Two years after 10 House Republicans broke with their party and voted to impeach President Donald Trump in the January 6 uprising, only two will remain in Congress in 2023.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (Wash.) and Rep. David Valadao (California) won re-election. Four other members of the group — including notable Trump critics like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — had previously lost main battles to Trump-backed challengers, and the other four decided not to even try. keep their jobs. Trump has repeatedly threatened that bloc, saying opposing his incitement to an attack on the U.S. Capitol meant lawmakers had abandoned conservative values.
The change shows how firm Trump’s grip on the GOP has become. Leading candidates who defeated Reps. Cheney, Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), and Tom Rice (RS.C.) highlighted their personal loyalty to Trump and the alleged betrayal of their rivals to him. .
Newhouse faced off against six Republican challengers in his dark red district of eastern Washington state – shattering the ardently pro-Trump vote and helping him secure a narrow victory in the GOP primary. He then campaigned with an ultraconservative message that often echoed Trump’s talking points on immigration. Newhouse downplayed his impeachment vote and highlighted his background in the agricultural industry, a major force in his rural district. In the end, he managed to beat top Democratic candidate Doug White.
Meanwhile, Valadao was the only member of the group not to face a primary challenger backed by Trump, reportedly thanks to an intervention by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (California). Running in a competitive central California district he only narrowly won in 2020, Valadao criticized Democrats’ economic policies and said he would not support Trump as the Republican presidential nominee of 2024.
Asked if he stands by his impeachment vote, he recently told a local ABC affiliate: “I don’t see any evidence to change anything.”
Pro-democracy groups saw an opportunity. They attacked Valadao as a hardliner on reproductive rights, pointing to his sponsorship of legislation banning abortion without exception, and tried to discourage Republicans from supporting him. Redistricting in California had also made the seat bluer, reviving the hopes of Valadao’s Democratic opponent, Rudy Salas.
The midterm election results mean the entire House GOP conference is now overwhelmingly tied to Trump — as are most Republicans in the Senate. Seven Republican senators also voted to convict the former president for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 attack, but only one, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), was up for re-election and chose to run for another term.
The Huffington Gt