RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — First-term U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn has conceded to North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards in the Republican congressional primary.
Luke Ball, a spokesperson for Cawthorn’s campaign, told The Associated Press late Tuesday that Cawthorn had conceded the race. A fast-food franchise owner, Edwards now advances to the November election against Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara.
Cawthorn vaulted to national prominence after winning the seat in 2020 at age 25. A firebrand and vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, he had made unforced political and personal errors that led top Republican leaders in North Carolina to turn against him. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said Cawthorn was an embarrassment to his constituents.
Cawthorn faced negative publicity for speeding and gun violations, as well as for calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug.” And his initial decision to run for reelection elsewhere — only to switch back to the 11th District — didn’t sit well with many locals.