Posted For: MugsMalone
This story was originally published on Aug. 9 but was updated Aug. 16 to include the results of two House races involving incumbent Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Liz Cheney.
Former President Donald Trump’s vow to seek revenge on the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him for alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack has been tested in key primary elections this season.
The second House impeachment vote against Trump was the most bipartisan ever when those 10 Republicans defected from their party and joined with 222 other House Democrats to impeach him.
Trump has dedicated much of his post-presidency to purging the GOP of anyone he sees as disloyal.
Four of those 10 Republicans are retiring from Congress, while the other six faced re-election bids, including primaries in which Trump often loomed larger than their actual opponent.
Here’s how those Republicans are faring now.
Cheney has been the most outspoken critic of the former president and lost her reelection bid Tuesday in a primary against Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.
She is currently serving as vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee investigating Trump’s role in the Capitol attack and is one of two House Republicans on the committee.
“Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,” she said in an address late June. She has repeatedly called for the Republican Party to move on from Trump, believing he is a threat to American democracy.
In response to Cheney’s vote and her vocal opposition to Trump, the House Republican Conference voted to oust her from her leadership position as chair, the No. 3 House GOP slot.
She faced an uphill battle in Wyoming’s Republican primary. Trump-endorsed candidate and eventual winner Harriet Hageman, unlike Cheney, has expressed doubt about the validity of 2020 election and President Joe Biden’s victory.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
Herrera Beutler last week conceded to her Trump-endorsed challenger Joe Kent, who defeated her by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Kent was one of eight opponents she faced after voting to impeach the former president and one of three to push Trump’s false claims of a fraudulent 2020 election.
“I see that my own party will be best served when those among us choose truth. I believe President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him,” Beutler said before her vote to impeach Trump.
Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich.
Meijer is the most recent pro-impeachment House Republican to lose a re-election bid to a Trump-endorsed challenger.
The freshman congressman lost to John Gibbs, a former official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during Trump’s presidency. Gibbs has echoed Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 election.
In a roundtable discussion hosted by WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids, Mich., Gibbs said the 2020 election results were “simply, mathematically impossible.”
Gibbs received unlikely support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which released ads that called Gibbs too conservative. The House Democrats’ campaign arm believes Gibbs will be an easier opponent in the general election than Meijer.
Following his loss to Gibbs, Meijer said in a statement, “I’m proud to have remained true to my principles, even when doing so came at a significant political cost.”
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.
Newhouse, a pro-impeachment House Republican from Washington, successfully staved off a challenge from Trump-backed Loren Culp, who has espoused Trump’s false claims of election fraud.
Washington is one of two states in the country to use a top-two primary system, where the top-two vote getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. (California is the other state that uses a top-two primary system.)
Newhouse strongly condemned Trump for his inaction on Jan. 6, saying in a statement announcing his impeachment vote: “Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office.”
Newhouse will face off against Democratic nominee Doug White in November.
Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
In South Carolina, pro-impeachment House Republican Tom Rice was defeated by challenger Russel Fry in a June primary. Fry won Trump’s endorsement in large part because of Rice’s condemnation of the former president.
“Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, the coward who abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left, and who actually voted against me on Impeachment Hoax #2, must be thrown out of office ASAP,” said Trump in a statement endorsing Fry.
Rice lost to Fry by almost 25 percentage points.
“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But this utter failure is inexcusable,” Rice said in a statement following his vote to impeach Trump.
Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.
Valadao is the only pro-impeachment House Republican who has not faced a Trump-backed primary challenger this election season.
“President Trump was, without question, a driving force in the catastrophic events that took place on January 6,” Valadao said in a statement after his vote to impeach Trump.
In California’s top-two primary, Valadao eked out second place against former Fresno City Councilmember, Chris Mathys, by a little more than 700 votes.
Mathys sued California’s Secretary of State to be listed on the ballot as a “Trump Conservative/ Businessman.” He was listed instead as a “Businessman/Rancher.”
Valadao will be facing against Democratic California State Representative Rudy Salas, in what is expected to be a tough election after Democrats redrew his district to be more Democratic-leaning.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio
Gonzalez was the first of four House Republicans to announce plans to retire after their impeachment votes.
“While my desire to build a fuller family life is at the heart of my decision, it is also true that the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision,” Gonzales said in a statement, alluding to the House GOP’s loyalty to Trump.
Prior to his retirement, Trump called Gonzalez a “grandstanding RINO” during an Ohio rally last summer and endorsed Max Miller, a former White House aide, to challenge Gonzalez.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
Kinzinger is the only other Republican on the Jan. 6 Committee; since announcing his retirement, he has continuously criticized Trump.
“Donald Trump’s conduct on January 6th was a supreme violation of his oath of office and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation,” Kinzinger said during the Jan. 6 committee’s eighth public hearing.
Kinzinger has pledged to remain active in politics but has yet to provide much detail on his plans, announcing in a video that his retirement was not “the end of my political future but the beginning.”
Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.
Katko was the third House Republican to announce his retirement after the impeachment vote, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
“Great news, another one bites the dust. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!” Trump responded in a statement.
In an interview in March with Syracuse.com, Katko said Trump played no role in his decision to retire and expressed confidence that if he ran again, he would have been re-elected.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
Upton was the last of the four House Republicans who declined to seek re-election after voting to impeach Trump.
“Even the best stories has a last chapter. This is it for me,” Upton said in announcing his retirement on the House floor in April.
“UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go,” Trump said in a statement at the time. “Others losing badly, who’s next?”
Upton is Michigan’s longest serving member of Congress, but his district was later redrawn to pit him against another Republican incumbent, Rep. Bill Huizenga, who did not vote to impeach Trump and earned his endorsement.