Republicans in western North Carolina on Tuesday voted to oust controversial Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) from Congress, choosing state Sen. Chuck Edwards as the Republican nominee for the heavily conservative 11th congressional district.
The electoral defeat comes weeks after Cawthorn, a physically challenged US veteran was seen in a leaked video thrusting the mouth of a man and making weird noises while another man cheered him on.
The AP called the race for Edwards at 11:09 p.m. Eastern time, as Edwards led Cawthorn 33.4% to 31.9% with nearly all the vote counted.
Cawthorn called Edwards at around 10 p.m. Tuesday to concede defeat, according to multiple reports, citing Cawthorn spokesman Luke Ball.
Sexually suggestive image leaked showing Cawthorn in women’s lingerie and naked in bed grabbed headlines, giving the congressman claims to live by traditional, conservative Christain values.
Also in late April, he was cited for having a gun in his carry-on bag at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, while Senator Thom Tillis called for an investigation into allegations Cawthorn took part in an insider trading scheme involving cryptocurrency. He also alleged that D.C. political figures invited him to orgies and did cocaine in front of him.
Reports by the Associated Press say his multiple controversies left the congressman out of favor with party leaders in Washington.
Despite the many scandals and possibility of him losing, former US President Donald Trump endorsed Cawthorn and reaffirmed support for him on Monday, saying on Truth Social: “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again.”
Cawthorn was only 25 when he won his first House term in 2020, making him the youngest person elected to Congress since Jed Johnson Jr. in 1964.