SC Rep. Sanford defeated; 4 other states vote

Candidates running for Governor

Though it's unclear how much impact the president's last-minute endorsement made in the final stretch of the primary election, Sanford said Trump's tweet hurt him, adding that the president's "if you offend me, I'm coming back to get you"-attitude was "a little outside the norm".

"Mark Sanford has become the problem in Washington", Arrington said in her campaign video.

The results come after Arrington repeatedly attacked Sanford for opposing Trump. His public confession came after Sanford disappeared from the governor's office, and a spokesman said he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail", when he was actually visiting his mistress. Afterwards, in 2013, he somehow won a special election for the first district seat, filling the vacancy left when Tim Scott was appointed to the Senate.

Over more than two decades, SC voters forgave U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford for his quirkiness, his infidelity and his lies. In Tuesday's primary, he lost to state Representative Katie Arrington, who had campaigned against Sanford by branding him a "Never Trumper".

Asked whether he would consider forming a splinter party with fellow anti-Trump Republican Bob Corker, a Tennessee senator, Sanford declined to give a definitive answer, saying he was focused on the short-term.

In Virginia, a state legislator favored by the Virginia Democratic Party establishment won a crowded battle for the right to challenge one of the most endangered congressional Republicans in November's elections.

He was the top aide to Trump's presidential campaign in Virginia in 2016, but was sacked for staging an unauthorized protest of the Republican National Committee.

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Arrington, a businesswoman with ties to the military, was considered an underdog when she initially launched her first race for Congress a year ago. "He is better off in Argentina", Trump tweeted.

As Arrington told her cheering supporters, "We are the party of Donald J. Trump". If no one gets a majority after the polls close Tuesday night, then there is a runoff in two weeks. Vying to defeat her in November are four Democrats who are facing off Tuesday - state Sen.

"Yes, of course it's his party", said Doug Heye, a former top House GOP leadership aide who is now a party strategist. Earlier this year at the party convention, journalist Leslie Cockburn won the nomination in Virginia's 5th Congressional District. He also voted against a border wall proposal, called Trump's proposed tariffs on aluminum and steel "an experiment with stupidity" and was unrelenting in calling for Trump to release his tax returns. As voters were heading to the polls Tuesday, the president took a shot at the incumbent congressman.

To be sure, the president's track record of picking winners and losers in elections is not flawless.

While fealty to the Republican president may be a requirement to win low-turnout Republican primaries dominated by conservative activists, it could prove a tougher sell against energized anti-Trump Democratic forces in midterm elections this fall.

"There's only one Trump, for better or worse", said Chip Felkel, a Greenville Republican political consultant.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, the only Republican seeking re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, and Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen sailed through their primaries, and already have begun focusing their criticism on each other in what is expected to be among the most competitive Senate races this year.


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