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Republicans Who Voted to Impeach Trump Are Outraising Pro-Trump Challengers

Donald Trump has said he will use his leadership PAC to help primary challengers take them down. 

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler arrives at the Capitol during a vote on the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act, on February 26, 2021.

The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump brought in sizable campaign cash to start the 2022 cycle — and outraised their primary challengers — amid scathing attacks from the former president and his allies.

The GOP lawmakers’ historic Jan. 13 votes made Trump’s second impeachment the most bipartisan in history, but sparked tensions both nationally and in their own districts. Trump has said he will use his leadership PAC to help primary challengers take them down.

House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) raked in about $1.5 million from January through March, far more than she raised in previous years during the same period. Much of that total came from wealthy donors and corporate PACs, while roughly 11 percent came from small donors giving $200 or less.

The most prominent Republican to vote to impeach Trump, Cheney has faced backlash from her own caucus and drawn notable primary challengers. Wyoming state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, who announced his run on Jan. 20 after rebuking Cheney’s impeachment vote, raised around $335,000 in the first quarter. Most of his contributions came from small donors, who, in total, gave around $230,000.

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) — another top Trump target — raised nearly $557,000 through the first three months of the year, leaving his campaign with $438,000 in the bank. A leadership PAC associated with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) poured $10,000 into Gonzalez’ campaign, putting the GOP leader at odds with the president who has endorsed a primary challenger.

Max Miller, a former Trump administration official, is challenging Gonzalez with the former president’s blessing. Trump held a fundraiser for Miller last month, boosting his $508,000 first-quarter haul. Miller has around $439,000 in the bank, less than half of the incumbent’s total. Miller announced his bid after Gonzales voted for impeachment, stating that the congressman “betrayed” Northeastern Ohians.

Cheney and Gonzalez are among several pro-impeachment Republicans who used campaign funds to pay for personal security after speaking out against Trump. The Federal Election Commission recently ruled that candidates could use campaign money on “bona fide, legitimate, professional personal security personnel” after anti-Trump Republicans recieved death threats.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) had his best-ever fundraising period over the last three months, raising $1.1 million for his campaign and another $1.1 million for his leadership PAC, which has already bankrolled anti-Trump Republicans. He’s being challenged by Catalina Lauf, who unsuccessfully ran for another Illinois seat in the 2020 election. Lauf, an unapologetic Trump supporter, raised $163,000 after launching her campaign in late February. She reported having $100,000 on hand, compared to Kinzinger’s $2.5 million.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) saw her fundraising spike in the first quarter after her impeachment vote and her claim that Trump privately sided with Jan. 6 Capitol rioters. Herrera Beutler raised around $745,000, far more than any of her primary challengers could muster.

Three notable candidates are raising money to challenge Herrera Beutler. Former CIA employee Joe Kent poured $205,000 of his own money into his campaign, and collected around $64,000 in donations. Heidi St. John, a Christian author, raised around $131,000 for her primary bid. Former Trump administration employee Wadi Yakhour raised $9,500 and loaned his campaign roughly $25,000.

Pro-Trump challengers face some of the same hurdles primary challengers have for decades: incumbents typically have a big fundraising advantage. And while pro-Trump lawmakers such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have bolstered their campaign accounts (largely through small-dollar contributions) by tying themselves to the former president, these challengers haven’t received the same kind of boost.

Reps. Peter Meijer and Fred Upton were the only Michigan Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, and they also had the largest fundraising hauls in the state’s GOP delegation, easily outraising their primary opponents. Intra-party challengers to Reps. David Valadao (R-Calif.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) haven’t yet raised significant sums. Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) hasn’t even drawn a primary opponent.

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