Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Trump congratulates Sanford challenger for win

Runoff for SC GOP gubernatorial race; Rep. Smith wins Dem primary Gov. Henry McMaster headed to runoff, Rep. James Smith wins nomination from Democrats, big
Deanna Wagner | 13 June, 2018, 16:42

President Donald Trump slammed Republican Congressman Mark Sanford for not supporting his agenda, alluded to the lawmaker's extra martial affair and endorsed his primary opponent - all with less than three hours before polls close in SC.

In recent years in Congress, Sanford has drawn ire from chamber-of-commerce Republicans for voting against omnibus spending bills containing money for the Charleston port deepening project - a top priority in his district - because he opposes earmarks.

President Trump tweeted his endorsement of Katie Arrington roughly three hours before polls closed in SC. This race won't have a victor or loser until November, but it's worth noting that Comstock (R-Va.) ceded almost 40 percent of the vote to a little-known GOP primary challenger on Tuesday.

"Based on the number I see, I think that I'll end up losing this election", he said.

Trump congratulated Arrington in a tweet early Wednesday upon his return to Washington from meetings in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It's true that Sanford's six-day disappearance during July 2009-when he was supposedly hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail, but was actually having an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, María Belén Chapur-changed the course of his political career.

In the most dramatic result in primaries across five states Tuesday, Sanford was the second incumbent House Republican to lose a primary this year - the latest victim of intense divisions among the GOP in the Trump era. He is MIA and nothing but trouble.

The President announced his last-minute endorsement of Arrington as the polls neared closing on Tuesday, and also criticized Sanford, who has served the state's First Congressional District in the House of Representatives since 2013. "She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes".

Arrington has a tough road ahead of her, though.

In one ad, Arrington tied the two chief arguments against him - insufficient support for Trump and the scandal - together.

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Trump's post was made less than three hours before polls closed.

He can win. Even Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible. She has focused her campaign on her support for Trump. Sanford also said in a 2017 interview that Trump "has fanned the flames of intolerance".

"It may cost me an election in this case but I stand by every one of those decisions to disagree with the president", Sanford said. It is the first race Sanford has lost over his 25 years in politics.

Sanford is a house hold name in SC and has never lost a political race. Rep. Robert Pittenger was ousted in North Carolina last month. The GOP Senate nominee in Virginia, Corey Stewart, has underscored his efforts to combat illegal immigration and is a champion of Confederate symbols. He'll face Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic incumbent. But he has accused the president of contributing to the coarsening of the national political discourse, and that turned the primary into a test of whether loyalty to Trump is more important to Republican voters than a lawmaker's record. The president's tweet also calls Virginia's Democratic Sen. Trump won the district in 2016 by a margin of 53% to 40%.

Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative, won her primary in Virginia's 7th Congressional District to face incumbent Rep. David Brat in the fall.

Seats in the state legislature and U.S. Congress are up for grabs depending on where you live. Democrats Joe Cunningham and Toby Smith are also battling for their party's nomination.

The most serious primary challenge to an incumbent member of Nevada's congressional delegation is conservative activist Sharron Angle's bid for Nevada's 2nd Congressional District.

One of the most interesting GOP primaries in Nevada involves legal brothel owner Dennis Hof challenging GOP state Rep. James Oscarson for his seat in the statehouse. So far, CNN has been unable to project a victor in the Maine House District or either the Democrat or Republican primary for Maine governor. Another former congressman, Cresent Hardy, is the favorite to be the Republican in the race.

That result would lead to a runoff between McMaster and Warren, with Catherine Templeton eliminated on 20 percent of the vote. In North Dakota, GOP Representative Kevin Cramer was declared the party's primary victor, setting him up to run against Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

In Nevada, Democrats tapped Rep. Jacky Rosen to take on Republican Sen. Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Clark County Commissioner Christina Giunchigliani are the front-runners among Democrats.

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