Russell Fry defeated six other candidates in the Republican primary election for South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District on June 14, 2022. The two candidates who received the most media attention were incumbent Tom Rice and Fry. Rice is the sixth U.S. House incumbent this cycle to lose re-election this cycle.
Rice was first elected to the U.S. House in 2012 and had represented the district since it was created following the 2010 census. Rice was one of 10 Republican members of the U.S. House who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) in 2021, which he had defended during his primary campaign. During a June 5 appearance on ABC’s This Week, Rice said, “Defending the Constitution is a bedrock of the Republican platform, defend the Constitution, and that’s what I did. That was the conservative vote. There’s no question in my mind.” In response to the impeachment vote, the Republican Party of South Carolina censured Rice.
Fry was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2015. Trump endorsed Fry in February 2021. Fry had called Rice a RINO (Republican in Name Only) over his impeachment vote. Following Trump’s endorsement, Fry said, “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. We can’t let that happen.”