In a major loss, Trump-backed Republican Bo Hines has lost to Democrat Wiley Nickel in North Carolina’s 13th congressional district. FiveThirtyEight had predicted Hines to have a 77 percent chance of winning.
Nickel leads Hines 51.32 percent to 48.68 percent, with all precincts reporting.
Hines, whose campaign received over $775,000 from his family’s trust fund, enjoyed support from former President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and outgoing North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn.
Hines began running for Congress in North Carolina’s 5th district, but relocated to the 13th due in part to redistricting that changed seat maps.
The 27-year-old was advanced by Trump and other Republicans as a rising star in the party. The young Republican had adopted Trumpian classics, saying he was running because he did not want to “sit idly by on the sidelines and watch radical, Marxist leftists destroy our country for the next generation.” He said he would “not stand for cowardly, RINO Republicans that seek to dismantle the America First movement.”
Hines, an election denialist, has also called abortion murder and said exceptions should only be allowed for victims of rape and incest. Even then, in Hines’ worldview, those victims would only have access to abortion on a case-by-case basis after a “community-level review process” determined them eligible..
Nickel—a criminal defense attorney, former staffer in President Barack Obama’s White House, and member of the North Carolina state Senate—ran as an experienced moderate. While Nickel says the federal government is spending too much money, he also argues the state isn’t spending enough money on services like health care and public education.
Hines’ loss is yet another in a disappointing evening for Republicans, who were expecting a so-called “red wave.”