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 riot.
Rice, a five-term congressman, was defeated Tuesday by state Rep. Russell Fry, who was endorsed by Trump. Decision Desk called the race at 10:36pm, with over 95 percent of the vote in. Fry earned 51.08 percent of the vote to Rep. Rice’s 24.57 percent.
Rep. Rice was one of 10 Republican House members who had voted to impeach Trump in January of last year, just as he was about to leave office. Rice had been a strong supporter of Trump’s policies in Washington, but said he was left no choice but to impeach Trump over his failure to stop the Capitol riot.
“To me, his gross failure—his inexcusable failure—was when it started,” Rice told the Times last week. “He watched it happen. He reveled in it. And he took no action to stop it. I think he had a duty to try to stop it, and he failed in that duty.”
Rep. Tom Rice, a five-term congressman, attracted a half-dozen GOP challengers, all of which cited Rice’s vote as a mark of disloyalty to both the former president and Rice’s constituents in the 7th Congressional District, which is heavily conservative. Trump won South Carolina in 2016 by 54.9 percent of the vote and by 55.1 percent of the vote in 2020.
Trump had campaigned with Fry earlier this year and described Rice as a “total fool” and a “disaster,” adding, that he is “respected by no one, he’s laughed at in Washington, he was never thought highly of in Washington.”
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