The Red Wave is beginning.
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Republicans are pulling forward, but Donald Trump’s endorsement does not seem to sweep the party as it did in 2016.
In South Carolina in 2016, Trump rolled through the state’s presidential primary and beat Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz by double-digits, and now Trump’s presence in SC is mixed.
Daily Beast reports that in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, Russell Fry, a state legislator endorsed by the former president, defeated incumbent Rep. Tom Rice. For Trump, Fry’s win was personal: Rice voted to impeach him in the aftermath of the insurrection.
In return, Rice earned Trump’s ire and death threats from the former president’s supporters. His loss came as no surprise. Incumbency did not save him.
Rice remained unrepentant to the end. “I was livid,” Rice said. “I took an oath to protect the Constitution and I did it then and I would do it again tomorrow,” the Beast continues.
Also in South Carolina, Katie Arrington, a former state legislator backed by Trump, conceded her contest with incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace, noted the Daily Beast.
Mace had hammered Arrington for losing her security clearance as a civilian at the Pentagon. South Carolina is home to a large number of veterans. That did not deter Trump from backing Arrington—a move that had more to do with his anger at the incumbent than his opinion of her challenger, the Daily beast notes.
Mace’s sin? She offended Trump by voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. She also criticized the insurrection. Mace wouldn’t fully embrace the Big Lie even as she voted against impeachment.
Mace repeatedly stressed her personal support for Trump, and let his backers know that she still stood with them. The congresswoman swallowed her pride and groveled. On primary night it paid off.
Limitations surrounding Trump’s endorsement echoed Georgia and Pennsylvania, several weeks ago.
In the Peach State, Trump triumphed with Gov. Brian Kemp sailing to renomination and Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state who rejected Trump’s appeal to just “find 11,780 votes,” avoiding a run-off.
Their wins came after Mehmet Oz won in a slim margin in Pennsylvania even with Trump’s endorsement.
On the other hand, the hearings held by the House special committee do not appear to have impacted the outcomes in the Palmetto State, the Daily Beast noted. Indeed, they were irrelevant.
Significantly, Mace received the active support of Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s former governor and a Trump UN ambassador who finds herself on the “outs” with Trump.
In the days before the primary, Haley appeared on the stump with Mace, the Daily Beast continues.
Haley’s relationship with her former boss is complicated, to put it mildly. On Jan. 7, 2021, Haley told the Republican National Committee that Trump “was badly wrong with his words.” She added that his “actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”
Weeks later, Haley told Politico that Trump had “fallen so far”, and that she was “deeply disturbed by what’s happened to him.”
Yet, in the summer of 2021, Jared Kushner’s parents donated to Haley’s political operation, and Charlie Kushner, Jared’s father, predicted Haley would be “the first woman president, the Daily Beast reported. ”
Then, a few months later, Trump said of Haley, “Well, every time she criticizes me, she uncriticizes me about 15 minutes later.”
Haley knows her state and seems to be on an even keel with Trump.
Meanwhile, in Texas, a district that Joe Biden won by less than 5 points in 2016 has gone Red.
Republicans spent big to sweep a special election in Texas’ 34th Congressional District, Gateway Pundit reported.
The seat “ranges from east of San Antonio down to Brownsville, largely along the Gulf Coast before reaching the US-Mexico border,” CNN reported.
Democrat Rep. Filemon Vela resigned earlier this spring and the Republicans are fighting to take the seat, although it will be gone this fall due to redistricting, Gateway Pundit continued.
Republican Mayra Flores won the special election against leading Democrat Dan Sanchez.
Flores will be the first Mexican-born congresswoman.
Valley Central reported:
Mayra Flores is the unofficial winner as the United States representative for District 34.
Flores defeated Dan Sanchez, Juana ‘Janie’ Cantu-Cabrera, and Rene Coronado, receiving 14,780 votes.
Flores has won 51 percent of the election total. Because Flores received more than half the votes, there will be no need for a run-off.
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Flores will assume former representative Filemon Vela’s seat and will be holding the position until January.
The Mexican native graduated in 2014 as a Respiratory Care Practitioner with the support of her family.
Defeated Sanchez is a Harlington lawyer and former Cameron County commissioner, while Flores is a respiratory therapist.
Flores’ win is the first GOP victory in the Rio Grands Valley since Reconstruction in 1871, and with Trump gaining strides in popularity in south Texas, typically Democrat, the win is a victory flag of celebrations to come.