(QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The news that there were efforts in Washington, D.C. to get Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican representing North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, may not be much of a surprise, given the number of stories and reported scandals that have come in his first term.
Even before he lost his primary earlier this year, there were reports that Republican Congressional leaders were working to minimize his influence if he got re-elected.
However, a new report from the Washington Post said there was also an attempt by some Republicans to stop that re-election altogether.
The story, published Tuesday, said Cawthorn was among several candidates facing re-election that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, along with his friends and fundraisers, were trying to “weed out.”
The report said that the candidates if re-elected, could have caused issues within the Republican Party and faced a highly credible challenge in the November midterms.
“He was a very young, dynamic, and pretty outspoken member that they tried to guide a certain way,” said Emily Brooks, a reporter for Nexstar sister publication, The Hill. “It didn’t wind up happening, and it wound up not going the way the leaders wanted it to go.”
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Madison Cawthorn has faced clear scrutiny and scandal in his time in Congress.
He raised controversy for his comments about the war in Ukraine, and LGBT issues, along with videos and pictures of him in compromising situations, being caught with a gun at an airport twice, and his driving record.
But the Washington Post indicated that his comments about cocaine use and sexual orgies in political circles were the turning point, with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly using friends and fundraisers in a “somewhat secretive” funding effort to go against Cawthorn’s re-election effort.
Cawthorn ultimately lost the Republican primary to Chuck Edwards.
“It was not much of a surprise, and a Democrat, or a Republican, or an unaffiliated would say, ‘can you blame them?’,” said Susan Roberts, a political science professor at Davidson College, noting Cawthorn’s history with scandal, which she called “embarrassing.”
Roberts noted that Cawthorn might be used as an example.
“McCarthy has been very aggressive about wanting to get to a workable majority,” noted Roberts.
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Queen City News reached out to Cawthorn’s office for a comment on the Washington Post story but has not yet heard back.