MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Russell Fry to replace Tom Rice, who was one of 10 republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol riot.

In a statement from Trump, tweeted out by Fry, Trump called Rice a “coward who abandoned his constituents.” Trump said Rice “must be thrown out of office ASAP.”

In response to the statement, Fry tweeted a thank you to Trump.

“Thank you, President Trump for always standing strong to defend the America First agenda, helping us take back the 7th Congressional District for the people of the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, and fighting the Democrats in Washington,” he said in a tweet.

“Radical Leftists, enabled by RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) like Tom Rice, are trying to erase President Trump’s legacy and move America towards socialism,” he continued. “We can’t let that happen.”

Fry told News13 he talked to Trump and is excited to have his endorsement.

“I was surprised but honored to talk to him and receive that endorsement,” Fry said.

Fry said the endorsement is because of the work that’s being done at the South Carolina State House. He said voting to impeach Trump was the wrong move.

“They’re incredibly disappointed and that’s exactly why we are here today, why we are where we are, and why people are so dissatisfied with Tom Rice’s service to the district,” Fry said.

“People are very concerned about the direction of our country and we understand that,” he said. “We understand that real economic issues face people every day because that’s how we grew up.”

Fry said the biggest thing for any republican running is to be a check on the Biden administration.

“Providing that necessary check is very important, because the American people are waking up,” he said. “They are tired of this. They miss the mean tweets. They’d rather have good economic activity and prosperity and a good future than dealing with inflation and high gas prices.”

Rice responded to the endorsement with a statement of his own.

“I’m glad he’s chosen someone,” Rice said in the statement. “All the pleading to Mar-a-Lago was getting a little embarrassing. I’m all about Trump’s policy. But absolute pledge of loyalty, to a man that is willing to sack the Capitol to keep his hold on power is more than I can stomach.”

So far, Rice is out-fundraising every candidate running against him, including a significant margin over Fry, according to campaign finance records. Rice has about $1.3 million to Fry’s approximately $351,000.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.