(Reuters) - Liz Cheney, the eldest daughter of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, announced on Tuesday that she will challenge three-term incumbent and fellow Republican Mike Enzi for Wyoming’s U.S. Senate seat in 2014.
Cheney, 46, launched herself into the race with a nearly six-minute Web video in which she laid out a conservative agenda, calling the federal government too large and wasteful of taxpayer dollars, and sharply criticized Democratic President Barack Obama.
“President Obama has launched a war on our Second Amendment rights, he’s launched a war on our religious freedom, he’s used the IRS to launch a war on our freedom of speech and he’s used the EPA to launch a war on Wyoming’s ranchers, our farmers and our energy industry,” she said on the video.
In announcing her first campaign for political office, Cheney did not mention Enzi by name but said that she was running in part “because I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate.”
“I’m running because I know, as a mother and a patriot, that we can no longer afford simply to go along to get along,” said Cheney, who has five children with her husband Philip Perry, former general counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Enzi did not comment directly on Cheney’s announcement on Tuesday but said in a statement released by his campaign office that he intended to run for re-election in 2014.
“When I announce formally, I will let everyone know that date in the future. In the meantime, I will do the job I was already elected to do,” said Enzi, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and has been re-elected twice by a comfortable margin.
Cheney’s announcement comes as Republicans, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, seek to regain a majority in the Senate in the 2014 elections.
“I’m a big fan of Liz Cheney. But not in this race,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted, adding in a second post that “divisive, internal GOP fights aren’t helpful.”
Cheney, who describes herself in a biography on her official campaign website as a “fourth-generation Wyomingite,” is an attorney who served in the U.S. Department of State during the administration of President George W. Bush and appears on television as an analyst and political commentator for Fox News.
Her father served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Gunna Dickson and Lisa Shumaker