Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will campaign for Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
“Tom Rice is a man of principle, a man of conviction, and a leader who always puts South Carolina’s interests first. He is a legislative workhorse with a long track-record of supporting policies that grow the economy, rein in out-of-control spending, and expand opportunities for families and businesses,” Ryan said in a statement.
“Tom is a tireless and effective advocate for South Carolina. He will make a big impact when Republicans retake the House majority in 2022 and I’m looking forward to traveling around the 7th district with him.”
Ryan will appear at a luncheon for Rice in Florence on Wednesday.
Rice, an accountant who has spent a decade in Congress, took Ryan’s spot on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee after Ryan became Speaker in 2015. He is now ranking member on the committee’s oversight subcommittee.
His vote to impeach Trump came as a surprise to most political observers.
“I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable,” Rice said in a statement following the impeachment vote.
Trump endorsed South Carolina state Rep. Russell Fry in the primary against Rice, touting him as a “leading fighter on Election Integrity.”
Rice, Trump said while endorsing Fry, “abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left” and “actually voted against me on Impeachment Hoax #2.”
Five other GOP candidates are running in Rice’s primary.
Rice has led the field of candidates in fundraising, closing the first quarter of the year in March with nearly $2 million in cash-on-hand. All other candidates had less than a half million in their war chests at that time.
But an internal poll from Fry’s campaign from early May found Fry leading Rice 39 percent to 23 percent among likely GOP primary voters.
South Carolina’s primary election day is on June 14, 2022.