Wednesday, June 13News That Matters

Republican Rep. Mark Sanford Defeated in South Carolina Primary

Rep. Mark Sanford, right, after voting Tuesday in a Republican primary for his seat.  He lost the race to state Rep. Katie Arrington.

Rep. Mark Sanford, right, after voting Tuesday in a Republican primary for his seat. He lost the race to state Rep. Katie Arrington.


Grace Beahm Alford/The Post and Courier/Associated Press


Republican primary voters rewarded loyalty to President

Donald Trump

in primary races Tuesday, ousting South Carolina Rep.

Mark Sanford,

a vocal critic of the president, and nominating Trump ally

Corey Stewart

for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia.

Together, the two primary results were a sign of how thoroughly Mr. Trump has come to dominate the Republican Party.

In the Charleston-based district in South Carolina,

Rep. Katie Arrington

was declared the winner by the Associated Press. She accused Mr. Sanford of being disloyal to the president, portraying him as a Trump adversary because he had been openly critical of some of the president’s policies and provocative statements.

Mr. Trump weighed in directly in the race Tuesday afternoon—just three hours before the state’s polls closed—with an endorsement of Ms. Arrington, in a Twitter message that attacked Mr. Sanford.

“Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to [Make America Great Again],’’ he tweeted. “He is MIA and nothing but trouble.”

In an appearance late Tuesday before supporters in Charleston, flanked by his four adult sons, Mr. Sanford gave a speech thanking his family, and acknowledging he was likely not to carry an election for the first time in his 25-year political career.

“I’ve always been a realist and at this point, based on the numbers I see, I think that I will end up losing this election,” Mr. Sanford said.

Ms. Arrington will face Democrat

Joe Cunningham,

a lawyer and yoga-studio owner in Charleston, who carried his infant son with him to vote Tuesday. Mr. Cunningham filmed an ad last year during the total eclipse, saying that Mr. Trump was a darkness falling on democracy.

When Mr. Trump tweeted his endorsement of Ms. Arrington over Mr. Sanford on Tuesday, Mr. Cunningham responded, “Shame that neither will be in Congress next year. See you in D.C.”

The five-way South Carolina GOP primary for governor is headed to a runoff between incumbent Henry McMaster and 39-year-old entrepreneur

John Warren.

Mr. McMaster is a fixture in state politics and was among the first elected officials to endorse Mr. Trump in the state’s influential 2016 primary.

Mr. McMaster was endorsed in turn by Mr. Trump, most recently in a tweet this past weekend. Mr. McMaster is headed to a June 26 runoff with Mr. Warren, a political newcomer who self-financed his campaign, and says he is more similar to Mr. Trump, as an outsider with a business background.

In Virginia, one of the five states holding primary elections Tuesday, Corey Stewart won the Republican primary for Senate and will face Democratic Sen.

Tim Kaine

in the general election. Some GOP leaders fear that Mr. Stewart, who has fought to protect Confederate war memorials, could damp the party’s chances of holding ground in November.

“This is clearly not the Republican Party I once knew, loved and proudly served,” said former Virginia

GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

“Every time I think things can’t get worse they do, and there is no end in sight.”

Larry Sabato,

the University of Virginia political science professor said on Twitter Tuesday that nominating Mr. Stewart could cost Republicans two or three U.S. House seats if he loses to Mr. Kaine by a large margin. “VA Republicans now have a big problem,” he wrote.

Related Video

The June 5 primaries were some of the most closely-watched races before November’s midterms and raise the question: what will the election be focused on? The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald F. Seib looks at six key points. (Originally Published June 6, 2018)

At his victory party, Mr. Stewart called Mr. Trump, for whom he worked as Virginia state coordinator, the “greatest president” of the last century and predicted he would beat Mr. Kaine.

Referring to Mr. Kaine as “Timmy,” Mr. Stewart sought to tie his candidacy to Mr. Trump and the Virginia’s booming economy.

“Virginia can choose to continue with the prosperity and the progress of America under President Trump, or it can choose the past with everything we know that has failed, and that’s Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine,” Mr. Stewart said.

Democrats picked women in key U.S. House races in Virginia where the party hopes to flip districts now held by Republicans.

In northern Virginia, state

Sen. Jennifer Wexton

emerged from a field of six Democrats vying to run against

GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock,

who is among the most endangered Republican in the House. Ms. Wexton, the only elected official in the field, was endorsed by

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

and others in the party establishment.

Ms. Comstock won her 2016 election by 7 percentage points as President Donald Trump lost the district by 10 points.

But Ms. Comstock’s 2016 disavowal of Mr. Trump after video emerged of him bragging that he could grope women without their consent has cost her among the president’s core supporters. GOP challenger Shak Hill, who Ms. Comstock dismissed as a perennial candidate, took about 40% against her in Tuesday’s two-person primary.

State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, flanked by Rep. Gerry Connolly, left and Sen. Tim Kaine, right, won her Democratic primary in northern Virginia. She will face Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in the general election.

State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, flanked by Rep. Gerry Connolly, left and Sen. Tim Kaine, right, won her Democratic primary in northern Virginia. She will face Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in the general election.


Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom/ZUMA Press

Ms. Wexton defeated a field of political novices, contrary to a trend in other states of voters favoring outsider candidates over insiders in Democratic primaries.

In a district near Richmond, Democratic voters chose former CIA agent

Abigail Spanberger

to run against GOP Rep. Dave Brat, the conservative who upended the political world in 2014 by defeating then-House Majority Leader

Eric Cantor

in a primary.

Democrats are convinced Mr. Brat is potentially vulnerable because Mr. Trump won the district, in Richmond’s suburbs, by just six points. The party has become emboldened after Democrat

Conor Lamb

won a House special election in March in a Pennsylvania district that Mr. Trump won in 2016 by 20 percentage points, flipping the seat from red to blue.

Ms. Spanberger beat a better-funded rival,

Dan Ward,

a former Marine. A first-time political candidate, Ms. Spanberger was a law enforcement officer working narcotics and money laundering cases with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service before becoming a CIA agent.

In Nevada’s primary elections Tuesday, battle lines were drawn for the election of a new governor to replace term-limited Republican

Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The winner of the Democratic primary was

Steve Sisolak,

a Clark County commissioner backed by former Senate Democratic Leader

Harry Reid,

a powerful figure in the state. He defeated fellow county commissioner

Christina Giunchigliani,

who was endorsed by Emily’s List, the national political group that supports women who back abortion rights. Mr. Sisolak will face Republican gubernatorial nominee

Adam Laxalt,

Nevada’s attorney general.

In Maine, Republican voters picked as their gubernatorial nominee Shawn Moody, a businessman and ally of outgoing

GOP Gov. Paul LePage.

The top vote getters in the Democratic primary were Attorney General

Janet Mills

and lawyer

Adam Cote.

But because neither reached 50% of the vote, the final results won’t be known until next week because of a new voting system being used for the first time.

Similar uncertainty remains in a contested Democratic primary for the nomination to run against

GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

The top Democratic vote getter was

Lucas St. Clair,

the heir to the Burt’s Bees fortune, but it was not clear if the final tally would put him over the 50% threshold.

—Valerie Bauerlein contributed to this article.

Write to Janet Hook at and Reid J. Epstein at

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Leave a Reply