MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Tom Rice, the only Republican member of South Carolina’s Congressional delegation who voted for Donald Trump’s impeachment in 2021, has lost his bid for re-election.
Election results show State Rep. Russell Fry, who had Trump's backing, won with 51 percent of the vote Tuesday in a field of seven candidates. Rice was second with just 25 percent.
Rice now becomes the the first House Republican who voted to impeach Trump to be ousted.
Rice had been a relatively uncontroversial and reliable conservative, representing his area since the district was first created for the 2012 But last year, Rice was one of just 10 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote for Trump’s impeachment over the January 6th at the U.S. Capitol. Many of his GOP colleagues who made that same choice decided not to seek re-election, fearing a primary challenge.
All of Rice’s challengers cited the vote as a mark of disloyalty to both the former president and Rice's constituents in the 7th Congressional District, which heavily supported Trump in his two campaigns. Trump endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry, a member of the South Carolina General Assembly, in the race.
Rice, an otherwise consistent supporter of Trump's policies, has stood by his vote, acknowledging before that race that it could lead to his ouster but saying he followed his conscience.
Rice's district includes the tourist hotspot of Myrtle Beach and a number of inland, rural areas.