5 states hold primaries; Rep. Mark Sanford loses to primary challenger

Rep. Mark Sanford. Photo: Facebook

June 13 (UPI) — Voters in Nevada, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia and North Dakota went to the polls on Tuesday as primary voting continues ahead of the November midterm elections.

And in Virginia, incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Sanford lost to his primary challenger.


Several candidates ran in the primaries to represent their party in the race for governor, which will be open after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval steps down because of term limits.

Adam Laxalt overwhelmingly won the Republican primary with 72.1 percent of the vote, while Steve Sisolak fended off his opponents with 50.1 percent.

Both were favored to win. Laxalt had the endorsement of President Donald Trump, while Sisolak had the endorsement of former U.S. Senator from Nevada, Harry Reid and a campaign war chest of more than $6 million, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In Nevada’s U.S. Senate primary, Jacy Rosen easily won the Democratic primary with 78 percent of the vote and Dean Heller easily took the Republican primary with 70 percent, according to The New York Times.


In Maine’s governor race, which will not have an incumbent because Gov. Paul LePage is term-limited, Shawn Moody won the Republican nomination with about 56 percent of the vote.

On the Democratic side, the race was much closer with Janet Mills receiving 32.6 percent and Adam Cote with 28.1 percent. This race was not called as of Tuesday night with many votes still needing to be counted. The final result could take several days to determine.

Maine is the first state in the nation to try Instant Runoff Voting, a style of voting passed in 2016 that allows voters to rank their candidates in preference from first to last.

In the Senate race, incumbent Sen. Angus King, an independent who votes with Democrats, will face Zak Ringelstein of the Democratic Party and Eric Brakey of the Republican Party.

In Maine’s 1st District, incumbent Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree will face Republican candidate Mark Holbrook. Both men ran uncontested.

In Maine’s 2nd District, incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s opponent is yet to be officially called but is likely going to be Jared Golden, who had 50 percent of the vote Tuesday night with 67 percent of precincts reporting.

North Dakota

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp ran unopposed in her primary and will face sitting Republican congressman, Kevin Cramer, who won 87.8 percent of the vote.

Cramer’s decision to run for Senate leaves his congressional seat open. And Mac Schneider will represent the Democratic Party after running unopposed in the primary, while Kelly Armstrong will represent the Republicans after winning 56.3 percent.

South Carolina

Republican Rep. Mark Sanford lost to his primary challenger, state Rep. Katie Arrington, 46.6 percent to 50.5 percent.

Sanford has been a harsh critic of Trump, who endorsed Arrington.

“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,” Trump tweeted, referring to when Sanford, as governor of South Carolina in 2009, went to Argentina without telling family and staff to visit his mistress. “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!”

Arrington will face Joe Cunningham, who won the Democratic primary with 71.5 percent.


In Virginia, Corey Stewart won 45 percent of the vote in the Republican primary and will go on to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.


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