Congressman Madison Cawthorn will be a one term lawmaker after losing Tuesday night’s GOP primary for North Carolina’s 11th District to state senator Chuck Edwards.
Several GOP leaders turned away from Cawthorn, 26, after a series of negative headlines. Cawthorn has called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” as he leads his country’s resistance against the invading Russian army. He was also caught driving without a valid license, accused of insider trading, said fellow lawmakers invited him to cocaine-fueled orgies, brought a gun to the airport twice, accused of being a “habitual liar” with more liquor bottles than water bottles in his office, photographed wearing a lingerie at a party, and recently was seen naked on video simulating sex acts in bed with another man.
Weeks before the primary voters in his district had mixed feelings about the freshman Republican lawmaker’s re-election amid the many scandals surrounding him. Despite this he had a comfortable lead over Edwards heading into Tuesday’s primary.
However, Cawthorn fell short on Tuesday night, losing to Edwards, even with the endorsement of Donald Trump.
Edwards was endorsed by GOP Sen. Thom Tillis and several Republican leaders in North Carolina.
Both Edwards and Cawthorn received more than 30% of the vote so there will be no runoff election in July.
Cawthorn had already called Edwards to concede the race, his spokesperson Luke Ball says.
Edwards confirmed he received a call from the lawmaker in remarks to his supporters on Tuesday, “I received a call from Congressman Cawthorn just a few of minutes ago, just as I expected he presented himself in a very classy and humble way and offered his support to our campaign in absolutely anyway that we can use him.”
Edwards will face Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in November.