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For Cheney, career in politics was pedigreed from an early age: ‘It’s in my blood’

For embattled Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, politics has always been a family affair.

The No. 3 member of House Republican leadership is the mother of five children, from 15 to 27 years old. Her youngest son, Richard, is named after her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

For the GOP congresswoman, her career in politics was pedigreed at an early age. When she was 12 years old her dad ran for Congress. Together her family campaigned across Wyoming.

“I’ve been in politics a long time. It’s in my blood,” she said last year during a speech at Georgetown University Institute of Politic and Public Service. “When my sister and I were growing up and my dad was in, you know, political office. My mom was writing, she was in the Reagan administration.”

The congresswoman has featured her family prominently over the years.

Her husband and children have appeared and spoken in numerous campaign ads. When they were younger they were often seen in backgrounds at political events during her father’s years as George W. Bush’s vice president.

She has been married to her husband, Philip Perry, for nearly 30 years. Perry is a lawyer in Washington, DC, who served in several roles during the Bush years.

“It’s a good partnership … she and her husband have that I think make this all work,” said Bob Beck, who has covered Cheney for decades as the News Director of WY Public Radio.

In 2014, she recalled once having her family along during a parade appearance in Douglas, Wyoming. Before the parade, she asked her kids and their cousins if they could think of any rules the kids should follow before embarking on the parade route.

“I said, ‘OK, Richard what’s your rule?’ ” she said, laughing as she retold the anecdote at a Politico Playbook Lunch. “And he said, ‘No farting!’ “

Cheney now holds the congressional seat that her father held for 10 years — following in his footsteps after years at the State Department and time working on her father’s reelection campaign. Their relationship has remained close to this day.

In 2013 a family rift became public when she announced her opposition to same-sex marriages, even though her sister married a woman.

“I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree,” Liz Cheney said in 2013.

In Congress, Cheney has high ratings from conservative groups, including a 98% score from Heritage Action in the 117th Congress.

“As Republicans, you know, we believe that the federal government is, is serving its best purpose when it stays as limited as possible,” Cheney said in a speech last year.

She is, like her father, a fiscal conservative and defense hawk.

“Our adversaries need to know that we have the will and the capacity to defend ourselves,” she said in 2021.

As she now fights for her political life, political observers say Cheney is not one to walk away from what she feels is right.

“She is a very principled woman,” Beck said. “And, you know, like it or not what her principles are, she’s going to always draw on them and stick with them.”

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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