Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina was defeated in his Republican primary after supporting to impeach President Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 uprising. He’s the first of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to lose reelection.
Rice, a five-term congressman, was defeated by state Rep. Russell Fry, a Trump supporter. Rice was a big backer of Trump’s ideas in Washington, but he stated he had no choice but to impeach Trump for failing to quiet a mob that attempted to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory with violence.
Another South Carolina Republican who enraged Trump, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, won her GOP primary over a Trump-backed opponent.
In different races, On Tuesday, a progressive challenged Democratic Rep. Dina Titus in Nevada, while Republican Rep. Mark Amodei was challenged by the son of one of the state’s most prominent sports stars. A former Republican congressman in Maine is attempting to recapture his old seat.
A special election is being held in Texas to fill the remaining months of former Democratic Representative Filemon Vela’s term.
In Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Texas, key congressional contests will be watched:
TWO REPUBLICANS FROM SOUTH CAROLINA WHO CROSSED TRUMP HAD DIFFERENT LIVES.
After voting to impeach Trump, Rep. Tom Rice, a five-term congressman, was challenged by a half-dozen GOP rivals. The decision was portrayed as a betrayal of both the former president and Rice’s supporters in the 7th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold that backed Trump in both of his campaigns. In the campaign, Trump has endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry.
Rice, who has been a constant supporter of Trump’s ideas, stayed firm in his vote, realising that it could lead to his dismissal, but insisting that he acted in accordance with his conscience.
Trump had threatened vengeance on the ten House Republicans who had voted to impeach him across party lines. Four of the ten chose not to run for re-election. Rep. David Valadao of California, who is running for the second position in a contest where the top two finishers advance to the general election in November, is still waiting to learn the results of his primary election from last week.
Earlier this year, Trump campaigned with Fry and labelled Rice as “respected by no one.” Rice’s campaign says Rice conceded to Fry on Tuesday night.
The 7th Congressional District is heavily Republican, and it’s likely to stay that way come November. The district includes Myrtle Beach, a popular tourist destination, as well as a number of interior, rural regions.
Rep. Nancy Mace, on the other hand, survived a primary challenge from Katie Arrington, a former state representative who was recruited by Trump. In 2018, Arrington ran for the 1st Congressional District seat, defeating then-Rep. Mark Sanford in a Republican primary before losing to Joe Cunningham in the first red-blue seat flip in South Carolina in decades.
With Trump’s help, Mace was able to reclaim the seat for the Republicans in 2020. But, in part, because of Mace’s condemnation of his role in the Capitol riots, the former president turned against her. She also enraged Trump by voting to confirm Biden’s victory in the 2020 election and to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from a congressional committee investigating the Capitol insurgency.
Unlike Rice, though, Mace wanted to make amends for enraging Trump. She recorded a video outside Trump Tower in New York earlier this year to remind her constituents that she was one of the former president’s “earliest supporters.” She worked on his 2016 campaign and has his support for her 2020 campaign.
In the November general election, Mace will face Democrat Annie Andrews.
PRIMARY CHALLENGE IN THE SAFEST GOP HOUSE SEAT IN NEVADA
Rep. Mark Amodei is up against a long-time contender with a well-known surname as his primary opponent.
Danny Tarkanian, the son of famed University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, is attempting to unseat the six-term incumbent in the sprawling, rural northern district, which has never been won by a Democrat in the last 40 years.
Tarkanian has run for the Senate twice and lost congressional elections in two different districts. However, his primary campaign to Sen. Dean Heller in 2018 caused such a commotion that Trump intervened to encourage him to drop out and run for the House again.
After Heller was appointed to complete an unexpired Senate term, Amodei won a special election to replace the seat in 2011. Amodei, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, has comfortably overcome previous primary battles.
IN THE STATE’S BLUEST DISTRICT, A NEVADA DEMOCRAT FACE THE PRIMARY.
In the state’s most liberal district, Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, the dean of Nevada’s congressional delegation, is facing a progressive challenge from Amy Vilela.
Vilela, who lost a primary against Rep. Steven Horsford in a nearby district in 2018, served as the Nevada co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. Sanders has endorsed her, as has Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, a progressive activist who defeated a 20-year Democratic incumbent in a primary in 2020.
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During Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020, Titus was a vocal supporter. She has served in the House for six terms and currently chairs the Transportation Subcommittee.
Titus has steamrolled her way through primary opponents over the years, despite having one of the most liberal voting records in Congress. She has, however, expressed dissatisfaction with how Nevada redrew its congressional districts following the 2020 census, transforming her reliably Democratic district into one where the party’s registered voters are outnumbered by a single digit margin.