More primary elections were held on June 14th in South Carolina, Nevada, Maine, and North Dakota. This week, Election Central takes a closer look at the outcome of a few key races in these states.
Political watchers continue to evaluate Donald Trump’s endorsement power in Republican primaries. Trump has endorsed hundreds of 2022 candidates. Sometimes, his approval seems to help a candidate and sometimes it does not. In South Carolina, both things happened. Republican Representative Tom Rice was one of ten Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment. So, Trump endorsed his opponent, Representative Russell Fry. While he did not receive Trump’s endorsement, Rice was endorsed by several other Republican leaders–including U.S. Representative Liz Cheney and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But Fry beat out his six competitors with 51 percent of the vote. (Rice, who came in second, received only 25 percent.)
In South Carolina’s 1st district, Representative Nancy Mace defeated former state representative Katie Arrington by winning 53 percent of the votes cast. Trump had given support to Arrington partly because Mace had criticized Trump after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Mace later softened some of her critical statements towards Trump. Mace received endorsements from former Governor Nikki Haley and Trump’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.
In one of Nevada’s Senate primary races, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt defeated Sam Brown, a retired U.S. Army captain. Laxalt won 55.7 percent of the vote to Brown’s 34.4 percent. Laxalt was a co-chair of Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign in Nevada. He has also supported Trump’s unfounded claims questioning the 2020 presidential election results. Laxalt was also backed by several other important GOP leaders, including Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Jim Marchant won the primary race for Nevada’s Secretary of State. He wants to ban mail-in voting, early voting, and even electronic voting machines. Marchant has also said that he would not have certified the 2020 election if he had been Secretary of State at the time.
In Maine, Governor Janet Mills ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Meanwhile, in the 2nd District Republican primary, U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin beat out challenger Elizabeth Caruso with sixty percent of the vote.
In North Dakota, Republican Senator John Hoeven easily defeated challenger Riley Kuntz, an oil patch worker, with more than 78 percent of the vote. Another landslide occurred on the Democratic side. Katrina Christiansen, an engineer and professor, captured nearly 77 percent of the vote to defeat Michael Steele, a U.S. Army veteran.