Former House Speaker Paul Ryan will travel to South Carolina to campaign for a House Republican being targeted for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Mr. Ryan will attend a campaign luncheon for Rep. Tom Rice next week in Florence.
“Tom Rice is a man of principle, a man of conviction, and a leader who always puts South Carolina’s interests first,” Mr. Ryan said. “He is a legislative workhorse with a long track record of supporting policies that grow the economy, rein in out-of-control spending and expand opportunities for families and businesses.”
The event comes as Mr. Rice is locked in a heated race against a Trump-backed primary challenger. Mr. Rice, who has served in Congress since 2013, surprised many by breaking ranks and voting to impeach Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6 attack.
At the time, Mr. Rice said the former president’s conduct leading up to the incident had swayed his vote.
“I have backed this president through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice,” he said. “But, this utter failure is inexcusable.”
Along with the nine other House Republicans who voted to impeach, Mr. Rice has found himself a top target of Mr. Trump and the former president’s supporters. Earlier this year, Mr. Trump endorsed South Carolina State Representative Russell Fry’s bid to oust Mr. Rice.
Despite the endorsement, Mr. Rice has outraised his opponents and continues to lead in the polls. That is likely one of the reasons why Mr. Ryan has opted to campaign on his behalf.
“Tom is a tireless and effective advocate for South Carolina,” said the former speaker.
Mr. Ryan, who served as the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012, is the latest national Republican to cross Mr. Trump on the campaign trail. Earlier this month, former Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Georgia to campaign for Gov. Brian Kemp, another Trump foe.
Mr. Kemp won renomination, despite Mr. Trump and allies spending heavily to boost former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the Republican primary for governor.