The latest round of primaries for November’s midterms unfolded in Maine, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas. South Carolina’s primaries produced mixed results for former President Donald Trump.
In perhaps the biggest win for Trump, five-term Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) lost his primary to state Rep. Russell Fry. According to the state’s elections website, it wasn’t particularly close. State Rep. Fry took home over over 51% of the vote in a field of seven, with Rep. Rice coming in a distant second with 24.5% of the vote.
“I had hoped the situation would be reversed, but again, this seat doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the voters,” Rice said Tuesday night. “I am just so blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to represent them for ten years.”
Trump threw his support behind Fry, likely because Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Tuesday’s result makes Rice the first out of the 10 to be voted out of office. Four others decided against seeking reelection. A fifth, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), is still waiting to hear the results of his primary election from last week.
While Trump was successful in helping oust Rice, he was unable to do the same for Rep. Nancy Mase (R-SC). Rep. Mase had also been critical of Trump over Jan. 6, saying his “entire legacy was wiped out” by the attack.
Trump backed Mase’s opponent for Tuesday’s primary, former state Rep. Katie Arrington. According to the elections website, Mace won by a roughly seven-point margin. A major factor in Mase’s win was the support from former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, as well as former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
“It means a lot. Last time I ran in 2020, I didn’t get any of those kinds of endorsements after I won the nomination,” Mace said Tuesday night. “To see that unity come forth is a really big deal to keeping our, our party together.”
Outside of the South Carolina primaries, a special primary in Texas produced a notable result. In that election, GOP organizer Mayra Flores won the U.S. House seat left open when Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) left Congress earlier this year for the private sector.
According to the Texas state elections website, Flores beat three others, including two Democrats, pulling in just under 51% of the vote. She will be the GOP nominee for the seat against Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) in November. The election will be under a new district map that is more favorable to Democrats.