Republicans who voted to impeach Trump’s main rivals

WASHINGTON — The seven House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald J. Trump and are seeking re-election have outpaced their main opponents, many of whom received Mr. Trump’s support, according to campaign statements filed. with the Federal Election Commission. this week.

In Wyoming, Rep. Liz Cheney, who was virtually exiled by her party for outspoken condemnation of Trump’s false election claims and became a lead lawmaker on the special committee investigating the attack from January 6, raised $2 million in the last quarter, entering 2022 with nearly $5 million in cash. His opponent, Harriet Hageman, who drew vocal support from Mr Trump and his family, raised $443,000 last quarter and has approximately $380,000 in cash.

Rep. Fred Upton, a centrist who has held his seat in southwestern Michigan for more than three decades, brought in $726,000 and has about $1.5 million in cash, well ahead of the challenger Mr. Trump endorsed Steve Carra, a state representative who raised $134,000 last quarter and has $200,000 in cash.

Joe Kent, a Trump-backed Army Special Forces veteran who is prolific on social media and conservative talk shows, appeared to be closing in on the fundraising total of his opponent, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, D.C. but always followed her in the two quarterly races. and cash on hand.

The revelations illustrate the stranglehold that establishment conservatives and well-funded political action committees still hold among the party’s donor class, despite Mr. Trump’s continued stranglehold on the Republican base. They also reflect how the former president’s endorsements, which he brandished as threats against Republican lawmakers he deems insufficiently loyal to him, have yet to translate into big donations for the candidates he backs. .

By contrast, Mr. Trump’s political operation is doing far better than his party at raising money, having raised more than $51 million in the second half of 2021 and entering 2022 with more than double the money available from the Republican National Committee.

“The massive fundraisers from some of these incumbents reflect the support of many people for the positions they have taken,” said Alex Conant, a veteran Republican political strategist. “There are only a handful, but they have a huge pool of donors to tap into. And Trump has always struggled to translate his political capital to others.

Even with their massive war chests, Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump last year for his role in inciting the Capitol riot are set to face grueling primary battles after inflaming voter anger conservatives. Some could still choose to retire, joining three of their colleagues who also voted to impeach Mr Trump and have already said they will not run again in 2022.

Mr. Upton said in a statement on Wednesday that he viewed his fundraising figures as evidence of a “hunger to restore civility and solve pressing problems” that “resonated with people across America” , but added that he was still deliberating on whether he would stand for re-election.

Some of the financial disparities reflect scattered primary fields that have yet to be narrowed down or candidates who have only recently decided to enter their races. In South Carolina, for example, Mr. Trump on Tuesday endorsed a primary challenger to Rep. Tom Rice, elevating state Rep. Russell Fry above Graham Allen, a conservative media personality who had raised the most votes. money during a crowded primary. Mr. Rice’s latest revelation showed him that he had five times more cash than Mr. Allen.

“Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina, the coward who abandoned his constituents by giving in to Nancy Pelosi and the radical left, and who actually voted against me on impeachment hoax #2, must be expelled as soon as possible,” Mr. Trump wrote in his endorsement.

Mr. Rice fired back with his own line: “I’m glad he picked someone. All the pleading at Mar-a-Lago was getting a little awkward. I’m all about Trump politics. But the absolute pledge of loyalty to a man who’s willing to trash the Capitol to keep his grip on power is more than I can handle.

For the Trump-backed candidates, additional help from bold names from the party’s right flank is likely on the way. On Tuesday evening, a day after the campaigns were required to file their latest disclosures with the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Kent hosted a fundraiser with Mr. Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. , during which couples who donated or raised $25,000 were invited to attend a private reception and have a photo taken with the former president.

Mr. Kent has has already complained on Twitter that Ms. Herrera Beutler was “running on America Last PACs and not grassroots donations”, referring to the big-budget political action committees that once dominated campaign fundraising, rather than small contributions in dollars that are a growing source of funding for Republican campaigns.

But as Ms. Hageman’s fundraising totals illustrate, Mr. Trump’s support alone does not guarantee an immediate financial windfall. Mr Trump has targeted Ms Cheney as one of his most prominent critics in Congress, hammering her for months and vowing to depose her. Last month, her son, Donald Trump Jr., joined an elite fundraiser for Ms Hageman hosted by tech billionaire Peter Thiel at his Miami compound.

Ms. Hageman attributed Ms. Cheney’s fundraising prowess to support from out-of-state Democrats and Republicans. An adviser to Ms. Hageman’s campaign did not reveal in response to an inquiry how many of her contributions came from Wyoming.

Establishment Republicans rallied to Ms Cheney’s side. Former President George W. Bush gave him a maximum donation of $5,800, while Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, and former President Paul Ryan of Wisconsin each helped raise funds for she.

Mr. Bush also gave Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who voted to convict Mr. Trump in his impeachment trial and also faces a Trump-backed primary challenger. Ms. Murkowski outperformed that challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, raising $1.2 million last quarter, while Ms. Tshibaka raised around $600,000.

“If you had seen 100 Republicans vote to impeach Trump, the donor pool would have been more diluted,” Conant said. “They are in a unique position to raise a lot of money.”

Rachel Shore contributed report.

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