Trump-backed Rep. Russell Fry will defeat Rice in 7th District, CNN projects
Rice’s ouster underscores Trump’s continued popularity with most Republicans, especially in conservative districts like the one Rice has represented since 2013. But results in the 1st District showed that the former president’s influence is not entirely firm.
Mace did not vote for an impeachment trial against Trump, but she refused to join congressional opponents against President Joe Biden’s victory, drawing the former president’s ire. Facing charges of insufficient loyalty to Trump, she challenged Katie Arrington, who ran then-Rep. Mark Sanford, another Trump critic, in the 2018 primary but subsequently lost the general election.
Arrington, like Fry, had Trump’s endorsement. But it wasn’t enough. Mace will defeat Arrington by a clear majority in his three-candidate race over CNN projects. Mace had the support of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration.
In a rare conciliatory move, Trump congratulated Mace but declared the loss of Rice the “biggest news of the evening” in posts on his new social media platform.
In the Senate primary, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who lost the 2018 gubernatorial race, has Trump’s support — along with that of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other leading conservatives facing the 2024 presidential race — after serving as Co-chair of the former president’s 2020 campaign in the state, spreading baseless allegations of voter fraud after Trump’s loss there became apparent.
But Laxalt, whose late grandfather Paul Laxalt served as Nevada governor and then for two terms as one of its U.S. senators, must first fend off a late indictment by political newcomer Sam Brown, a retired Army captain who received a Purple Heart after suffering serious burn injuries in Afghanistan.
Competition for the GOP gubernatorial nomination and a November date with Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak are particularly symbolic of the modern Republican Party — all three candidates have allied themselves with Trump, a symbol of his movement’s growing power. However, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo is the candidate with the former president’s endorsement and the perceived front-runner over former Senator Dean Heller and Joey Gilbert, an attorney and retired boxer.
In years past, the race for the seat of Republican Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske might have flown under the radar of national politics. But after Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 results — efforts Cegavske dismissed — and in light of more recent, successful Republican attempts to restrict ballot access, Democrats are once again focusing on election-monitoring agencies.
On the ballot, a handful of members of the state’s Democratic House of Representatives faced major challenges. Rep. Dina Titus will win the renomination, CNN projects, defeating progressive challenger Amy Vilela, endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders last week. The Vermont independent won the Nevada caucuses during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Down in Texas, the lights were back on Tuesday night, this time for a special election to end the term of former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela in the soon-to-be 34th congressional district. Vela’s resignation in late March to work for a law and lobbying firm opened up the seat in a district Biden narrowly won in 2020 but is likely to turn more comfortably blue after the redistricting takes effect in November’s election. The special election took place under the existing district borders.
Former Cameron County Commissioner Dan Sanchez, a Democrat, conceded to Republican Mayra Flores Tuesday night. CNN has not yet projected in the race. A Flores win would give the Republicans an extra seat in the House of Representatives — but only until January.
Republicans were heavily invested in the special election, hoping to give Flores – already their general election candidate for the new district – a head start in their upcoming race against Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, currently in the 15th congressional district.
“Based on the results, we came up short tonight despite spending millions of dollars from extrastate interests and the entire Republican machinery,” Sanchez said in a statement. “Too many factors spoke against us, including little to no support from the National Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”
Flores would become the nation’s first Mexican-born member of Congress — a piece of history Republicans hope to use ahead of their clash with Gonzalez as a signal for the party’s growing presence among Hispanic voters in South Texas.
In Maine, more familiar faces dominated the primary nightscape.
Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage — the man who once billed himself as “Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular” — is back on the ballot as he attempts to steal his old job from Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, a longtime political foe , to win back . Both are running unopposed in their primaries ahead of their showdown in November.
The Republican field has been more competitive in the state’s 2nd congressional district, where the nominee will face one of the Democratic Party’s most vulnerable incumbents, Rep. Jared Golden. Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who lost his seat to Golden in 2018 after neither could secure a majority and the race was decided by Maine’s ranking system, will defeat Caratunk selectwoman Liz Caruso in the CNN primary projects.
There was less drama in North Dakota, where CNN predicts Republican Sen. John Hoeven will win the nomination over conservative activist Riley Kuntz. Hoeven is expected to win November’s re-election in the deep red state comfortably over Katrina Christiansen, who CNN predicts will be the Democratic nominee.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
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