May 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Madison Cawthorn loses N.C. GOP House primary

Madison Cawthorn. Photo: . Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards defeated Rep. Madison Cawthorn to win the Republican nomination for the state's 11th congressional district on Tuesday, according to a Cawthorn campaign spokesperson who said the congressman called Edwards and conceded the race.

Why it matters: Cawthorn's loss comes after an avalanche of scandals that have plagued the 26-year-old incumbent, which led GOP leaders across the country to doubt his ability to serve in Congress.

  • Cawthorn briefly flirted with running in a congressional district that included the larger Charlotte media market last year before changing his mind.
  • Cawthorn's struggles led U.S. Sen Thom Tillis and two of North Carolina's top legislative leaders to endorse Edwards.
  • Former President Trump seemed to support Cawthorn but has stopped short of issuing an outright endorsement, though Cawthorn did appear at a Trump rally last month.

Catch up quick: Cawthorn aggravated higher-ups in Congress by alleging, without evidence, that his colleagues used cocaine and invited him to orgies earlier this year. He later told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that the claims were untrue and "exaggerated."

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