GOP House candidate JR Majewski refuses to drop out after disparaging Special Olympics athletes: 'I will not be threatened'

GOP House candidate JR Majewski refuses to drop out after disparaging Special Olympics athletes: 'I will not be threatened'
GOP House candidate JR Majewski at a Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio on September 17, 2022.Reuters/Gaelen Morse
  • JR Majewski, a GOP House candidate in Ohio, recently called Special Olympics athletes "retarded."
  • He's faced calls to drop out and has been censured by the local county party.

JR Majewski, a controversial GOP House candidate in Ohio, is refusing to drop out of the race after referring to Special Olympics participants as "fucking retarded."

"After carefully considering the pressure and attacks by the Washington Establishment Machine, my family and I have decided that there is no mission more important than continuing this race and standing strong for the patriots I committed to fight for," Majewski said in a defiant statement on Wednesday.

As Business Insider first reported earlier this month, Majewski made the disparaging comments during an appearance on a conservative podcast.

"Shout out to all the Democrats living in Mom's basement that like to talk shit on the Internet. You know, no matter how hard you try, arguing on the Internet, it's like being in the Special Olympics," he said. "No matter how good you perform, you still have… you're still fucking retarded at the end of the day."

Majewski went on to acknowledge that his comments would be "clipped and ran against me in the general election" and offered a brief apology after being contacted by BI.


But the fallout in the Toledo-area House district has been swift ahead of the March 19 primary.

Majewski has faced calls to drop out of the race from rivals and local Republicans alike. On Sunday, the Lucas County GOP — the largest party organization in Ohio's 9th congressional district — voted to censure Majewski for his comments.

The Ohio Republican told POLITICO on Tuesday that he was considering dropping out of the race.

"If my comments put me in a position where I can't win the general election then I gotta do the smart thing, right?" Majewski told the outlet.

But in his Wednesday statement, Majewski changed course, saying that the "swamp and their unquestioning allies in the media will stop at nothing to keep their grip on the status quo and silence free and independent America First voices."


"Despite these organization's vicious attempt to quite literally write my resignation, I have one very strong message: I will not cower to corruption, I will not be threatened, and I will never stop fighting for this country and the amazing people of Northwest Ohio," he said.

Majewski, who was the GOP nominee in the district in 2022, famously lost the Trump-leaning district by 13 points to Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur after being caught lying about his military record. He claimed to have spent extensive amounts of time in Afghanistan, but was actually mostly working on military bases in Japan and Qatar.

He's also been a follower of the "QAnon" conspiracy theory and brought a busload of people to Washington, DC on January 6.

National Republicans have sought to avoid a repeat of 2022, recruiting state Rep. Derrick Merrin to run for the seat.

That came after a prior national GOP recruit, former state Rep. Craig Riedel, was caught on tape criticizing former President Donald Trump.


In the wake of Riedel's comments, Majewski won the backing of Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, with the senator telling Business Insider that "he's going to be the nominee, and I see my job as helping Republican candidates win."