House Republicans’ campaign committee cut support for an Ohio House candidate who misled voters about his military service.
House Republicans’ campaign committee cut support for an Ohio House candidate who misled voters about his military service, effectively ceding the Trump-won district to the Democrats.
- J.R. Majewski is the G.O.P. nominee in Ohio’s highly competitive 9th District in the Toledo area. Redistricting put longtime incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) into a district former President Donald Trump carried in 2020. Any competent Republican candidate running in a Trump-won seat would be considered a favorite to win in November under normal circumstances.
- However, Republicans cut bait after AP News revealed Majewski’s tales of deploying to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, the campaign medals he claimed he earned and stories about “tough” conditions were utter fiction.
- The National Republican Campaign Committee withdrew nearly $1 million in ad reservations for the district, making Majewski the first G.O.P. House candidate to be “triaged” so far this cycle.
- In fact, Majewski served far from the front lines in Qatar, helping load planes for six months. In a statement, Majewski’s campaign did not deny the stolen valor claims in the AP’s report but merely claimed “My accomplishments and record are under attack” and pivoted to attacking his opponent.
- The Air Force has no record of Majewski serving in Afghanistan and, unlike what he claimed, he did not receive any commendations or medals typically associated with combat service in Afghanistan.
- Majewski made his evidently fictious war record a centerpiece of his campaign. Majewski, a first-time candidate, narrowly defeated two state legislators in May’s G.O.P. primary after he was praised at a pre-election rally by former President Donald Trump.
- The New York Times reported on one reason Majewski’s deceptions may not cost Republicans control of the House: more than a dozen Democrats retired from competitive districts. These open seats are easier targets for Republicans to flip and can make up for self-owns like Majewski.
- POLITICO noted the G.O.P. decision to slash its $960,000 ad buy after Majewski lied about his resume means the party is “essentially walking away from what could have been an easy pickup.”
- The Daily Beast said the move to cut funding signals Republicans have “given up hope on what might have otherwise been an easy pickup,” “all but ensuring” Rep. Marcy Kaptur will win another term.
- The New York Post picked up Majewski opponent Marcy Kaptur’s statement on the controversy: “The idea that anyone, much less a candidate for the United States Congress, would mislead voters about their service in combat is an affront to every man and woman who has proudly worn the uniform of our great country. J.R. Majewski owes each of these heroes a full explanation about his deception.”
- The Washington Examiner noted Majewski had previously courted controversy with his promotion of bizarre QAnon conspiracy theories.
- Breitbart wrote Majewski is just one of several first-time candidates who could cost the GOP winnable seats in the midterms and noted he was present at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 riot.
Let’s call a spade a spade: Majewski’s misrepresentation of his military record is stolen valor, plain and simple. Lying about your military record to win votes is despicable and a clear sign of low moral character, whether you’re the Democratic Senator from Connecticut or a Republican candidate for Congress. Now, Majewski’s falsehoods may cost Republicans an easy House pickup in November.
Republican primary voters could have selected either of the two conservative state legislators who ran against Majewski in the primary, but instead went for the underfunded unknown who etched his support for Trump on his lawn and earned a few words of praise from the former President. If Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur returns to Congress next year, Republican primary voters in Ohio’s 9th District have no one to blame but themselves.
© Dominic Moore, 2022