US Rep. Cawthorn, wife seek divorce after a year of marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn and his wife, Cristina Bayardelle, are divorcing after about a year of marriage, citing the difficulty of “balancing the enormity” of transitioning to a congressman’s life, according to a statement tweeted Wednesday by Cawthorn’s spokesperson.

The 26-year-old ally of former President Donald Trump became the youngest member of Congress last year after his election to the vacant 11th District seat previously held by Mark Meadows. Cawthorn announced last month he will run in a new congressional district, a seat that is friendlier to Republicans.

The couple married in April on the anniversary of a 2014 crash that left him partially paralyzed, months after they were legally wed in December 2020, news outlets reported.

While they agreed he should run, their lives changed overnight after his election, Cawthorn said in his statement.

“From the outset, we committed to make things work, to fight for our marriage, and seek counsel for balancing the enormity of such a transition in life,” he said. “Together, we realized that balance was not attainable, and that we had irreconcilable differences between us.”

Bayardelle said in a statement that she did not plan on the effect his political career would have on their relationship, WJZY-TV reported.

“I want to live in the world he creates, I just don’t want to be married to someone changing the world,” she said. “While we have agreed to be apart now, we still have a great friendship and there’s no ill-will. Madison is a fighter — he will help save this country.”

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