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Rep. Tom Rice loses South Carolina primary, becomes 1st House Republican who voted to impeach Trump

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U.S. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina has been ousted from Congress in his Republican primary after voting to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection. He is the first of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to lose a reelection bid.Rice, a five-term congressman, was defeated Tuesday by state Rep. Russell Fry, who was endorsed by Trump. Rice was a strong supporter of Trump’s policies in Washington but said he was left no choice but to impeach Trump over his failure to calm the mob that violently sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.Related video above: Paul Ryan endorses South Carolina’s anti-Trump Republican candidateU.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, another South Carolina Republican who angered Trump, was hovering just above the 50% threshold needed to avert a runoff in her GOP primary. Rice attracted a half-dozen GOP challengers after his vote to impeach Trump. All had cited the vote as a mark of disloyalty to both the former president and Rice’s constituents in the 7th Congressional District, which heavily supported Trump in his two campaigns.Rice, an otherwise consistent supporter of Trump’s policies, stood by his vote, acknowledging it could lead to his ouster but saying he followed his conscience.Trump had vowed revenge against the 10 House Republicans who crossed party lines to impeach him. Four of the 10 decided against seeking reelection. A fifth, Rep. David Valadao of California, is still waiting to hear the results of his primary election from last week; he is fighting for the second spot in a race where the top two finishers advance to the general election in November.Trump had campaigned with Fry earlier this year and described Rice as “respected by no one.”The 7th Congressional District is strongly Republican and likely to remain in the party’s hands this fall. The district includes the tourist hotspot of Myrtle Beach and a number of inland, rural areas.U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, on the other hand, managed to hold off a primary challenge from former state Rep. Katie Arrington, who was recruited by Trump. Arrington also sought the 1st Congressional District seat in 2018, ousting then-U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in a GOP primary before going on to lose to Joe Cunningham in Democrat’s first red-blue seat flip in South Carolina in decades.Mace won the seat back for Republicans in 2020 with Trump’s help. But the former president turned against her in part due to Mace’s criticism of his role in the Capitol violence. She also infuriated Trump by voting to certify Biden’s win in the 2020 election and to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.But unlike Rice, Mace sought to make amends for angering Trump. Earlier this year, she filmed a video in New York outside Trump Tower to remind her constituents that she was one of the former president’s “earliest supporters.” She had worked for his 2016 campaign and had his backing in her 2020 run.Mace will face Democrat Annie Andrews in the November general election.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina has been ousted from Congress in his Republican primary after voting to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection. He is the first of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to lose a reelection bid.

Rice, a five-term congressman, was defeated Tuesday by state Rep. Russell Fry, who was endorsed by Trump. Rice was a strong supporter of Trump’s policies in Washington but said he was left no choice but to impeach Trump over his failure to calm the mob that violently sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

Related video above: Paul Ryan endorses South Carolina’s anti-Trump Republican candidate

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, another South Carolina Republican who angered Trump, was hovering just above the 50% threshold needed to avert a runoff in her GOP primary.

Rice attracted a half-dozen GOP challengers after his vote to impeach Trump. All had cited the vote as a mark of disloyalty to both the former president and Rice’s constituents in the 7th Congressional District, which heavily supported Trump in his two campaigns.

Rice, an otherwise consistent supporter of Trump’s policies, stood by his vote, acknowledging it could lead to his ouster but saying he followed his conscience.

Trump had vowed revenge against the 10 House Republicans who crossed party lines to impeach him. Four of the 10 decided against seeking reelection. A fifth, Rep. David Valadao of California, is still waiting to hear the results of his primary election from last week; he is fighting for the second spot in a race where the top two finishers advance to the general election in November.

Trump had campaigned with Fry earlier this year and described Rice as “respected by no one.”

The 7th Congressional District is strongly Republican and likely to remain in the party’s hands this fall. The district includes the tourist hotspot of Myrtle Beach and a number of inland, rural areas.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, on the other hand, managed to hold off a primary challenge from former state Rep. Katie Arrington, who was recruited by Trump. Arrington also sought the 1st Congressional District seat in 2018, ousting then-U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in a GOP primary before going on to lose to Joe Cunningham in Democrat’s first red-blue seat flip in South Carolina in decades.

Mace won the seat back for Republicans in 2020 with Trump’s help. But the former president turned against her in part due to Mace’s criticism of his role in the Capitol violence. She also infuriated Trump by voting to certify Biden’s win in the 2020 election and to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.

But unlike Rice, Mace sought to make amends for angering Trump. Earlier this year, she filmed a video in New York outside Trump Tower to remind her constituents that she was one of the former president’s “earliest supporters.” She had worked for his 2016 campaign and had his backing in her 2020 run.

Mace will face Democrat Annie Andrews in the November general election.

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