'Hateful' Remarks House GOP Candidate Ted Howze Made on Facebook Cost Him Republican Support—And Possibly the Election

Ted Howze, the embattled Republican candidate for California's 10th district, now faces a moment of reckoning for his ailing campaign after the most powerful Republican in the House, Kevin McCarthy, pulled his endorsement after dozens of racist and offensive social media posts Howze made surfaced recently.

"In light of Mr. Howze's disappointing comments, Leader McCarthy has withdrawn his endorsement. As the Leader has previously stated, hateful rhetoric has no place within the Republican Party," his spokesman said in a statement to POLITICO.

Howze faced immense scrutiny recently over old Facebook and Twitter posts several years uncovered by POLITICO that said Muslims couldn't be good American citizens because of their beliefs, compared Dreamers brought to the country as children to pedophiles, mocked a survivor of the Parkland school shooting, and trafficked in the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton had a former DNC staffer killed.

Jessica Millan Patterson, chairwoman of the California Republican Party, said the posts were "disgraceful, disgusting and do not represent the values we hold or the party we are building."

The public shunning of Howze could represent the beginning of the end for his campaign against Representative Josh Harder, Republicans say.

"Howze has been renounced by the state party and now the highest-ranking Republican in the House," Mike Madrid, former political director of the California Republican Party told Newsweek. "If it's not the final nail in the coffin, it's the closest thing to it."

Questions linger about whether Howze will drop out of the race and whether the few, other prominent Republicans who endorsed him also will withdraw their support. An endorsements page on Howze's campaign website that included Republican candidate for governor John Cox has been removed, according to a screenshot obtained by Newsweek.

Howze's office did not respond to Newsweek's request for comment. His campaign manager Tim Rosales, who works with Howze and Cox, also did not respond to a request for comment.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement that McCarthy's rescinded endorsement "was not a display of strong character" "in the face of hateful bigotry and racism in his own backyard" but "a carefully worded and politically calculated backpedaling that is too little too late."

In a call reported by POLITICO, Howze said McCarthy's office said "if in September we are one of the competitive races in California that they will be here to come into the race."

But the race, which Harder won by five points in 2018, appears to be moving further from Howze, not closer.

Sabato's Crystal Ball at the UVA Center for Politics changed their rating in the race from "likely Democratic" to "safe Democratic."

The "district could/should be very competitive on paper but Ted Howze's (R) candidacy is imploding over history of indefensible social media posts," its managing editor Kyle Kondik tweeted.

Harder wrote on Twitter last week that Howze "should be ashamed of himself" over his "vile social media posts."

Despite the furor, his office told Newsweek it is not yet counting Howze out of the race.

"Ted has become a real embarrassment for Republicans, but no one is counting him out because he's self-funding his campaign," spokesman Ian Lee said. "This is a swing district and Josh is going to keep working his heart out to help the community during this pandemic."

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wears a face mask to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus after a news conference at the U.S. Capitol May 15, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/Getty
'Hateful' Remarks House GOP Candidate Ted Howze Made on Facebook Cost Him Republican Support—And Possibly the Election | U.S.