Something happened Tuesday night that hasn't happened very often in 2016: Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting Donald Trump was beaten.
Trump raised more than a few eyebrows when he endorsed U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), who was once a darling of the Tea Party movement. Since her election, she had voted more often with the Republican Party establishment than with the conservatives she claimed to be aligned with.
But at the end of the night, she came in a distant second to U.S. Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.), who used to represent another district. A court-ordered redistricting had occurred, which put both incumbents in the same congressional district.
Holding, who received a 100 percent rating, and an endorsement, from the American Conservative Union, quickly became the front-runner. Ellmers, on the other hand, had an ACU score of 71 percent.
Americans For Prosperity, another group that advocates for conservative policies and principles, blamed Ellmers' 29-point loss on her abandonment of limited-government principles. The "final straw," it appears, was her support for renewing the Export-Import Bank.
AFP North Carolina State Director Donald Bryson issued the following statement, once the race was declared Tuesday night:
"Renee Ellmers lost her job because she abandoned the limited-government principles she originally espoused. It's clear that 2nd district voters oppose her record of voting for special interests handouts and wasteful spending. Ellmers learned the hard way that North Carolinians care about principle more than politicians, and won't keep politicians who become unprincipled. Rep. Ellmers went to Congress and wasted no time becoming part of the Washington problem. While we congratulate Congressman George Holding, we'll also urge him to continue to focus on cutting wasteful spending and ending special interest handouts. Americans for Prosperity will continue to hold politicians from both parties accountable to these basic principles of a free economy."
Ellmers was the only member of Congress to receive Trump's endorsement. And, she's now the first member of Congress to lose her seat in the 2016 election cycle.
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