Trump-backed candidate Russell Fry beats incumbent Tom Rice in SC House primary

Trump backed candidate Russell Fry beats incumbent Tom Rice in SC

A candidate backed by former President Donald Trump defeated Congressman Tom Rice in Tuesday’s South Carolina GOP primary after the five-term incumbent voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection.

State lawmaker Russell Fry defeated Rice in the 7th Congressional District when he garnered roughly double the number of votes the congress member received in the Republican primary election.

By the time the race was called by The Associated Press, Fry had earned 51% of votes compared to the incumbent’s 25% — with about 95% of votes tallied.

Fry, who was elected to the state legislature in 2015, was endorsed by Trump and has repeatedly slammed Rice as a RINO, a.k.a. Republican In Name Only.

Rice was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a count of incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Trump called Rice a “coward who abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left” and said he must be thrown out of office in February, while simultaneously endorsing Fry.

The 45th president captured 59% of the vote in South Carolina’s 7th District in 2020, according to local newspaper The Post and Courier.

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) was one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment after the January 6th Capitol riots.
Getty Images

After Rice voted to impeach Trump, several Republican challengers decided to run against him for a total of seven names on the GOP ballot. Barbara Arthur came in third with more than 13% of the vote.

Another Palmetto State Republican incumbent, freshman Rep. Nancy Mace, faced a Trump-endorsed challenger in her district primary but was able to hold onto her seat.

Mace captured nearly 53% percent of votes, while Trump’s pick, state Rep. Katie Arrington, earned about 45% in the GOP primary for the 1st District, with 89% of votes counted — narrowly missing a run-off.

Mace grew the ire of Trump after she publicly criticized him over the Jan. 6 riot. In turn, the former president backed Arrington.

“Nancy fights Republicans all the time and is not at all nice about it,” Trump said in a statement Sunday night. “Frankly, she is despised by almost everyone, and who needs that in Congress, or in the Republican Party?”

Fry will face Democrat Daryl Scott and Mace will face Democrat Annie Andrews in November. Both GOPers are expected to easily win in the general election.

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