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Scandal-prone Rep. Madison Cawthorn concedes loss in North Carolina GOP primary: Report

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 5/18/2022 Kate Scanlon
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Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina conceded losing the 11th Congressional District primary on Tuesday after a series of scandals since his election in 2020, ending his congressional career after a single term. In an upset victory, State Sen. Chuck Edwards defeated Cawthorn to win the Republican nomination in the district.

Cawthorn called Edwards to concede late Tuesday, Cawthorn campaign spokesperson Luke Ball told The Associated Press.

Polling in the Republican primary race was sparse, so it was unclear prior to the primary election how voters would react to a slew of recent scandals and unforced errors by Cawthorn, 26. Former President Donald Trump, with whom Cawthorn has closely aligned himself, acknowledged his “mistakes,” in asking his supporters to give the congressman another chance.


“When Madison was first elected to Congress, he did a great job,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social, his social media platform. “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again…let’s give Madison a second chance!”

After originally seeking to switch districts amid the state’s redistricting process, Cawthorn ultimately returned to the 11th District, where he faced seven Republican challengers seeking to deny him a second term, including Edwards. Sen. Thom Tillis, who will become the state’s senior senator after the upcoming retirement of Sen. Richard Burr, endorsed Edwards, blasting Cawthorn as unfit for the role as scandals piled up.

Some of Cawthorn’s recent controversies include suggesting those who object to the 2020 election results “lightly threaten” members of Congress and labeling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” amid Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the country. He also claimed Washington lawmakers invited him to a cocaine-fueled orgy before walking back the comments after a meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Cawthorn also generated negative headlines about himself after driving with a revoked license and attempting to bring a loaded gun into an airport multiple times. As the scandals, many of which happened just weeks before the primary, piled up, lewd images and videos of Cawthorn, an ethics complaint about staff pay, and allegations over insider trading also emerged.


The 11th District is considered a safe Republican seat, making Edwards’ election to Congress in the fall likely.

One of Cawthorn's fiercest Republican foes in Congress came from the Senate side of the Capitol. Sen. Thom Tillis threw his support behind Edwards in his primary challenge to Cawthorn, and made his joy known on Tuesday night when the race was called.

"Republicans chose tonight because he is the embodiment of Mountain values who will fight for them every single day in Congress with honor and integrity! #ncpol #nc11," Tillis tweeted.


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Tags: News, Madison Cawthorn, 2022 Elections, Donald Trump, Republican, Thom Thillis

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: Scandal-prone Rep. Madison Cawthorn concedes loss in North Carolina GOP primary: Report


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