Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi in Wyoming's Republican primary race next year, a decision certain to split the state and national parties.
"I am running because I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate," Cheney said. "I am running because I know, as a mother and a patriot, that we can no longer afford simply to go along to get along. We can't continue business as usual in Washington."
The decision marked a turnaround for Cheney, who initially appeared hesitant to challenge Enzi even as her father began calling donors on her behalf. Just last year, she called Enzi "a terrific senator and an old friend."
Enzi reacted nonchalantly to the news but chided Cheney for launching a bid a year before the primary.
"Nobody in Wyoming likes a long campaign, and anybody from Wyoming would know that," Enzi said.
Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso made it clear that he will back Enzi, whom he called a friend and mentor.
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, echoed that sentiment on Twitter, saying, "I'm a big fan of Liz Cheney. But not in this race."
The national Republican establishment will also be backing Enzi in the primary, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The national Republican establishment also immediately affirmed its support for Enzi, including Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
ODDS IMPROVE FOR GOP TAKING SENATE IN 2014
The surprise announcement this week from former Montana Gov. Barry Schweitzer that he would not run for the state's open U.S. Senate seat is rippling across the 2014 congressional elections and forcing both parties to recalculate Republican chances of taking the Senate.
Schweitzer was widely seen as Democrats' best hope of holding on to the red state seat when Sen. Max Baucus retires after his sixth term. Without him, Republican hopes of seizing the state increase exponentially and their chances of winning control of the Senate shifts from pipe dream to possibility.
Republicans need to net six seats next year to recapture the chamber, and they are already favored to win two seats being vacated by retiring Democrats in West Virginia and South Dakota. Montana would be the third.
SPITZER MAY DRAG DOWN WEINER IN NY ELECTIONS
A sex scandal-scarred politician running for office in New York is in danger of being dragged down by another sex scandal-scarred politician on the same ballot.
Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign from Congress in 2011 after sharing pictures of his private parts on Twitter, is now the front-runner in the city's mayoral race. But Weiner now faces a threat from Eliot Spitzer, a surprise comptroller candidate and former governor forced from office in 2008 after admitting to frequenting high-priced hookers, political observers told the Associated Press.
The two Democrats are running in separate races, but Spitzer's mere presence on the campaign trail is drawing renewed and unwanted attention to Weiner's own problems, which the Brooklyn Democrat appeared to have put behind him.
With Spitzer sharing the spotlight, Weiner will have to compete for media attention -- and Republican opponents will be able to tag the entire Democratic ticket as morally challenged. Moreover, experts said, Spitzer made a number of enemies when he was attorney general and Weiner could get caught in the crossfire if those people go after Spitzer.
Weiner says he's not worried.
"I'm focused entirely on my campaign," he said.