search
Sections List
American Journal News

House Republicans promote 2022 candidates with histories of scandals

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s ‘Young Guns’ include an ethically challenged former Trump Cabinet member and Proud Boys defenders.

By Josh Israel - November 11, 2021
Share
Derrick Van Orden on U.S. Capitol grounds

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the National Republican Congressional Committee announced their first eight “Young Guns” candidates for the 2022 elections on Monday — the designation used by House Republicans to indicate their most-promising endorsed nonincumbent candidates.

But at least three of the eight have come under fire for their past behavior.

Monica De La Cruz is a Republican candidate in Texas’ 15th Congressional District after losing a 2020 House race. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that she was accused in court filings last month of “cruel and aggressive conduct” toward her teenage stepdaughter, including verbal abuse and pinching.

In an email to the American Independent Foundation, De La Cruz called the allegations “false” and said she is “heartbroken that as we work through some mental health issues that involve a minor this deeply personal matter is now being exposed in the national press.”

Derrick Van Orden, who also lost a 2020 race, is running in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District. During his last race, he faced questions about a section of a book he published in 2015 in which he recounted exposing a male soldier’s scrotum to two young women. In June, he was accused of bullying a teenage library staffer over an LGBTQ Pride display.

Van Orden’s campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story but previously claimed his alleged sexual harassment was just medical training and that he supports equal rights for all but objects to “people who continue to divide us as Americans for political purposes.”

The group also includes scandal-plagued former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is running in Montana’s 2nd Congressional District. Zinke resigned from President Donald Trump’s Cabinet at the end of 2019 in the face of numerous ethics investigations. Zinke denied alleged conflicts of interest and any other wrongdoing.

The National Republican Congressional Committee website lists a secondary group of “On the Radar” GOP congressional candidates who “show potential” in competitive races.

These include at least four candidates with questionable incidents in their backgrounds.

State Rep. Walt Blackman is running in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, hoping to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran. In October, CNN reported that Blackman had participated in a rally in support of the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters in September and in his remarks at the event defended the Proud Boys, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated extremist hate group.

“Let me tell you something about the Proud Boys. The Proud Boys came to one of my events and that was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Blackman told the crowd. “Not because of what the media portrayed them to be, but the patriots they showed young people: the example on how to be an American.”

Blackman later told CNN that he condemns the group and “wasn’t familiar with the totality and breadth” of their conduct.

Eli Crane is also running in that same district. Last September, after he appeared in an ad backing then-Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), the Phoenix New Times reported the former Navy SEAL had previously defended the use of waterboarding in military interrogations and defended accused war criminal Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted of posing with a corpse but was promoted by Trump anyway.

New York state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt is running in his state’s 18th Congressional District, hoping to challenge Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. In January, he faced calls to resign from his current job after speaking to a group of pro-Trump protesters shortly before they traveled to Washington, D.C., ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection. He defended them as “neighbors” who were not part of the violence and were “owed an apology for the attacks on me and the attacks on them.”

Alek Skarlatos is running in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, hoping to again challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio after losing to him in 2020. During that campaign, Salon reported Skarlatos had ties to an extremist group called Timber Unity, an anti-environment organization reportedly linked to the Proud Boys, QAnon, and others on the far-right fringe.

The American Independent Foundation reached out to the NRCC and each of the candidates for comment. Only De La Cruz had responded as of publication.

These endorsements come as several top-tier GOP candidates in other races for House and Senate have been accused of domestic abuse.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
AJ News
Latest
Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

Ted Cruz leverages Trump conviction on podcast for own personal gain

By Jesse Valentine - June 11, 2024
Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By Jesse Valentine - June 10, 2024
Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate Hung Cao says workplace diversity is ‘Marxism’

By Jesse Valentine - June 06, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
U.S. Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks used in Las Vegas mass shooting

U.S. Supreme Court overturns ban on bump stocks used in Las Vegas mass shooting

By Ariana Figueroa, Pennsylvania Capital Star - June 14, 2024
As a Texas city debates an abortion “travel ban,” maternal care is scarce in nearby rural counties

As a Texas city debates an abortion “travel ban,” maternal care is scarce in nearby rural counties

By Jayme Lozano Carver, The Texas Tribune - June 14, 2024
Lt. Gov. Robinson touts end of DEI as LGBTQ+ advocates seek protections, equity

Lt. Gov. Robinson touts end of DEI as LGBTQ+ advocates seek protections, equity

By Ahmed Jallow, NC Newsline - June 13, 2024
U.S. Supreme Court allows access to abortion pill, unanimously rejecting Texas challenge

U.S. Supreme Court allows access to abortion pill, unanimously rejecting Texas challenge

By Eleanor Klibanoff, Texas Tribune and Karen Brooks Harper, The Texas Tribune - June 13, 2024
Judge strikes down Florida gender-affirming care restrictions for minors and adults

Judge strikes down Florida gender-affirming care restrictions for minors and adults

By Orion Rummler, Louisiana Illuminator - June 12, 2024