Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump attacks Republican up for re-election with reference to affair

Trump attacks Republican up for re-election with reference to affair

Rep. Mark Sanford, the Republican incumbent in SC, lost his primary on Tuesday-and a well-timed tweet from President Donald Trump may be responsible for his defeat. He backed Sanford's pro-Trump challenger, state legislator Katie Arrington, for November's congressional elections.

The New York Times reports that Sanford "all but concedes" in a speech in Charleston tonight, telling supporters, "Based on the numbers I see, I think I'll end up losing this election". That just crossed the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff later this month between the top two contenders.

In an interview with Politico previous year, Sanford said Trump had "fanned the flames of intolerance" and called him unprepared for the presidency.

As voters went to the polls Tuesday, Trump took the extraordinary step of tweeting with advice to defeat an incumbent congressman from his own party.

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That was a reference to Sanford's surprise disappearance from the state as governor, which he later revealed was to continue his affair with an Argentine woman. In a February 2017 Politico piece, he said Trump has "fanned the flames of intolerance". Sanford is also known for not being sufficiently supportive of President Donald Trump.

But Trump says Rep. Katie Arrington "was such a good candidate, and Sanford was so bad, I had to give it a shot". In his remarks Tuesday night, he said: "I stand by every one of those decisions to disagree with the president".

In the most dramatic result in primaries across five states Tuesday, Sanford was the second incumbent House Republican to lose a primary this year - the latest victim of intense divisions among the GOP in the Trump era. She has served in the Statehouse since 2016. Nevada, North Dakota, Maine and Virginia also chose candidates for the midterm election on November 6, when Democrats hope to capture a majority of the U.S. Congress.

Some of the other notable races were taking place in Virginia, where Democrats are seeking to capture some of the 23 Republican seats they would need to reclaim the majority in the U.S. House. On Tuesday, Virginia GOP primary voters ended up nominating a former Trump official who has defended Confederate symbols, Corey Stewart, to challenge Kaine. Democrats Joe Cunningham and Toby Smith are also battling for their party's nomination. So far, CNN has been unable to project a victor in the Maine House District or either the Democrat or Republican primary for Maine governor.

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The Senate landscape is becoming more settled Tuesday night as well. One is Sen Heidi Heitkamp's seat in North Dakota. Tuesday demonstrated yet again just how strong the anti-incumbency mood is among Republican primary voters.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster will have a runoff against business executive John Warren, even though McMaster was one of the few Republican leaders in South Carolina who supported Trump's presidential bid. Dean Heller. And in North Dakota, Republicans will pick Rep. Kevin Cramer to challenge Democratic Sen.

The incumbent governor has 44 percent of the statewide vote with 45 percent reporting.

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