Most are going to lose. But a few, Ms. Greene foremost among them, have managed to win. Declaring victory on Tuesday night, she said she was “just as fed up with what I’ve seen from spineless Republicans” as she was with Democrats.
“The Republican establishment was against me,” Ms. Greene said. “The D.C. swamp is against me. And the lying fake news media hates my guts. It’s a badge of honor. It’s not about me winning. This is a referendum on every single one of us, on our beliefs.”
During his campaign, Mr. Cowan had adopted a slogan that summed up the predicament that Ms. Greene posed for Republicans: “All of the conservative, none of the embarrassment.”
“She is not conservative — she’s crazy,” Mr. Cowan told Politico before the runoff. “She deserves a YouTube channel, not a seat in Congress. She’s a circus act.”
Mr. Cowan was not alone in his assessment of Ms. Greene, who runs a construction company with her husband. She earned a rebuke from Republican congressional leaders this year after Facebook videos showed her making offensive remarks about Black people, Jews and Muslims. Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House minority whip, publicly campaigned for Mr. Cowan and helped him raise money.
The Republican Party, though, was hardly uniform in its opposition to Ms. Greene’s candidacy. The leadership officially remained neutral, and Mr. Trump’s only comment on the race came in the form of a congratulatory tweet after her strong showing in the first-round primary in June, when she nearly doubled Mr. Cowan’s vote total.
Ms. Greene raised thousands of dollars from Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a high-profile Republican lawmaker and a favorite of the president, and a political action committee with which he is associated, the House Freedom Fund. She also secured modest four-figure donations from political action committees associated with Mark Meadows, a former North Carolina representative who is now Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, and Koch Industries, a financial mainstay of the Republican Party.