The Gen-Z Republican rising star Madison Cawthorn was expected to become.
Cawthorn was elected to the House of Representatives in 2021 at the age of 25, which is the legal minimum age to serve in the House. He was the youngest Republican ever to hold that position.
Young Cawthorn was the subject of some scandal during the race for that seat, and his own words at the time did little to dispel the rumors.
He alleged unsavoury behaviour in the capital, but subsequently House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy informed reporters that Cawthorn had acknowledged his charges were overstated or false.
Prior incidents involved charges of sexual harassment and racial remarks, as well as making a few untrue comments and dubious social media posts.
Cawthorn made his dubious remarks about Washington during the spring primary, was accused of insider trading, was photographed wearing women’s underwear, and was charged with bringing a handgun into an airport.
Some Republican voters stuck with Cawthorn because they believed that the administration needed someone with his backbone and outspokenness.
Many people were attributing the young lawmaker’s errors to inexperience, including former president Donald Trump, who said that the congressman “had made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll do again” and deserved a second opportunity.
Sen. Tom Tillis, R-N.C., a well-known Republican, endorsed his primary opponent after declaring that Cawthorn had “has fallen well short of the most basic standards Western North Carolina expects from their representatives,” because the recurrent incidents had now been too many.
Chuck Edwards, Cawthorn’s opponent, received the endorsement of Tillis and other senior Republicans.
By a narrow margin of 1,500 votes, Edwards defeated Cawthorn to win the seat.
After receiving millions of dollars from outside sources including contributions from North Carolina, Cawthorn accepted defeat on election night in May.
By that point in the campaign, which had started in January 2021, he had amassed close to $3.7 million.
The one-term congressman’s reelection campaign is in serious trouble, according to the most recent filing through late April, made only weeks before his May 17 primary.
According to Friday’s report, the campaign was also tardy in paying a number of vendors during that time.
And according to reports, his deadline for repaying his general election donors passed more than a week ago.
It appears that there are issues with Cawthorn’s campaign fund.
It was revealed on Friday night that the outgoing legislator spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that he was compelled to return after losing his primary contest.
According to the Daily Beast, the 26-year-old congressman’s campaign broke the regulations of the Federal Election Commission by indiscriminately spending money over the past year that was intended to support his general election campaign in November.
After losing his seat to Chuck Edwards, a state senator from North Carolina, at the end of a scandal-riddled campaign opposed by members of his own party, he was not supposed to have access to the cash.
According to a leader at ethics watchdog Common Cause, “In practice, many people may start spending this money in the primary and pay it back; it’s a risk, but it may not be uncommon,” told to the Daily Beast.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
But Cawthorn still needs to now pay it back, whether it’s his own personal cash or soliciting more donations.
There are other options that are allowed.
A source in the report said one option was mounting another campaign and funneling the money into that, which would not run afoul of campaign finance laws.