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Reports: Liz Cheney Drops Senate Bid; Family ‘Health Issues’

Liz Cheney during a 2010 appearance on the CBS news program

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz is ending her primary challenge to Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, according to news reports.

CNN broke the story Sunday night, reporting that it had been told by sources that "Cheney, whose upstart bid to unseat Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi sparked a round of warfare in the Republican Party and even within her own family, is dropping out."

Politico has followed up this morning, reporting that "Citing health concerns in her family, Cheney said the issues arising prompted her to end her GOP primary challenge. ... 'Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign. My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority,' Cheney said in the statement."

The New York Times' Jonathan Martin adds that the statement cites "serious health issues" and "health" of her children.

The Casper Star-Tribune says it too has been told about Cheney's decision by sources in a position to know.

As of 7 a.m. ET, neither the statement from Liz Cheney nor any other official word about her decision had been

Cheney, 47, surprised most Republicans with her announcement in July that she would challenge the 69-year-old Enzi for the GOP nomination. He's a fellow conservative who is seeking a fourth term in the Senate. Cheney made the case that she would bring a fresh voice and an even more conservative viewpoint to Washington. But as Politico says:

"The younger Cheney never got much traction. The Wyoming GOP establishment, including the two other members of the congressional delegation and former Sen. Alan Simpson, quickly coalesced behind Enzi. A first-time candidate, she even clashed with local Wyoming newspapers."

She also set off something of a family feud. During a November appearance on Fox News Sunday, as It's All Politics has written, Cheney talked about her belief "in the traditional definition of marriage" despite her sister Mary's marriage to a woman.

Mary Cheney's wife, Heather Poe, went on Facebook to sharply criticize her sister-in-law:

"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 - she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

Mary Cheney then added her own message on Facebook, writing "Liz -- this isn't just an issue on which we disagree -- you're just wrong -- and on the wrong side of history."

The former vice president announced his support for same-sex marriage in 2009.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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