10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump. Cheney is the last to face primary voters.




  • In Politics
  • 2022-08-13 11:01:00Z
  • By Politico
 

Rep. Liz Cheney's primary on Tuesday will cap off a tumultuous year for the small band of House Republicans who broke from their party to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection - and almost all of them will be gone when the next Congress begins in January.

The 10 Republicans faced the wrath of GOP voters back home and Trump's scorched-earth revenge tour, in which he endorsed Republican challengers loyal to him in nearly every district.

The near-final scorecard, ahead of Cheney's tough upcoming race: Four of the Republican impeachment voters retired instead of running for reelection. Another three lost in primaries to Trump-backed opponents. And just two advanced to the general election, though one of them faces a tough race against a Democratic opponent.

Here's where they stand:

Wyoming's At-Large District
Rep. Liz Cheney

The one-time rising star among House Republicans is staring down the end of her career in the chamber.

After voting for Trump's impeachment and doubling down by joining the Jan. 6th committee investigating the lead-up to the attacks, the former No. 3 House Republican was censured and removed from her leadership position. She also faces a massive uphill climb in her upcoming re-election this month.

The latest poll from the Casper Star-Tribune shows Cheney garnering just 30 percent of support compared to Trump-endorsed opponent Harriet Hagemen's 52 percent, only days before the primary. Cheney's campaign has tried to recruit Wyoming Democrats to cross party lines to vote for her, but the poll numbers are consistent with what Republican internal surveys have shown over the last year-plus.

The 55-year-old Cheney may not be done with politics if she loses her seat - she's already getting questions about a potential 2024 presidential bid.

Ohio's 16th District
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez

Gonzalez announced in September that his congressional career was coming to an end, just two terms after voters first elected the former Ohio State and NFL wide receiver. Trump endorsed a former aide, Max Miller, to run against him, though Miller - who has a history of aggressive behavior - ended up running in a different district after redistricting shifted the congressional map.

The added stress and vitriol impeachment added to his personal and political life convinced Gonzalez to bow out of reelection - the first of the four impeachment-backing Republicans to do so.

"Politically the environment is so toxic, especially in our own party right now," he said in an interview with The New York Times explaining his decision.

Along with his impeachment vote, Gonzalez later sided with Democrats to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify to the Jan. 6 committee.

Washington's 3rd District
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

Herrera Beutler conceded this week in her primary against Trump-backed Republican Joe Kent, who squeaked in front of her to claim the second general election spot out of a crowded all-party primary.

In addition to her vote for impeachment, Herrera Beutler revealed details of a phone conversation between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump on January 6 where the former president told McCarthy that the rioters cared more about the election results than the GOP leader did.

Herrera Beutler and her allies vastly outspent Kent, with several super PACs pouring money into the district to help her. Kent's win means he and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez will face off in the GOP-leaning district in November.

New York's 24th District
Rep. John Katko

Katko decided not to run for reelection earlier this year. The ranking member on the Committee on Homeland Security and a former assistant U.S. attorney, Katko voted to impeach Trump because he said allowing the then-president "to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy."

Katko had a bipartisan reputation and held onto a blue-leaning seat even during good Democratic years over the last decade. His district took in new territory when New York redrew its congressional lines this year, and the campaign to replace him looks set to be a hard-fought battleground campaign.

Illinois' 16th District
Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Kinzinger chose not to run for reelection, ending his 12-year career in the House. The Air Force veteran had long been a popular politician in a pro-Trump district, but he decided to vote for impeachment after deciding that Trump breached Article II of the Constitution by inciting the insurrection.

Since then, Kinzinger became one of two Republicans, alongside Cheney, to serve on the House Jan. 6 committee investigating the attack on the Capitol.

Kinzinger's seat was splintered into pieces when Illinois Democrats redrew the state's congressional map. He appears to be setting himself up to remain active in politics: A pair of outside groups aligned with Kinzinger have been active in the midterm election cycle, and the nonprofit is preparing to recruit and train "pro-freedom, pro-democracy" candidates who are considering careers in politics.

Michigan's 3rd District
Rep. Peter Meijer

The freshman Republican voted to charge Trump with inciting the Capitol insurrection only days into his first term. Earlier this month, Republican voters ousted him in a primary in favor of a former Trump administration official.

The GOP nomination went to Trump-backed election denier John Gibbs. Rep. Meijer's reason for voting on impeachment had been based on his belief that Trump "betrayed millions with claims of a 'stolen election.'" The stance would cost him his job, though, as Republican's coalesced around Gibbs' claim of election fraud.

And Democrats, who hope to capture the seat in the fall, gave Meijer a push toward the exit by airing $425,000 in ads linking Gibbs to Trump just before the primary. It was some of the only spending on Gibbs' behalf in a primary that featured heavy advertising from Meijer's campaign and from pro-Meijer super PACs.

Washington's 4th District
Rep. Dan Newhouse

Newhouse is a rare primary success story in this group, edging out a flurry of competitors grasping for his seat and setting himself up for reelection in a deep-red district.

Newhouse outspent all other candidates in a fractured eight-person race, with every candidate appearing on the same ballot and the top two advancing to the general election regardless of party. He finished several points ahead of Trump-endorsed Loren Culp, a former candidate for governor.

Newhouse also has a background in the agriculture industry, and used that to his advantage in the rural district to distinguish himself from the impeachment vote.

South Carolina's 7th District
Rep. Tom Rice

The soft-spoken five-term congressman lost his reelection bid in the June GOP primary, falling to Trump-endorsed state legislator Russell Fry.

Rice had comfortably held his deep-red seat since it was drawn in 2012. But Fry captured a majority of the primary vote after Rice's impeachment decision, campaigning against Rice's vote and sinking the incumbent to less than a quarter of Republican support. Trump even showed up in person to campaign against Rice, who was a staunch supporter of the former president until the insurrection at the Capitol.

Rice has told POLITICO that he and his family have received death threats since the vote, but he doesn't regret it.

Michigan's 6th District
Rep. Fred Upton

One of the longest-tenured members of Congress - and the only one to vote to impeach two different presidents - opted for retirement instead of running for another term in 2022.

Upton voted to charge then-President Bill Clinton in 1998 and then to impeach Trump after the Capitol insurrection. He was first elected in 1986 and largely won reelection easily since then, though the district was closely divided at the presidential level in 2020. Trump endorsed a Republican state legislator, Steve Carra, to go up against Upton in 2022 - but the decision was preempted by Michigan's redistricting, which shifted the map in Upton's home region, and then by Upton's move to retire.

California's 21st District
Rep. David Valadao

Valadao was able to quietly escape Trump's wrath and advance from his all-party primary to the general election, becoming the only GOP impeachment voter to run for another term without Trump storming in to endorse a challenger.

That may have something to do with Valadao's district neighbor, McCarthy, who is said to have urged Trump to sit this one out considering the district's battleground status. Valadao narrowly won the seat back from the Democrats in 2020 with 51 percent of the vote, while Biden carried the district by 10 points. Due to redistricting, the seat has gotten more blue, putting Valadao at greater risk of losing public office in the general election.

Even though Trump sat out the all-party primary in June, Valadao only finished a handful of points ahead of a pro-Trump challenger to secure the general election slot. Now, Valadao is battling with Democratic state lawmaker Rudy Salas one-on-one.

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