Rep. Madison Cawthorn married his fiance, Cristina Bayardelle, this weekend in a private ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
The event, attended by friends and family attended the event, took place seven years to the day that the 25-year-old congressman from North Carolina was involved in a car crash that left him partially paralyzed and reliant on a wheelchair.
“On April 3rd of 2014 my life changed forever. A tragic car accident put me in a wheelchair and dashed my hopes and dreams for the future. On April 3rd of 2021 my life has once again changed forever,” Cawthorn said in a statement reported by WATE-TV, a local ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee. “Marrying Cristina Bayardelle, now Cristina Cawthorn, is the greatest honor, privilege, and adventure of my life. I am so grateful to celebrate this occasion surrounded by so many friends and family.”
Cawthorn, a freshman in the House, upset Trump-backed Lynda Bennett in the 2020 Republican primary, and won the seat in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District vacated by Mark Meadows, who went on to become White House chief of staff.
“I ran for Congress because Cristina and I didn’t want to raise a family in the America many on the left seek to create. I am supremely confident that with Cristina by my side, we can push our nation forwards, towards a better future for our children and their children,” Cawthorn said.
A supporter of Trump’s “America First” agenda, Cawthorn was present at a “Stop the Steal” rally before the deadly Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot and encouraged a crowd to “lightly threaten” their members of Congress.
Cawthorn has since changed his rhetoric regarding some beliefs among GOP allies spreading claims of widespread fraud during the election, saying, “The party as a whole should have been much more wise about their choice of words.”
In March, Cawthorn faced renewed allegations of sexual misconduct during his time in college.
Several of the allegations were made during his campaign last year, though some women recently gave their account of Cawthorn offering “fun drives” in his vehicle where he allegedly would make sexual advances.
Cawthorn has denied the allegations, saying he has “never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life.”