MYRTLE BEACH — Four miles from the neon lights of the boardwalk, congressman Tom Rice prepared to meet his fate.
Surrounded by several dozen supporters and a battery of national television cameras, Rice focused on the people who stood by him for more than a year after his polarizing vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump. It was the final night of a grueling campaign to defend his seat.
Russell Fry, a South Carolina state lawmaker and Trump’s hand-picked candidate to oust Rice from office, had won the coveted GOP nomination for the 7th Congressional District in a landslide.
Fry would be celebrating where Rice was not.
“Today the conservatives in the Republican Party won,” Fry declared at his election night party at the 8th Avenue Tiki…