In a startling upset, U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford's re-election hopes were dashed Tuesday when he narrowly lost the GOP primary for South Carolina's 1st District congressional seat to Katie Arrington, a freshman state legislator from Dorchester County. In Tuesday's primary, he lost to state Representative Katie Arrington, who had campaigned against Sanford by branding him a "Never Trumper".
With 98-percent of precincts reporting, Arrington led the race by about 2,500 votes - enough to avoid a runoff and secure the Republican nomination.
The congressman, former governor and one-time presidential aspirant was trailing a little-known state lawmaker who slammed him for his repeated criticism of President Trump, the latest sign that the most risky thing to do in the modern GOP is dare to take on the president. Trump didn't even endorse his opponent until the polls were nearly closed last night.
Sanford is a former governor who has never lost an election in eight races in SC, even after he admitted to an affair with a woman in Argentina.
Republican Rep. Mark Sanford became the latest proof point that fealty to Trump - much more than purity on the issues - matters most in GOP politics.
Just hours before the polls closed in South Carolina, Trump tweeted, "Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA".
The tweet could also be Trump's way of preparing to take credit if Sanford loses or goes to a run-off.
'Bless his heart, but it's time for Mark Sanford to take a hike - for real this time, ' Arrington says in one TV ad. "I look forward to working together with him to drain the swamp and continue making America great again". The establishment Republican governor endorsed moderate-liberal Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman during the 2012 GOP presidential primaries, but his support for Trump has pushed him to the front of the pack with the state's conservative primary voters.
Amodei has been in office since 2011 and represents a conservative northern Nevada district.Voters on Tuesday were also deciding inter-party races for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general.
Another Republican who was also critical of Trump, Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby, is also at risk of losing re-election. He'll face Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic incumbent. Ted Cruz during the 2016 election campaign.
Meanwhile, longtime state Rep. James Smith has won the Democratic seat.
Even for a political figure with no shortage of confidence wading into his own party's decision-making, Trump's attack on Sanford was a bold case of going after a sitting member of Congress. On Tuesday, Virginia GOP primary voters ended up nominating a former Trump official who has defended Confederate symbols, Corey Stewart, to challenge Kaine.
In the state's Second Congressional District, which includes the Hampton Roads region, Democrat Elaine Luria was the declared victor over rival Karen Mallard with 95 percent of the vote tallied. "Primary voters in the Republican Party have devolved into a Trumpist cult".
Democrats have a credible, well-funded candidate seeking this seat - Charleston, S.C. environmental attorney Joe Cunningham.
The big race in ME in November will be for governor, where Democrats see an opportunity to flip a Republican seat held by outgoing Gov. Paul LePage. Heidi Heitkamp, at the 2018 North Dakota Republican Party Convention in Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 7, 2018. In the 4th District, vacated by retiring Rep. Ruben Kihuen, Steven Horsford, a former congressman, will be the Democratic nominee.