Primary coverage was missing from TNB last night because the person who covers the Primaries was at a concert. News was made in the primary last night, though: Mark Sanford of South Carolina was ousted from his seat by a primary challenger.
Mark Sanford is the formerly-beloved Governor of South Carolina who famously cheated on his wife and lied to his constituents by meeting a mistress in Argentina, a mistress who would eventually become his new fiancee… a fiancee he then broke up with five years later. The affair cost him his Governorship, but his successful guidance of the state was not forgotten and he was given another political life as a Representative. (ABC) (NY Times)
His ethical issues, major though they were, had the appearance of being a one-time thing. After his marital failing critics looked for other ethical violations but Sanford appeared to have learned his lesson. He instead focused on demonstrating that a person who had made public mistakes could move past them and produce good policy.
That was until he ran up against Donald J. Trump. Trump, whose history of ethical flaws far outweigh those of Sanford, was the target of much criticism from the Representative, and only rare praise. Sanford instead maintained a hard line on traditional Republican values such as fiscal responsibility and was careful to call out ethical violations that might remind people of his prior failings. (An example from Business Insider)
That earned him a direct, last-hour attack from the President as Trump attempted, successfully, to frame Sanford as a direct hindrance to him:
Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2018
Katie Arrington won with 50.5% of the vote.
From CBS news:
After declaring victory Tuesday, Arrington asked Republicans to come together. And she reminded them who she thinks leads them: “We are the party of President Donald J. Trump.”
My political representatives didn’t want me to get involved in the Mark Sanford primary thinking that Sanford would easily win – but with a few hours left I felt that Katie was such a good candidate, and Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot. Congrats to Katie Arrington!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
It is likely that his political representatives didn’t want him involved in trying to oust an occasional ally / occasional antagonist in a primary. Historically, it smacks of power consolidation and corruption; and if it fails, the occasional ally is typically turned into a direct enemy. In this instance, however, it will likely aid Trump in completely remaking the Republican Party into his own image. The long-term effects of that are yet to be seen.
It is also fundamentally untrue, as Trump’s endorsement came on the last day, when Sanford’s polling was showing that he was likely to lose and he’d already started making desperation moves. From Politico:
The once seemingly safe former South Carolina governor, who’s never lost a bid for political office, is sweating in the final days of his primary race against state Rep. Katie Arrington, a political newcomer who’s cast Sanford as a disloyal Never-Trumper.
And with that, we move to the Primaries from last night!
Because this is being posted after (most of) the results are tabulated, there will not be the usual links to local outlets where the incoming numbers can be reported by those who have familiarity with the names and personal connections to the results. As always, however, only competitive races will be listed:
Governor: Shawn Moody (R)
(Democrat candidates for Governor and House 2 are still TBD due to a slower counting process associated with a new ranked-choice system which has left the sitting Governor threatening to not certify the results) (Vox)
Governor: Adam Laxalt (R), Steve Sisolak (D)
Senate: Dean Heller (R), Jacky Rosen (D)
House 1: Joyce Bentley (R), Dina Titus (D)
House 2: Mark Amodei (R), Clint Koble (D)
House 3: Danny Tarkanian (R), Susie Lee (D)
House 4: Cresent Hardy (R), Steven Horsford (D)
Senate: Kevin Cramer (R)
House: Kelly Armstrong (R)
Governor: Henry McMaster & John Warren (R) (Runoff), James Smith (D)
House 1: Katie Arrington (R), Joe Cunnigham (D)
House 2: Annabelle Robertson & Sean Carrigan (D) (Runoff)
House 3: Mary Geren (D)
House 4: Lee Bright & ? (R) (Runoff), Doris Turner & Brandon Brown (D) (Runoff)
House 5: Archie Parnell (D)
House 7: Tom Rice (R), Robert Williams & Mal Hyman (D) (Runoff)
Senate: Corey Stewart (R)
House 1: Vangie Williams (D)
House 2: Scott Taylor (R), Elaine Luria (D)
House 4: Ryan McAdams (R)
House 6: Jennifer Lewis (D)
House 7: Abigail Spanberger (D)
House 9: Anthony Flaccavento (D)
House 10: Barbara Comstock (R), Jennifer Wexton (D)