GOP House candidate JR Majewski drops out after facing backlash for disparaging Special Olympics athletes

  • GOP candidate JR Majewski announced on Saturday that he is dropping out of his House race.

  • It came after Business Insider reported that he called Special Olympics athletes "retarded."

  • He had faced swift backlash and calls to drop out from fellow Republicans.

JR Majewski, a controversial GOP House candidate in Ohio, announced on Saturday that he is suspending his campaign just weeks before the March 19 primary.

It comes just weeks after Majewski faced backlash for calling Special Olympics athletes "fucking retarded," which Business Insider first reported last month.

"It is inevitable that the Deep State will do whatever it takes to fight against me," Majewski said in a statement that did not mention the recent controversy about his comments. He had defiantly refused to drop out of the race just days ago.

During a February appearance on a conservative podcast, Majewski made a joke about "Democrats living in Mom's basement" that included derogatory language toward individuals with special needs.

"Arguing on the Internet, it's like being in the Special Olympics," he said. "No matter how good you perform, you still have… you're still fucking retarded at the end of the day."

Majewski apologized but was later censured by the Lucas County Republican Party, which encompasses most of the Toledo-area House district where he was running.

GOP Senate candidate Matt Dolan also condemned Majewski's remarks and called on opponents Bernie Moreno and Frank LaRose — both of whom endorsed Majewski in December — to rescind their support for the embattled candidate. Neither campaign responded to requests for comment on Friday about their endorsements.

But Majewski's controversies extend beyond his recent inflammatory comments.

He was caught lying about serving in Afghanistan after winning the GOP nomination for the seat in 2022, and he has flirted with the QAnon conspiracy theory in the past. He has also said he brought 60-70 people to Washington, DC, on January 6, though he says he did not enter the Capitol.

His decision to drop out is likely to be met with a sigh of relief from national GOP leadership — many had fretted that he would cost the party the competitive seat, given that he lost to Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur by 13 points in 2022.

House Speaker Mike Johnson and other leadership-aligned groups have recruited state Rep. Derek Merrin to run for the seat, a decision that came after a previous recruit, former State Rep. Craig Riedel, was caught on tape disparaging former President Donald Trump.

Read the original article on Business Insider