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Rep. Madison Cawthorn suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of North Carolina voters on Tuesday.
"In 2020, Madison Cawthorn became the youngest Republican elected to Congress in American history. In 2022, he became the youngest Republican to lose re-election to Congress in American history," Ben Collins wrote for New York magazine. "The 26-year-old Cawthorn lost after a series of self-imposed scandals, controversies, and gaffes. He was repeatedly pulled over speeding while driving without a license, twice took a firearm through airport security, faced allegations of sexual misconduct and insider trading, baselessly accused colleagues of participating in cocaine-fueled orgies, and then there was the weird video of him humping another man."
Earlier Tuesday, Cawthorn called state Sen. Chuck Edwards to concede.
"Republican discontent stretched beyond traditional figures such as Tillis. 'No one from the Freedom Caucus guys to people in MAGA world are happy with how he conducted himself,' says one ally of Donald Trump," Collins reported. "There is a sense that he had behaved even worse than controversial figures such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, who, for all inflammatory rhetoric, was not viewed as “super conceited and cocky.” Another plugged-in Republican strategist put it more bluntly: “The guy is just a total f*ckup and shows the limits of patience and tolerance that the MAGA movement has for complete and utter idiots. It’s breaking laws and recklessness in personal behavior.”
Collins had the support of Donald Trump.
"Still, there was one shred of sympathy for Cawthorn as Tuesday night drew close," Collins reported. "After reading a long Politico profile of Cawthorn describing him as unraveling, one freshman Democrat told Intelligencer that they came away with a feeling of pity towards a colleague. 'I just felt more sympathy than anything else. This is a person who clearly has ambition whose pain and whose ability to create new life through that pain could be inspiring but instead has become self-destructive.'"
Rep. Madison Cawthorn blasted the leadership of the Republican Party after North Carolina Republican voters made him the youngest congressman to lose re-election.
Cawthorn lost to state Sen. Chuck Edwards.
"In rapid succession, Mr. Cawthorn, who entered Congress as a rising star of the party’s far-right, has been accused of falsely suggesting that his Republican colleagues routinely throw cocaine-fueled orgies, insider trading and an inappropriate relationship with a male aide. This week, he was detained at an airport, where police said he tried to bring a loaded handgun onto an airplane, the second time he has attempted that," The New York Times reported in April. "That came just days after pictures surfaced of him wearing women’s lingerie as part of a cruise ship game, imagery that might not go over well in the conservative stretches of his Western North Carolina district. And last month he was charged with driving with a revoked license for the second time since 2017."
Cawthorn discussed his scandals before calling Edwards to concede.
RELATED: Madison Cawthorn just set a record
"You know what? I'll tell you, there has been a coordinated strike by really, kind of, the old establishment wing of our party," he said. "It's a loser's mentality."
"They realize the direction the country's going in, the direction the population's going in and if they want to pay off people from my past and bring up old pictures or things that happened years and years ago, I feel free to let them do that, I think the American people will see through that," he predicted.
"When Donald Trump has your back, he has your back to the end."\n\n\u2014 Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), before he conceded his GOP primary to Chuck Edwardspic.twitter.com/jUbyU9KMl7— The Recount (@The Recount) 1652842647
The youngest man in Congress lost his bid to be renominated by the Republican Party following a string of scandals.
North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost to state Sen. Chuck Edwards.
Cawthorn's campaign was hit with a "series of scandals," the Charlottesville Observer noted.
"It began when he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “a thug” and the Ukrainian government “evil.” It escalated when he went on a podcast and said his congressional colleagues participated in orgies and did key bumps of cocaine," the newspaper reported. "From there he was charged with driving with a revoked license, was caught at an airport for the second time with a gun, accused of insider trading, while photos of him draped in lingerie on a cruise ship and a video of him naked in bed with another person leaked."
MSNBC reports Cawthorn called Edwards to concede.
Cawthorn's loss was also a loss for Donald Trump, a fact noted by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
"Donald Trump endorsed Cawthorn. Cawthorn lost. Ouch," he posted to Twitter.
"Even though Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) was defeated tonight, two of his very controversial endorsees - Sandy Smith (R) in #NC01 and Bo Hines (R) in #NC13 - are narrowly on pace to win GOP primaries in competitive districts. That could be good news for Dems," noted Dave Wasserman of the Cook Politico Report.
Bestselling author Don Winslow explained where he thinks Cawthorn went wrong.
"I warned you: Never, ever, EVER talk about Republican members of Congress and their drug fueled orgies. You can attack America and you can lie, cheat, steal, and assault people - but never talk about those drug fueled orgies," he wrote. "They will come after you!"
Jezebel editor-in-chief Laura Bassett also thinks the discussion of the orgies was decisive.
"Madison Cawthorn lost his House seat tonight after a scorched-earth campaign by his Republican colleagues to get him out— a warning shot to any member who wants to speak out about cocaine and orgies," she wrote.
Politico's San Stein wondered how much damage Cawthorn will inflict on the way out.
"I understand that GOP leadership wants him gone, but a lame duck Cawthorn with 7 months left to serve is gonna be a hold-your-breath ride for them too," he wrote.
"At 26, I’m pretty sure that Madison Cawthorn is the youngest member of Congress to lose a primary," wrote Dave Weigel of The Washington Post.
In 2020, Madison Cawthorn became the youngest Republican elected to Congress in American history. In 2022, he became the youngest Republican to lose re-election to Congress in American history," noted reporter Ben Jacobs.
Cawthorn had predicted victory.