In South Carolina, Republican Representative Tom Rice, who voted to impeach Donald Trump following the January 6 Capitol riot, lost his re-election attempt, but a second Republican member favored by the former president won.
Rice, a five-term incumbent who became a prominent focus in Trump’s midterm retaliation campaign against perceived political foes, was defeated by Trump-backed challenger Russell Fry, a five-term incumbent.
“The voters have spoken and Tom Rice is coming home,” Fry, a state legislator, told supporters on Tuesday in the strongly Republican district he is expected to win in the November general election. “Today, Donald Trump won.”
The findings will be viewed as a barometer of Trump’s ongoing clout inside the Republican Party as he considers a 2024 presidential bid.
Rice, who drew a half-dozen Republican rivals after voting to impeach Trump, stayed firm in his choice, realizing that it may lead to his removal but insisting that he followed his conscience.
Since 2015, Fry has served as the House majority whip in the South Carolina legislature.
Trump campaigned in the 7th Congressional District with Fry earlier this year, a Republican stronghold that encompasses Myrtle Beach and a lot of inland, rural communities.
Trump has promised retaliation on the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach him across party lines.
In battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina, his supporters have had varying degrees of success.
Rice was one of ten Republicans in Congress who voted for Trump’s impeachment, and he is now the first of them to lose re-election.
Others choose not to participate in the race.
According to Edison Research, freshman US Representative Nancy Mace fended off a challenge from Trump-endorsed opponent Katie Arrington in another South Carolina seat.
After Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, while Congress was working to ratify the 2020 presidential election, Rice and Mace both ran afoul of Trump.
The riot is now the center of a bipartisan congressional probe, which was launched last week in response to Trump’s unfounded allegations of a rigged 2020 election.
On Tuesday, voters in Nevada, Maine, and North Dakota cast ballots for party nominees in the US Senate and House of Representatives general elections in November.
Republicans are projected to take control of the House of Representatives and maybe the Senate, despite voters’ dissatisfaction with inflation and Democratic Vice President Joe Biden’s polling decline.
That would put a stop to Biden’s legislative agenda and allow Republicans the power to begin politically damaging probes.
Biden’s public popularity rating was 39 percent in a Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Tuesday, down for the third week in a row and reaching the lowest level of his administration. Biden’s work performance is seen with disapproval by 56% of Americans.