Liz Cheney drops U.S. Senate bid

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WASHINGTON -- Liz Cheney's sudden exit from her Wyoming Senate race brought a surprise end to a high-profile campaign that touched off a bitter fight within the Republican Party as well as a public spat with her lesbian sister over gay marriage.

The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney cited unspecified "serious health issues" in her family rather than her uphill race to unseat three-term GOP Sen. Mike Enzi in her announcement on Monday.

"My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and they will always be my overriding priority," she said in a statement. One of Cheney's daughters has Type 1 diabetes.

Cheney, who moved with her husband and five children from Virginia to Wyoming to run for the seat, offered voters a familiar name -- her father served as the state's congressman for 10 years -- but faced solid opposition from mainstream Republicans who rallied around Enzi as he fought off her challenge from within the GOP.

Her campaign, however, failed to attract the backing of the major outside conservative groups such as the Senate Conservatives Fund and Club for Growth that have endorsed challengers from the right in some other Republican primaries.

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