Updated Sep 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House Republicans pull ads from Ohio Trump district

J.R. Majewski

Photo: Dustin Franz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans have withdrawn their advertising for Ohio Republican J.R. Majewski, a MAGA-aligned candidate who was at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots, Axios has learned.

What's happening: The National Republican Congressional Committee withdrew about $1 million in ad reservations for the district, according to a GOP source familiar with its strategy, all but surrendering the seat to Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

Why it matters: Kaptur's redrawn district — which backed Trump by three points in 2020 — once looked like an easy pickup for House Republicans. The GOP is now at risk of squandering another race because Republican primary voters nominated an extreme candidate.

Details: Majewski, an Air Force veteran, has been under fire for sympathizing with the QAnon conspiracy theory movement and saying that every state that backed Trump in 2020 should secede from the United States.

  • The AP reported this week that Majewski misrepresented his military service, inaccurately claiming he was deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. In reality, he spent six months loading planes at an air base in Qatar.
  • The AP wrote: "His post-military career has been defined by exaggerations, conspiracy theories, talk of violent action against the U.S. government and occasional financial duress."
  • During a news conference Friday, Majewski downplayed the reporting, claiming that his military records related to deployment are "classified" and calling it a "hit piece."
  • “The orders and military records that I have been able to obtain from my personal files shows that all of my deployments are listed as classified,”

Zoom in: Democrats have been relentlessly hammering Majewski on television over his extremist views. "He broke through police barricades at the Capitol, then blamed police for the riot. Now he wants to break our country apart," one Kaptur ad says. "He's not just radical, he's dangerous!"

  • During his primary campaign, Majewski ran an ad saying: "I’m willing to do whatever it takes to return this country back to its former glory. And if I’ve got to kick down doors, well, that’s just what patriots do."
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) campaigned for Majewski last month, seeing his race as key to the party's efforts to win back the House majority.
  • Former President Trump didn't endorse Majewski, but praised him at an Ohio rally before the contested primary.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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