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South Carolina incumbents face Trump-endorsed challengers

South Carolina incumbents face Trump endorsed challengers


Two incumbent House Republicans from South Carolina could fall to primary challengers Tuesday after running afoul of former President Donald Trump.

The races in the Palmetto State’s 1st and 7th Congressional Districts will be among the most closely watched on a day when voters also go to the polls in Maine, Nevada and North Dakota. A special House primary will also be held in Texas’ 34th Congressional District.

In South Carolina’s 1st District, freshman GOP Rep. Nancy Mace is facing Trump-backed former state Rep. Katie Arrington, who unsuccessfully contested the seat in 2018.

Mace got on Trump’s bad side after she criticized him over the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

“Nancy fights Republicans all the time and is not at all nice about it,” Trump said in a statement Sunday night. “Frankly, she is despised by almost everyone, and who needs that in Congress, or in the Republican Party?”

“Katie Arrington’s policies are perfect, she’s a hard worker, and she loves the Great State of South Carolina, where she has the tremendous backing of almost all who know her—especially when she is compared to Nancy Mace!” the 45th president added.

Katie Arrington ran for the South Carolina congressional seat once before in 2018.
AP/Mic Smith

In the 7th District, five-term Rep. Tom Rice, one of 10 GOPers who voted to impeach Trump on a count of incitement of insurrection following the riot, ​is being challenged by state Rep. Russell Fry and five other candidates.

​Trump is backing Fry, who was elected in 2015, and has been hammering Rice as a RINO, or Republican in Name Only.

Rice, meanwhile, has the support of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., questions IRS commissioner Charles Rettig during a hearing of the Oversight Subcommittee about the 2022 tax filing season, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 17, 2022.
Rep. Tom Rice was one of 10 GOPers who voted to impeach Trump following the Capitol riot.
AP/Alex Brandon
State Rep. Russell Fry addresses a crowd awaiting former President Donald Trump, March 12, 2022, in Florence, S.C.
State Rep. Russell Fry is looking to unseat Rice.
AP/Meg Kinnard

Nevada

Republicans are hoping to flip the Silver State’s Senate seat held by Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and have a field of eight primary candidates to choose from.

The front-runner is former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the grandson of Paul Laxalt, a former Nevada governor and senator.

Laxalt has the backing of Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — as well as a sizable lead in primary polls. What he does not have is the official endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party, whose delegates backed former Army captain Sam Brown, who was badly wounded by an improvised explosive device during a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2008.

Cortez Masto faces three challengers in the Democratic Senate primary: Stephanie Kasheta, Corey Reid and Allen Rheinhart.​​

Nevada state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt speaks at a news conference on a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Las Vegas
Former Nevada state Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt is the front-runner to become the state’s Senator.
AP/John Locher
Nevada Republican Senate hopeful Sam Brown poses for a photo outside his campaign office in Reno, Nevada, April 21, 2002.
Nevada Republican Senate hopeful Sam Brown has the official endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party.
AP/Scott Sonner,

Texas

Two Republicans and two Democrats are running in a so-called “jungle primary” in Texas’ 34th Congressional District to replace the seat held by Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned at the end of March to pursue his legal career.

Republican Mayra Flores has the backing of Gov. Greg Abbott and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), while Vela has endorsed Democrat Dan Sanchez to fill the seat. Juana Cantu-Cabrera and Rene Coronado are looking to play spoiler on the Republican and Democratic sides, respectively.

If no candidate gets at least 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held at a later date.

Bruce Poliquin, Republican candidate for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, speaks to reporters during a campaign stop at Dysart's Restaurant and Truck Stop, Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Bangor, Maine.
Bruce Poliquin was a Maine congressman until losing his re-election bid in 2018.
AP/Robert F. Bukaty
Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, speaks at Acadia National Park, June 18, 2021, in Winter Harbor, Maine.
Rep. Jared Golden defeated Poliquin in 2018.
AP/Robert F. Bukaty

Maine

​In the 2nd Congressional District, former Rep. Bruce Poliquin is trying to win back the seat he held for four years before his 2018 defeat to incumbent Democrat Jared Golden. He’s expected to defeat outsider Elizabeth Caruso in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

North Dakota

Sen. John Hoeven, who is seeking a third six-year term, is expected to easily turn back a challenge from oil worker Riley Kuntz in the Republican primary

In the Democratic primary, engineering professor Katrina Christiansen is running against small business owner Michael Steele. The winner would be a heavy underdog against Hoeven in November.



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