Rep. Tom Rice got Tuesday what many of former President Donald Trump's supporters feel the South Carolina Republican deserved: a crushing defeat in his own party primary, with 51% of primary voters supporting Trump-endorsed challenger State Rep. Russell Fry and only 25% backing the four term incumbent.
"This is Trump country," State Republican Chairman Drew McKissick told Newsmax last year, adding that despite the five-term incumbent's record of supporting the 45th president on nearly every issue, his vote to impeach Trump would be hard to explain in a district which gave Trump 59% of the vote in 2020.
He was right. In a 7-candidate field, the third-place finisher (12%) was businesswoman Barbara Arthur — who also attacked Rice's vote for the Trump impeachment and declared that the U.S. was headed in the same direction as her native Cuba under Communism.
In becoming the first of the ten Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment to be defeated at the polls, Rice, 64, made it clear he had no regrets about his position regardless of political consequences.
"There is no part of the votes I cast that consider what support I will lose for casting them," Rice told Newsmax last year, adding his view that congressmen who calculate support and loss of support from their votes are "unworthy of the office."
Rice also criticized his Republican colleagues for trying to oust Wyoming's Rep. Liz Cheney as chair of the House GOP Conference for also supporting impeachment.
"You don't punish someone for a vote of conscience," he said.
All of this did not play well in South Carolina's 7th District, which is now sure to elect Fry to succeed Rice in the fall.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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