RESULTS: Rep. Tom Rice loses South Carolina Republican primary after voting to impeach Trump

2022 South Carolina Congressional Primaries

South Carolina held primary elections for the US House and Senate on Tuesday. Polls closed at 7 p.m. ET.

Incumbent Rep. Tom Price lost the 7th District Republican primary by more than 25 percentage points to challenger Russell Fry, who won outright after obtaining an endorsement from President Donald Trump in February.

Rep. Nancy Mace brought in more than 50% of the vote on Tuesday, avoiding a runoff against Katie Arrington and winning the Republican primary in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District.


The races & the stakes:

Two South Carolina Republicans who publicly broke with President Donald Trump risked getting booted from their safely-Republican congressional districts by Trump-backed primary challengers on Tuesday.

In the 1st District, based in South Carolina's Lowcountry, freshman Rep. Nancy Mace faced off against former South Carolina state representative Katie Arrington.

Mace sharply criticized Trump in the immediate wake of the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, but later pulled back on her criticism and attempted to toe a delicate line between condemning the insurrection without alienating a huge chunk of her Republican base at home.

But it wasn't enough to stave off Trump's ire.

Trump, in endorsing Arrington in February, slammed Mace as "an absolutely terrible candidate...whose remarks have been devastating for her community and not at all representative of the Republican Party to which she has been very disloyal."

Arrington successfully unseated another Trump-critical Republican representative from the district, former Rep. Mark Sanford, in the 2018 primary for the seat. But Arrington lost in the general election that year to Democrat Joe Cunningham, who served one term before losing to Mace in 2020.

At the time of the primary election, Mace had outraised Arrington by a 4-to-1 margin and outspent her 11-to-1.

The leading Democrat who ran in the district to oppose either Mace or Arrington is scientist Annie Andrews. However, a Republican nominee is heavily favored to win in the district after lawmakers made it even more friendly to the GOP in redistricting.

And in South Carolina's even-redder 7th Congressional District, Rep. Tom Rice was up against seven primary challengers.

Rice, an otherwise staunch conservative who had supported Trump with little fanfare up until January 6, 2021, stunned his own staff, his constituents, and fellow Republicans when he voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection. 

Trump has endorsed former state lawmaker Russell Fry to challenge Rice.

"Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, the coward who abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left, and who actually voted against me on Impeachment Hoax #2, must be thrown out of office ASAP," Trump said when endorsing Fry in February 2022. 

Rice has steadfastly stood by his vote to impeach Trump and hasn't been shy in his criticism of the former president, recently calling Trump a "would-be tyrant" and his response to the insurrection a "gross" and "inexcusable" failure.

"I absolutely believe that we've got to get back to our principles of defending the Constitution — not just loyalty to one very divisive man, because that is a horribly destructive path for the Republican Party to head down," Rice told The Washington Post. "It's one of the reasons I want to fight as hard as I'm fighting, to prove that we're not just about loyalty to a would-be tyrant."

Leading up to Tuesday's primary, Rice hammered Fry for his record in the legislature — including his vote to raise a gas tax.

Mace and Rice's reelections took place amidst the backdrop of the House January 6 committee's public hearings. The committee, which has spent over a year aggressively investigating the insurrection, already held its first two hearings  and is slated to hold two more public hearings on Wednesday and Thursday.

If none of the candidates in Tuesday's primaries earn over 50% of the vote, the top two will go to a June 28 runoff.

Read the original article on Business Insider