South Carolina voters delivered the vengeance that Donald Trump had sought as they ousted Rep. Tom Rice, one of the 10 House Republicans who had voted to impeach the former President, in a primary Tuesday.
But in a district south of Rice’s, another one-time Trump critic, Rep. Nancy Mace, narrowly survived another challenge from a Trump-endorsed rival. The races at once showed the difficulty of surviving in a GOP still dominated by Trump without embracing his grievances.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, Republicans chose a vocal supporter of Trump’s lies about election fraud as their nominee to become the state’s top official election.
And in the Rio Grande Valley, Republicans’ gains among Latino voters were on display in a special election for a House seat that could offer a glimpse at what’s to come in several key states in November’s midterm elections.
Here are five takeaways from Tuesday’s races:
Trump topples another intra-party critic in South Carolina House primary: The former President settled another political score in South Carolina, as Trump-endorsed state Rep. Russell Fry handily defeated Rep. Tom Rice in a Republican primary in Pee Dee.
Rice is the latest Republican purged from the party after breaking with former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Rice was one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump.
Fry’s ouster of Rice underscores the political peril that faces many Republicans who have crossed Trump.
But another one-time Trump critic survived his revenge effort: While Rice was getting walloped, another House Republican, Rep. Nancy Mace, narrowly survived a Trump-fueled primary challenge by former state Rep. Katie Arrington in her Lowcountry district.
One key difference between the South Carolina Republican who lost a House primary Tuesday and the one who survived: Rice voted to impeach Trump; Mace did not.
Election denier wins GOP primary for Nevada’s top elections office: Jim Marchant, a former state lawmaker and leading proponent of Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud, won the Republican primary for the Nevada secretary of state’s office Tuesday – adding the Silver State to the growing list of those where election deniers are positioning themselves to take over the election machinery ahead of the 2024 presidential race.
Marchant is seeking to replace Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican who has repeatedly said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, but who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection.
Democrat concedes in race for House seat in heavily Latino Texas district: Democrat Dan Sanchez’s concession to Republican Mayra Flores in a special election for what had long been a Democratic-held House seat in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday offered another glimpse at the GOP’s gains among Latino voters and the enthusiasm gap confronting Democrats as the midterm elections approach.
Flores is already set to face off against Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who currently represents a neighboring district, in the redrawn 34th District in November. The newly drawn district is more favorable to Democrats than the one Flores ran in for Tuesday’s special election, but she would have the advantage of incumbency.
Maine tees up two key races: Maine’s bombastic former Republican governor, Paul LePage, is now set to take on Democratic Gov. Janet Mills after the two advanced past Tuesday primaries that were mere formalities, since neither faced an opponent.
Republican former Rep. Bruce Poliquin, meanwhile, survived a contest with a conservative activist and is now set to try to reclaim his former congressional district in a rematch of a hard-fought 2018 race against Democratic Rep. Jared Golden.
Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system. In 2018, Poliquin actually received more first-place votes than Golden. But after the ranked-choice system eliminated third-party candidates, Golden prevailed. But Trump won the district in 2020, giving Republicans hope that they can win the New England seat again in November.
In North Dakota, meanwhile, Republicans nominated Sen. John Hoeven for a third term, which he is widely expected to win in November.
Read more about Tuesday night here.