Rep. Tom Rice lost the GOP South Carolina Seventh Congressional District primary election to his Trump-endorsed competitor.
Rice was among the 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted for Trump’s impeachment following the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion.
Even though the decision to vote for impeaching the former president cost the Republican congressman political support, Rice did not recant.
“I did it then,” Rice told the Times in an interview last week. “And I will do it tomorrow. And I’ll do it the next day or the day after that. I have a duty to uphold the Constitution. And that is what I did.”
“Republicans are supposed to protect the Constitution. We take an oath to protect the Constitution, not a man,” Rice said in an interview with Fox News a day before the primary election.
“And so what I did was take a conservative vote. If you want a conservative, I’m the guy,” Rice said.
Sporting the hashtag “#FryTheRice,” Fry made the impeachment vote and his support of Trump a vital issue in his race against Rice, presenting Rice’s impeachment vote as a decision that cost him the trust of voters in South Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District.
“Tom Rice broke the trust of the people of the Pee Dee and Grand Strand when he voted to impeach President Donald Trump,” Fry’s website stated.
“From Myrtle Beach to Marlboro and Dillion to Darlington, people deserve to have a proven conservative congressman they can trust, one who enthusiastically embraces Trump’s America First agenda.”
“Russell’s record shows he’s a consistent, courageous conservative who isn’t afraid to take on the liberals or the Washington establishment,” Fry’s website said.
Fry also ran on the platform of bolstering election security and cutting back on government intervention in people’s individual healthcare choices — vis-a-vis COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine passports.
The state representative also promised to oppose court-packing and work towards improving American foreign policy and the economy.
In the midterms, Russell will be running against Democratic candidate Daryl Scott.
Scott promised to “help bridge the partisan, socioeconomic and cultural divide that has plagued his community, district, South Carolina and the nation as a whole.”
Scott also pledged to work towards improving “the education system in a way that leaves no child behind and provides every student with opportunities that lead to real world success.”
Fry’s victory suggests that Trump still holds massive influence over Republican voters one year after leaving office. However, this influence is not necessarily absolute.
In South Carolina’s First Congressional District, Republican House Rep. Nancy Mace managed to win the Republican nomination, beating state lawmaker Katie Arrington, who had Trump’s endorsement. Mace was a harsh critic of Trump.
Mace won with 53.1 percent of the votes, according to data from the New York Times. Arrington came second with 45.3 percent of the votes. Mace will be running against Democratic candidate Annie Andrews in the midterm elections.
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