By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com January 06 2014 3:13 PM ET
Liz Cheney has dropped out of her U.S. Senate primary race.
The elder daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney released a written statement that announced her plans to abandon her campaign for the Republican Senate nomination in Wyoming, where she had hoped to oust the incumbent Republican, Sen. Mike Enzi.
"Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign," she claimed, omitting details about both the nature of the health issue and the name of the affected family member. “My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign, and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority.”
"As a mother and a patriot, I know that the work of defending freedom and protecting liberty must continue for each generation,” she added. “Though this campaign stops today, my commitment to keep fighting with you and your families for the fundamental values that have made this nation and Wyoming great will never stop.”
Cheney, whose father held a Wyoming congressional seat from 1979 to 1989, made waves in the Republican Party last summer by announcing her decision to seek the political office in Wyoming via a YouTube video.
The decision sparked a number of controversies both public and private. The 47-year-old candidate had transplanted to the state from Virginia in fall 2012, a fact that caused critics to call her a carpetbagger.
Her campaign also caused divisions within her family. After Liz Cheney released a statement announcing that she is “not pro-gay marriage,” her lesbian sister, Mary Cheney, said she would not support Liz’s candidacy.
"For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage," Mary Cheney wrote on her Facebook page. She later clarified to Politico magazine that she is "not working, not contributing, and not voting for" Liz Cheney.
Former senator Alan Simpson, who despite being a close friend of the Cheneys supported Enzi, told The New York Times that Liz Cheney’s decision to withdraw was rooted in family.
"She said it was a mom thing — 'that I just need to be more involved with the family,'" Simpson said. "I told her I wanted this to heal up and she said, 'We do, too.'"