Us Politics

Republican Sam Brown clinches Nevada US Senate primary

The U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican Sam Brown captured his party’s U.S. Senate nomination in Nevada on Tuesday, setting up a November showdown against Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen that could impact Republican hopes of winning Senate control.

Brown, a former U.S. Army captain who was badly wounded in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan in 2008, emerged the victor from a crowded field, claiming 57.9% of the vote with 72% of ballots cast, according to the Associated Press. His closest competitor, Donald Trump’s former ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, had 15.6% of the vote.

In the Democratic primary, Rosen won renomination against two challengers by garnering 92.3% of the vote with 73% of ballots counted, AP projected.  

Voters also chose nominees on Tuesday in primary elections in South Carolina, Maine and North Dakota, while a Republican captured a special House election in Ohio.

“Thank you, Nevada! Next stop: November 5th,” Brown said in a post on the social media platform X. He had been backed by Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, and others in the party, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Nevada is a highly competitive state that will play an important role in determining control of the Senate and whether Democratic President Joe Biden or his challenger Trump wins the White House.

Democrats hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, but one-third of the chamber is up for grabs in November. Republicans have an easier path to recapturing the majority, as they are up for reelection in states not seen as competitive. By contrast, Democrats face tough races in Arizona, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Republicans view Rosen as vulnerable on inflation and immigration, while the Democratic incumbent has attacked Brown’s ties to Trump and mounted a strong campaign on the issue of abortion.

“It’s official: MAGA extremist Sam Brown is my opponent in the Nevada Senate race. Brown would be a rubber stamp for Washington Republicans, and his far-right agenda will hurt hardworking Nevada families,” Rosen, using the acronym for Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan, said in a post on X.

MACE DEFEATS CHALLENGER

In South Carolina, U.S. Representative Nancy Mace overcame a primary election challenge from fellow Republican Catherine Templeton, advancing to a November general election showdown that she is likely to win.   

Mace defeated Templeton 56.8% to 29.8% with 95% of the vote counted, according to the Associated Press, despite Templeton’s support from party heavyweights including former House Speakers Kevin McCarthy and Newt Gingrich.

“We did it – You, Lowcountry voters did it! A thousand times over – THANK YOU!” Mace said on X.

The two-term South Carolina congresswoman will now face Democrat Michael Moore for a House of Representatives seat that independent analysts describe as solidly Republican. Moore bested Mac Deford 52.9% to 47.1% for the Democratic nomination, with 88% of votes counted. 

Mace, 46, who was endorsed by Trump, raised eyebrows among her constituents last year by joining Republican hardliners in a vote to oust McCarthy as the top Republican in Congress, a move that led to weeks of political chaos.

In another South Carolina primary race, incumbent Republican U.S. Representative William Timmons narrowly turned back a challenge from state Representative Adam Morgan by a margin of 51.6% to 48.4%, with 95% of ballots counted. Morgan had been backed by a group of hardline House Republicans. 

In Maine, Republican voters chose state Representative Austin Theriault to challenge Democratic U.S. Representative Jared Golden in the general election. Golden was uncontested in the state’s Democratic primary. 

A former NASCAR stock car driver endorsed by Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson, Theriault defeated Republican rival Michael Soboleski 66% to 33.4% with 82% of the vote in.

In Ohio, Republican state Senator Michael Rulli defeated Democrat Michael Kripchak in a special U.S. House election to serve out the remaining term of former Representative Bill Johnson, a Republican who left Congress in January to become president of Youngstown State University. 

Rulli won with 54.7% of the vote vs. Kripchak’s 45.3%, with 95% of ballots cast, according to the Associated Press. 

Johnson’s remaining term will expire in early January. Rulli and Kripchak will square off again in the November general election for a full two-year congressional term. The congressional district is rated as solidly Republican by independent analysts.  

In North Dakota, U.S. Representative Kelly Armstrong defeated Lieutenant Governor Tammy Miller for the Republican nomination to replace Governor Doug Burgum, who is viewed as a possible Trump running mate.

With 95% of the vote counted, Armstrong defeated Miller 73.2% to 26.8%. Miller had been endorsed by Burgum.

Armstrong will now face Democratic state Senator Merrill Piepkorn in November. Piepkorn ran uncontested for the Democratic nomination. 

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone, Richard Chang and Sonali Paul)

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