President Donald Trump successfully knocked off impeachment backing Rep. Tom Rice Tuesday night in South Carolina.
The race was called for rival Russell Fry at 11:01 p.m, with Fry leading Rice by more than 26 points.
While Rice was losing South Carolina his race, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace held onto her seat despite Trump backing challenger Katie Arrington.
Trump has gone state-by-state backing primary challengers for the 10 lawmakers or helping motivate their retirements. He’s also taken on Republican lawmakers like Mace who made critical statements.
President Donald Trump’s chosen candidate Russell Fry beat incumbent GOP Rep. Tom Rice in Tuesday’s South Carolina primary. Pictured: Fry speaks at Trump’s Save America rally on March 12, 2022 in Florence, South Carolina
Rep. Tom Rice was one of 10 GOP House members to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment – that he incited an insurrection on January 6. Trump has gone state-by-state fielding challengers against impeachment backers, or motivating their retirements
Rep. Nancy Mace greets supporters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina at an election night event Tuesday. Mace was critical of former President Donald Trump after January 6, but campaigned by telling voters she was politically aligned with the ex-president
The biggest prize for Trump will be taking out Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming’s primary in August. She’s the top Republican lawmaker on the House select committee on January 6.
Rice had the help of more traditionally mainstream Republicans, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
But Fry got the coveted endorsement of Trump in February, and the president appeared alongside Fry in a Florence, South Carolina rally in March.
In South Carolina, candidates need to get to 50 percent plus one in order to avoid a run-off.
Mace criticized Trump after the January 6 Capitol attack, but more recently filmed a campaign video in front of Trump Tower pushing that they were politically aligned.
Trump-endorsed Republican hopeful Katie Arrington, a former South Carolina state rep, speaks with reporters outside a polling place Tuesday in Summerville, South Carolina. She’s challenging Rep. Nancy Mace, who was critical of Trump after January 6
That didn’t matter to the ex-president who backed Arrington, despite the fact that she lost the district to a Democrat in the 2018 midterms.
Republicans feared that if Arrington won the seat, it would again be lost like it was four years ago when Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham beat Arrington, flipping a GOP stronghold since 1981.
Cunningham won the Democratic primary Tuesday night in South Carolina’s governor’s race.
Additionally, Republicans successfully flipped what had been a safe Democratic House seat in Texas Tuesday night, with GOP hopeful Mayra Flores beating Democrat Dan Sanchez.
Democrat Dan Sanchez lost a special election to Republican Mayra Flores for Texas’ 34th Congressional District. Flores will only be in the seat through January, however, with the district much friendlier to Democrats when Flores and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez face-off on the November ballot
Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. had announced that he would retire from Congress after this term, but in March said he would be leaving his seat early to go work for Akin Gump, a law and lobbying firm, which triggered the special election.
The election is only to fill the seat until the end of Vela’s term, which ends in January.
And while Republicans will likely point to the race as an indicator that the Democrats are doomed in November, that particular district becomes far friendlier to Democrats thanks to the new boundaries drawn due to reapportionment.
The current boundaries give Democrats a five-point advantage, while the new boundaries will give Democrats a 17-point one.
Flores is the Republican nominee to run in November as well, but Sanchez is not – instead Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez won the Democratic primary and will appear on the ballot.
Gonzalez, who has been in Congress since 2017, changed district when redistricting made his 15th Congressional District more competitive.