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Enzi says Liz Cheney made ‘brief’ call Monday to announce plans

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said that Liz Cheney called him Monday morning to tell the three-term incumbent that she would not challenge him in the August GOP primary, informing him of the health issue of one of her children that prompted the sudden withdrawal from the contentious race.

“It was a brief conversation. And one of her children is having a health problem, so I hope everyone will keep them in their prayers,” Enzi told reporters after leaving the Senate floor for a vote.

Enzi said there was no discussion of whether the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney would endorse his reelection. “I didn’t ask. She didn’t volunteer. I don’t know,” he said, adding later: “She’s got other things on her mind, this is critical enough that she pulled out of the race, so I’m not pressing.”

The state’s filing deadline is not until May so another challenge could emerge, something Enzi said he is keenly aware of: “A lot of people can still get in the race. … People put their names forward, they go out and they talk to people and they try to get elected. That isn’t a fissure, that’s an effort in getting elected.”

That didn’t stop some senators from congratulating Enzi on the Senate floor during votes. “Congratulations,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a top Democratic Party strategist, told Enzi as he spoke with reporters.

Enzi said he has not spoken to the former vice president since a fundraising gala two months ago. Asked what damage has been done to the relationship with his onetime friend, Dick Cheney, Enzi was blunt: “Hopefully nothing.”

Paul Kane covers Congress and politics for the Washington Post.

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