Madison Cawthorn’s GOP voters say he’s been terrible: ‘We don’t have a congressman’
Madison Cawthorn (Screen Grab)

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has come in conflict with Democrats in the state who are trying to get him disqualified from the 2022 election for allegedly aiding in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S Capitol. But it turns out he's alienated some of his own party's voters too.

As part of an extensive piece in Washington Post Magazine, one GOP county chairwoman is done with Cawthorn and wants him gone.

"Lord have mercy, what do you do?” said Cherokee County GOP chief Shannon Greathead. "We don’t have a congressman."

It turns out Cawthorn went from courting votes to being a no-show back home. Just 11 months after taking office, Cawthorn announced that he would leave his district entirely to run in a different one. He passed it off as the country needing "unconventional" solutions.

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The reality, however, according to The Mountaineer, in Hayward County, is that Cawthorn had no chance in the 11th district after redistricting. The district hasn't become Democratic, far from it, it's just a little less right-wing.

"In Cawthorn’s old District 11, 56 percent of voters went for Trump in 2020," said the Mountaineer. "But in the newly drawn District 14, Trump support was 53.8 percent. Meanwhile, the newly drawn District 13 that Cawthorn is switching to favored Trump by 60 percent."

The change couldn't come soon enough as some in his current district are sick of his lacking leadership. Greathead isn't some secret RINO either. She met Cawthorn in a gun shop with signs hanging up saying things like "Warning: Does not play well with liberals."

“I was inspired by him, that he was going beyond his disabilities to do something for other people,” she explained. She felt a kinship with him because she too suffered from some health issues that left her bedridden.

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"After Greathead was elected chair of the local party in March 2021, she saw less and less of Cawthorn," she told The Post. "When he visited the county, she says, he didn’t give enough public notice for constituents to attend. When she saw him at the state Republican convention in June, he didn’t remember who she was, Greathead says."

"I was a huge supporter of Madison, and I’m very disappointed,” she also said. "His failure to come through and failure to come back and be that servant is what’s broken the trust of the people here in Cherokee County."

“I’m having to eat my words and say I made a huge mistake,” Greathead said of her Cawthorn support. “It’s a difficult pill to swallow.”

Meanwhile, Cawthorn is appearing publicly at Mar-a-Lago to visit with Donald Trump, he's appearing at conservative conferences and popping up on right-wing channels. The report cited an email obtained by Time magazine revealing his staff spends more time on communication than legislation. It's unclear if that extends to constituent services

Former Henderson County sheriff George Erwin Jr. was another big Cawthorn fan, who was pleased to see more young people in Congress.

"I told him the most important thing for me is taking care of the people in this district," Erwin remembered when he first joined Cawthorn's supporters. Not anymore. "I can’t think of one thing he’s done for our district."

Erwin cited a speech he heard Cawthorn give on Jan. 6 at Trump's rally. Watching the violence unfold and seeing fellow law enforcement being beaten prompted him to abandon the young leader.

"Your words can incite or calm," he said on Facebook one day. He went on to tell his followers that he was sorry he encouraged so many people to support Cawthorn. "I saw no calming words and people died and were injured. Our country is an embarrassment on the world stage."

Worse, he doesn't want his state to be seen as part of those beliefs.

"They’re judging us by him,” Erwin explained, and “he represents a small group of people. That’s not how we are. I’m not about all the hate."

Cherokee County Commissioner Jan Griggs won her seat at the same time Cawthorn did. She is part of a veterans group where Cawthorn would once campaign. However, when they invited him to their annual event with about 4,000 guests he confirmed before bailing two weeks before.

“That was very frustrating because now we’re two weeks away from our event and have no guest speaker,” she recalled. "If you commit yourself to something, you should stand by it." It's unknown what Cawthorn was doing instead.

Read the full report and slate of interviews from Washington Post Magazine.

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