Nine of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are already facing primary challenges – and some of them may have a very hard time holding on to their seats.
Trump vows to work against those Republicans as they run for reelection in 2022, and has already endorsed one primary challenger and signaled there are more to come.
“Instead of attacking me and, more importantly, the voters of our movement, top establishment Republicans in Washington should be spending their energy in opposing Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and the Democrats,” Trump said in his February CPAC speech.
“Get rid of them all,” he said of the Republicans who voted to impeach him.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Trump was impeached over his alleged role in inspiring the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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Here’s a breakdown of the developing primary challenges.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
Cheney, the highest-profile Republican favoring impeachment, was the House Republican conference chair when she cast her vote. Cheney, at the urging of Trump and his allies, was eventually deposed from her leadership post but still faces a horde of at least eight primary challengers aiming to remove her from office.
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard has raised the most money so far, recently eclipsing $500,000. Bouchard told Fox News that Cheney’s impeachment vote “made it obvious … to everyone” that “she has not had a conservative vote in Washington.”
Cheney, for her part, has been defiant amid the harsh criticism of her opposition to Trump.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. House Republicans meet at the Capitol to decide whether to remove Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership post, in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP)
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“Bring it on,” she said on NBC when asked about the desire of Trump and his allies to back a primary challenger. “As I said, if they think that they are going to come into Wyoming and make the argument that the people of Wyoming should vote for someone who is loyal to Donald Trump over somebody who is loyal to the Constitution, I welcome that debate.”
Other candidates running against Cheney include veteran Denton Knapp, Wyoming state Rep. Chuck Gray and lawyer Darin Smith.
Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
Rice is also facing a bevy of pro-Trump Republicans gunning for his job. Among the announced candidates are former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride and state Rep. William Bailey.
One of the more unique candidates in the race is Graham Allen, who gained prominence as a right-leaning influencer rather than through holding office.
“I think that President Trump showed the world that you don’t have to be a politician to become a politician,” Allen told Fox News.
“President Trump showed the world that you don’t have to be a politician to become a politician.”
— Graham Allen, GOP primary opponent to Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
“Tom Rice forgot his place,” Allen added. “It’s Tom Rice’s job to be the conduit – that is the voice – of the people that he represents. He did not do that.”
Rice told Fox News that he’s “faced challengers in every election. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how I’ve been working every day in Congress on behalf of my constituents.
“From broadband investment, infrastructure investment, beachfront renourishment and federal disaster relief, to ensuring our pro-life values and the Second Amendment remain protected from House Democrats, I’m proud to represent the interests of the people of the 7th District,” Rice added.
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Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
Herrera Beutler faces challenges from at least four candidates, including former Green Beret Joe Kent.
“Rep. Beutler voted for the impeachment of President Trump based on a false narrative that Trump inspired an armed insurrection against the Capitol,” Kent told Fox News in an email. “But the facts don’t matter to the left or Rep. Beutler.”
Kent said in an interview with Fox News that part of the reason he supports Trump is because the former president took steps to remove American troops from Syria. He experienced the personal tragedy of America’s involvement in the Middle East when his wife, Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, was killed in Syria on Jan. 16, 2019.
In this Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 file photo image taken from video, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol. On Tuesday, Jan. 12 Herrera Beutler came out in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump over the riot at the Capitol. (House Television via AP, File
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