Several ‘Ron Paul Republicans’ win closely contested House races
Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul will retire from Congress next year after serving for 12 terms, but several Republicans influenced by the iconic libertarian-leaning lawmaker will be arriving to take his place.
Thomas Massie won the race to replace retiring Kentucky Republican Rep. Geoff Davis, beating Democrat Bill Adkins by 20 percentage points. Massie, an ally of Paul’s son, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, raised nearly 10 times as much money as Adkins, according to the Lexington-Herald Leader.
Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, who was already vying to be the House’s next “Dr. No” in his first term, was re-elected with 58 percent of the vote. Democrat Steve Pestka had hoped to win the votes of independents and moderate Republicans who might regard Amash as too extreme, but failed to gain traction against the 31-year-old congressman.
In a neighboring Michigan district, Ron Paul Republican Kerry Bentivolio was elected to the House seat formerly held by GOP Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. McCotter, who had failed to gather enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot, resigned from the House amid a petition scandal. Bentivolio beat Democrat Syed Taj.
Bentivolio spent four decades in the U.S. Army, but was painted by opponents as an eccentric. He raised reindeer and was an occasional Santa Claus. He was elected to Congress by a 7-point margin.
Many other candidates endorsed by Ron and Rand Paul, as well as Paul-influenced organizations like Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty, were on the ballot Tuesday, including Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz. But these three Republicans most self-consciously identified with the Pauls’ calls for deep spending cuts, auditing the Federal Reserve, and a more restrained foreign policy.
They all raised money from Paul’s vast national network of donors, which helped them remain competitive in their primaries and the general election.
Amash endorsed Ron Paul for president and was one of three Republican legislators — including the Texas congressman and fellow Paul endorser North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones — who did not formally back Mitt Romney for president.
Jones, who once crusaded for “freedom fries” to protest France’s opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq before becoming a fiery antiwar voice himself, was also re-elected. Rand Paul broke with his father and endorsed Romney for president.
“There is no next Ron Paul. He is one of a kind,” Amash told a Ron Paul rally before the Republican National Convention.
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