The Trump-backed incumbent Madison Cawthorn conceded the race for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District in the primaries on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

He announced that he would be conceding the race, his spokesperson, Luke Ball, told CNN. Cawthorn fell short of winning by nearly 1,000 votes to Chuck Edwards, per The New York Times.

Why did Cawthorn lose? As an incumbent with the support of former President Donald Trump, many expected him to serve another term in office, CNN reported.

  • Cawthorn, elected in 2020, is the youngest member of the United States House, reported CNN. During the time he has been in office, the congressman has found himself caught up in controversies that have spread across the internet.
  • Despite the controversies, Trump continued to back the candidate, according to the Hill, stating, “Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again ... let’s give Madison a second chance!”
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The congressman gets wrapped up in controversy: Cawthorn had previously made comments “that linked his own party with cocaine use and orgies,” according to NPR.

  • NPR also reports that he has been stopped at TSA two different times for carrying a loaded gun, and has been charged twice for driving with a revoked license. “I had forgotten to disarm before I went through a TSA checkpoint and that’s my bad, and I have to own to that one,” Cawthorn said.
  • After he dropped out of a Christian college, 150 students signed a letter, accusing Cawthorn of being a sexual predator. However, he has denied these claims, per The Washington Post.
  • Several suggestive videos, pictures and social media posts of Cawthorn’s have been leaked online, according to Business Insider.
  • “Have you ever taken a dumb photo on vacation? Most people have,” said Cawthorn in a Twitter video, addressing the allegations. “The media thinks that playing a goofy game on a cruise ship with my friends and family means that I can’t serve in Congress. That is garbage.”
  • “I've really never seen the swamp launch such a coordinated attack against any individual in politics except for Donald Trump,” Cawthorn said.
  • He also stated that he is one of the first politicians that has grown up with cellphone in hand, meaning that his actions before running for Congress are documented in a way that older politicians don’t experience.