running for office to accept, with honor, the outcome of the election. And tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in this primary. She won. I called her to admit defeat.”

Despite her conservative credentials and party pedigree, her role as Trump’s top Republican critic on Capitol Hill made her a major underdog in a state the former president won with nearly 70% of the vote in 2020. Her enduring popularity there , coupled with Cheney’s role as vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, made the three-term congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney a prime target of Trump allies.

Cheney said American democracy faced an existential threat, that “our survival is not guaranteed,” and denounced statewide Republican efforts to decertify the 2020 election results and Republican midterm candidates that have already begun to cast doubt on future votes.

“If we don’t condemn conspiracies and lies, if we don’t hold accountable those who should be held accountable, we will be excusing this conduct and it will become a feature of every election,” Cheney said. “America will never be the same again.”

Trump’s control over the Republican Party has been demonstrated time and time again since he left Washington. With the Wyoming vote, Cheney becomes the fourth House Republican to vote in favor of impeaching Trump that she loses in the primary. Another four were not running for a new term. The two survivors to date, in California and Washington, benefited from their states’ nonpartisan primary system. Cheney didn’t have that cushion, though a late push for Democrats and independents to register for the Republican primaries might have softened the final tally somewhat.

Top Republicans on Capitol Hill had rallied around Hageman, who has embraced Trump’s false claims of voter fraud and called the 2020 race “rigged.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, another Hageman supporter, said Monday during an appearance on Fox News that the election in Wyoming “will be a referendum on the January 6 commission.”

Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman speaks to supporters on election night in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Cheney also addressed the recent raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Tuesday, denouncing the former president’s efforts to anger his supporters and endanger FBI agents involved in the raid by revealing some of their names.

“That was intentional and malicious. No patriotic American should excuse or be intimidated by these threats,” Cheney said. “Our great nation should not be governed by a mob provoked through social media.”

While Cheney issued a dire warning in Jackson, Hageman, at his victory rally in Cheyenne, thanked Trump and congressional Republicans for their support.

“Wyoming has shown today that while it may not be easy, we can dislodge entrenched politicians who believe they have risen above the people they are supposed to represent and serve,” Hageman said.

In a post on his own social media platform, Trump bragged about Cheney’s loss, calling it “a wonderful result for America,” before accusing her of being “spiteful” and “prudish.”

“Now he can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, he will be much happier than he is now,” Trump wrote.

Sarah Palin seeks to return to Alaska

If Cheney is threatened with being cast into oblivion in his party, a prominent figure from his recent past hopes to return after more than a decade off the electoral map. Former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose rise heralded the party’s Trump era, returned to the ballot Tuesday. In this new iteration, she is the Trump-backed candidate on a ticket vying to finish the term of the late Republican Rep. Don Young.

Palin, who resigned as governor in 2009, faces in the special election Nick Begich III, the Republican scion of the state’s most famous Democratic family, and former Democratic state Rep. Mary Peltola, who was endorsed by independent Al Gross after who dropped out of the race despite making it to the final four. If none of the three active candidates receives a majority of the votes, the election will be decided with a ranked-choice calculation beginning at the end of the month.

The three special election contenders, along with nearly 20 other candidates, most notably Republican Tara Sweeney, are also running in a simultaneous primary that will determine the final four for the November election that will decide who wins the job in the House for the next full term.

Republican senator who voted against Trump faces voters

While Cheney’s fate in Wyoming has grabbed most of the headlines, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial, also faced new competition this year fueled by her lack of loyalty to the former president. Unlike Cheney, however, Murkowski, the latest in a proud political dynasty in the state, is a better bet for defeating the forces arrayed against her.

That’s due in large part to Alaska’s nonpartisan primary election, which, like the House race, sends the top four candidates to the general election, which will be decided by ranked-choice voting if no one gets the majority. That process should help Murkowski against Trump-backed challenger Kelly Tshibaka, a former Alaska Department of Management commissioner.

Murkowski has in the past enjoyed broad support, across party lines, in a state that elected his father, Frank Murkowski, first to the Senate and then as its governor. He then appointed her daughter to her current seat in 2002. When she was defeated in the 2010 primary during the Tea Party wave, Murkowski launched a campaign and defeated Republican candidate Joe Miller in the fall.

The state’s gubernatorial primary also features some familiar names: Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and former independent Gov. Bill Walker, who likely would have lost to Dunleavy in his 2018 reelection bid had he not dropped out shortly before the election and endorsed Democrat Mark Begich.

Dunleavy, now seeking a second term, won the contest one-on-one by less than 10 points.

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