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Choctaw artist Jeffrey Gibson confronts history at US pavilion as its first solo Indigenous artist

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Choctaw artist Jeffrey Gibson confronts history at US pavilion as its first solo Indigenous artist
News

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Choctaw artist Jeffrey Gibson confronts history at US pavilion as its first solo Indigenous artist

2024-04-19 08:29 Last Updated At:08:40

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Jeffrey Gibson’s takeover of the U.S. pavilion for this year’s Venice Biennale contemporary art show is a celebration of color, pattern and craft, which is immediately evident on approaching the bright red facade decorated by a colorful clash of geometry and a foreground dominated by a riot of gigantic red podiums.

Gibson, a Mississippi Choctaw with Cherokee descent, is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. For context, the last time Native American artists were included was in 1932.

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Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Jeffrey Gibson’s takeover of the U.S. pavilion for this year’s Venice Biennale contemporary art show is a celebration of color, pattern and craft, which is immediately evident on approaching the bright red facade decorated by a colorful clash of geometry and a foreground dominated by a riot of gigantic red podiums.

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses at the US pavilion during a media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses at the US pavilion during a media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, hugs artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during media open day of the 60th Biennale of Arts exhibition in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, hugs artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during media open day of the 60th Biennale of Arts exhibition in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses inside the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses inside the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Gibson, 52, accepts the weight of the honor, but he prefers to focus on how his participation can forge greater inclusion going forward.

“The first is not the most important story," Gibson told The Associated Press this week before the pavilion’s inauguration on Thursday. “The first is hopefully the beginning of many, many, many more stories to come."

The commission, his first major show in Europe, comes at a pivotal moment for Gibson. His 2023 book “An Indigenous Present" features more than 60 Indigenous artists, and he has two major new projects, a facade commission for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and an exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Gibson’s eye-catching exhibition titled “the space in which to place me," features text in beadwork sculptures and paintings taken from U.S. founding documents, music, sermons and proverbs to remind the viewer of the broken promises of equity through U.S. history. The vibrant use of color projects optimism. In that way, Gibson’s art is a call to action.

“What I find so beautiful about Jeffrey’s work is its ability to function as a prism, to take the traumas of the past and the questions about identity and politics and refract them in such a way that things that realities that have become flattened … can become these beautiful kaleidoscopes, which are joyous and celebratory and critical all at the same time," said Abigail Winograd, one of the exhibition’s curators.

“When I see people walk through the pavilion and kind of gasp when they walk from room to room, that’s exactly what we wanted," Winograd said.

Entering the pavilion, the beaded bodices of sculptures in human form are emblazoned with dates of U.S. legislation that promised equity, the beading cascading into colorful fringe. A painting quotes George Washington writing, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth," in geometric letters that meld into a colorful patterned background.

By identifying specific moments in U.S. history, Gibson said that he wants to underline that “people who are fighting for equity and justice today, we’re not the first.

“This has been a line in the history of American culture. But I’m hoping that people will think about why … some of these things … have either been revoked or have not come into fruition,” he said.

Craft is at the center of Gibson’s art, both in defiance of past denigration of craft and as a way to confront “the traumatic histories of Native American people,” he said.

“There is something very healing about the cycle of making," Gibson explained.

The pavilion’s intricate beaded sculptures owe a debt to Native American makers of the past without imitating them, employing couture techniques to create something completely new. In the way of his forbears, Gibson uses beads sourced from all over the world, including vintage beads from Japan and China, and glass beads from the Venetian island of Murano.

Paper works incorporate vintage beadwork purchased from websites, estate and garage sales in mixed media displays that honor the generations of Native American makers that preceded him.

Gibson's themes fit well into the message of inclusion of the main Biennale exhibition, titled “Stranieri Ovunque -- Strangers Everywhere,” which runs in tandem with around 90 national pavilions from April 20-Nov. 24.

His personal history has placed him firmly in what he calls the “diasporic history of Indigenous people.” His father's job took his family abroad when he was a child to Germany and then South Korea, and he later studied in Chicago and London. His partner is Norwegian artist Rune Olsen.

Through all of this, Gibson has picked up traditions and practices that go beyond his Indigenous background.

“I’ve looked at op art, pattern and decoration. I've looked at psychedelia, I have taken part in rave culture and queer culture and drag and the whole spectrum," Gibson said.

"And so for me, I would not be telling you the whole truth if I only chose to spoke about indigeneity. But my body is an Indigenous body — it’s all funneled through this body,'' he said. ”And so my hope is that by telling my experience, that everyone else can project their own kind of intersected, layered experience into the world.”

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Visitors look at sculptures on display inside the US pavilion by artist Jeffrey Gibson during the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

From left, Curator Abigail Winograd, artist Jeffrey Gibson, and Curator Kathleen Ash-Milby pose at the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses at the US pavilion during a media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses at the US pavilion during a media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, poses with artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, hugs artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during media open day of the 60th Biennale of Arts exhibition in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson, right, hugs artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. pavilion during media open day of the 60th Biennale of Arts exhibition in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses inside the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Artist Jeffrey Gibson poses inside the US pavilion during the media open day at the 60th Biennale of Arts in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. A Mississippi Choctaw of Cherokee descent, Gibson is the first Native American to represent the United States solo at the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest contemporary art show. Gibson mixes Western modernism and Native American craft in his vibrantly hued paintings and sculptures. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Rep. Thomas Massie’s role in the failed bid to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson didn’t harm his standing with Republican voters in his Kentucky district, where he easily won his primary election on Tuesday in the conservative stronghold.

Massie far outdistanced challengers Eric Deters and Michael McGinnis to maintain his hold on the seat representing the 4th District, which stretches across northern Kentucky. With no Democratic opponent in the fall, Massie’s primary victory cleared his way to claim another term in November.

The libertarian-leaning congressman said his victory amounted to a “referendum on thousands of independent votes I have cast in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Kentucky’s 4th District.”

“I want to thank the voters for trusting me to represent them again, and I look forward to continuing our fight for personal liberty, economic freedom, fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government,” Massie said in a statement.

Elsewhere, the dean of Kentucky’s congressional delegation, Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, easily defeated three challengers in the 5th District covering eastern and parts of southern Kentucky. No Democrat is running for the seat. Rogers is a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which positions him to steer federal money back to his Appalachian district.

Rep. Morgan McGarvey, the state’s only Democratic congressman, coasted to victory over two opponents in the Louisville-area 3rd District. In November, he'll be challenged by Republican Mike Craven, who won his primary in the Democratic-leaning district.

Republican Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, will be opposed by Democrat Erin Marshall after both were unopposed in the 1st District primary. The Bluegrass State’s other congressmen — Republicans Brett Guthrie and Andy Barr — were unopposed in the primary.

Massie’s congressional race drew attention for his reputation of defying his party’s leaders — from then-President Donald Trump to the House speaker — without being punished by his constituents.

Massie aligned with fellow Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in the recent attempt to remove Johnson from his post as speaker. Massie co-sponsored Greene’s ouster resolution, which was overwhelmingly rejected by their colleagues.

Before the primary, Massie sounded unconcerned about any blowback from voters for trying to remove the speaker — nicknamed “MAGA Mike Johnson” by Trump. The former president remains enormously popular in the district.

“It’s a lot of inside baseball and ultimately, because he’s still the speaker, I think a lot of people don’t care,” Massie said last week.

Four years ago, Massie drew Trump’s wrath when the congressman singlehandedly caused a delay in passing a massive COVID-19 relief package. Trump called the Kentuckian a “third rate Grandstander.”

An unapologetic Massie said he tried to hold up what he considered to be an unconstitutional vote for a wasteful bill. Massie deflected Trump’s jabs by joking he was at least “second rate” as a grandstander.

Despite the presidential smackdown, Massie cruised to reelection that year. Two years later, Massie picked up the former president’s endorsement on his way to another reelection victory.

“They still appreciate somebody who will come up here and vote the way he believes is best, even if it’s at odds with Trump sometimes,” Massie said of his constituents. “So that’s sort of my brand at this point.”

In another twist, Massie supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ failed bid for the White House, again risking Trump’s anger. The ex-president didn’t give an endorsement in Massie’s primary race this year.

Massie's challengers included Deters, a former gubernatorial candidate who played up his steadfast support for Trump and portrayed Massie as a “goofball” lacking accomplishments in Congress.

Since joining Congress in late 2012, Massie has been known as an avid deficit hawk and staunch gun-rights supporter. In a recent post on the social platform X, Massie wrote: “America is on a path that won’t end well. We are borrowing money at an unsustainable rate, accumulating enemies through endless war, and eroding rights like free speech & privacy.”

Kentucky’s most contentious campaign in the fall is likely to be over a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow taxpayer money to flow to private or charter schools. If it is ratified by voters, state lawmakers could then decide whether to support private or charter school education with public funds. The state's popular Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, will align with the Kentucky Education Association, a group representing tens of thousands of public school educators, in opposing the measure.

FILE - Committee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., listens to the testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland during House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies budget hearing on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Washington. Kentucky voters go to the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Republican Rep. Rogers, faced three primary election challengers in the 5th District, which covers eastern and parts of southern Kentucky. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

FILE - Committee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., listens to the testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland during House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies budget hearing on Capitol Hill, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Washington. Kentucky voters go to the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Republican Rep. Rogers, faced three primary election challengers in the 5th District, which covers eastern and parts of southern Kentucky. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

FILE - Democrat Morgan McGarvey speaks to supporters in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, after the won the race for the state's 3rd Congressional District. Kentucky voters go to the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Rep. McGarvey, the state’s only Democratic congressman, has two opponents in the Louisville-area 3rd District. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

FILE - Democrat Morgan McGarvey speaks to supporters in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, after the won the race for the state's 3rd Congressional District. Kentucky voters go to the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Rep. McGarvey, the state’s only Democratic congressman, has two opponents in the Louisville-area 3rd District. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

FILE - Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks during a TV news interview at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Fresh off his role in a failed attempt to topple the House speaker, Republican Rep. Massie downplayed any political fallout back home in Kentucky as he looked to maintain his dominance in his solidly conservative district as Bluegrass State voters headed to the polls Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks during a TV news interview at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Fresh off his role in a failed attempt to topple the House speaker, Republican Rep. Massie downplayed any political fallout back home in Kentucky as he looked to maintain his dominance in his solidly conservative district as Bluegrass State voters headed to the polls Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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