Until this week, President Donald Trump had an almost flawless record when it comes to picking winners in primary races.
That all changed on Tuesday when Lynda Bennett, a GOP candidate for White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ former North Carolina congressional seat, lost her primary race to political newcomer Madison Cawthorn despite having the president’s support, as Fox News reported.
Bennett earned Trump’s endorsement earlier this month, which was actually a bit shocking in and of itself, as she had previously been part of the “never-Trump” movement.
After the president sent out a tweet endorsing Bennett, she pinned it on her own account to remind voters that Trump was behind her all the way. That stamp of approval has regularly been sufficient to lock down even hotly contested races, but that was not the case here, as the 24-year-old Cawthorn managed to pull off the upset win.
But for anyone thinking this result is illustrative of a collapse in Trump support, that simply is not the case.
Cawthorn is also a declared supporter of the president, a fact he has emphasized throughout his campaign.
However, he has also stated that he will not be indebted to anyone if he wins office, pledging to represent those who elect him and no one else, just as it should be.
Western North Carolina deserves a Representative that is willing to fight for you.
My opponent has continually dodged and avoided debate invites from myself and the GOP. What is she afraid of? pic.twitter.com/i3z4t6otTP
— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) June 17, 2020
No harm done
While Cawthorn finished in second place out of a 12-candidate field in the primary, his surge was likely due to endorsements received from numerous local officials as well as the support of a PAC associated with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Cawthorn also had the declared support of Meadows as well as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), The Washington Post notes.
It is worth noting that Cawthorn is currently not even old enough to hold the office he seeks, as members of the House must be at least 25 years of age, but his birthday will arrive well before inauguration day, should he be elected to the seat.
Even though Trump’s official candidate was defeated, this win by Cawthorn is exciting in that it shows that there are young conservatives out there who are ready and willing to enter the fray, something that is desperately needed as we move forward in this highly-charged political climate.