Madison Cawthorn personally lost half a million dollars on his 'dumpster fire' re-election campaign: report
Madison Cawthorn on Facebook.

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is more than half a million dollars in the hole from his personal finances for his failed re-election campaign.

"A pair of unusual campaign finance reports this week reveal that since 2019, Cawthorn has personally invested a total of $817,000 into his campaign, while recovering only $261,000 of that amount," reported Roger Sollenberger. "That leaves him personally in the hole $556,000, more than three times the annual congressional salary of $174,000. The new campaign reports also punctuate a remarkable financial collapse that had been playing out in parallel to Cawthorn’s not-so-slow motion political implosion over the first half of the year."

The report notes that the collapse in funding came at a crucial time in the Republican primary for Cawthorn, and could have contributed to his defeat.

Saurav Ghosh, director of federal reform at watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, told the Daily Beast that the situation "could accurately be described as a ‘Dumpster fire.’"

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The Daily Beast also noted that the campaign finance report "was also chock full of curiosities common to Cawthorn’s expenses, including several hundred dollars at Chick-Fil-A and a place called Papas & Beer, $320 to Hendersonville Portable Toilets a week after the primary, and nearly $2,000 to a cigar shop Cawthorn favors, called Casablanca Tobacconist — $584.68 of it the night he lost."

Cawthorn, one of the youngest members ever elected to Congress in 2020, quickly became an aggravation for the GOP with his constant antics, including repeatedly getting stopped for carrying guns into airports, multiple busts for driving with a suspended license, a baseless claim that fellow members of the GOP caucus engage in cocaine orgies, and an ill-timed attempt to jump to a different congressional seat that alienated constituents and stifled the ambitions of North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore.

Key party officials in North Carolina soon coalesced around his challenger, state Sen. Chuck Edwards. Cawthorn's campaign was subsequently derailed by a serious of scandalous videos of the congressman engaged in lewd behavior, which Republican operatives admitted they leaked to destroy him. He lost re-nomination for his seat in May.