Key Takeaways From Tuesday’s Primaries

Tuesday’s primary results could provide a glimpse into how voters view the chain of power within the GOP. Trump endorsements led two South Carolina incumbents to victory by large margins, despite millions of campaign dollars from former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to prop up the opposition. NTD's Melina Wisecup has the latest.

Voters made their voices heard in primaries and other important contests in Ohio, North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, and Maine.

Not all of the many June 11 races warrant close scrutiny. However, a relatively narrow GOP victory in the Ohio district that includes East Palestine and a close contest between a Trump-backed incumbent and a Freedom Caucus leader in South Carolina stand out.

Meanwhile, results from crucial Republican primaries in Nevada came in well after midnight on the East Coast. A think-tank veteran from rural Appalachia and a small business owner who served in the U.S. Army will face incumbent Democrats in a state that former President Donald Trump hopes to claim.

Here’s more on the big wins and losses across the country.

Mace Beats McCarthy-Backed Challenger

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) survived a primary challenge from attorney Catherine Templeton.

Ms. Templeton was backed by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who Ms. Mace helped oust from the leadership position last year. Former President Trump endorsed Ms. Mace.

“I’ve never been afraid to stand on principle or stand up against powerful people or powerful forces,” Ms. Mace wrote on social media platform X.

Late on June 11, Ms. Mace led by 27 points with almost 98 percent of the vote counted. That was broadly in line with polling ahead of the contest.

She is in a good position to win her district in November. It became significantly redder after the post-2020 census redistricting, while Rep. Jim Clyburn’s (D-S.C.) district became bluer through the same process.

A lawsuit from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) alleging racial gerrymandering fell short at the Supreme Court. A majority of the justices there sided with South Carolina.

Ms. Mace will face Michael B. Moore, a businessman who won the district’s Democratic primary. Mr. Moore narrowly defeated Mac Deford, who has worked as a lawyer for towns in the state.

Former President Trump celebrated Ms. Mace’s victory against Ms. Templeton on Truth Social, noting he had endorsed her.

Timmons Defeats Freedom Caucus Leader

Another victory the former president celebrated—that of Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.)—may not sit so well with the conservative wing of the GOP.

Mr. Timmons won his fight with state Rep. Adam Morgan, who chairs South Carolina’s Freedom Caucus, in the GOP primary for Mr. Timmons’ Fourth District.

William Timmons
Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.) speaks at a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing in Washington on Feb. 15, 2024. (NTD)

Mr. Morgan was endorsed by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), a stalwart conservative who was the only South Carolinian in Congress who stood by presidential candidate Nikki Haley during the state’s February presidential primary. Rep. Matt Gaetz also spoke up for Mr. Morgan, as did General Mike Flynn.

In a February interview with The Epoch Times, Mr. Morgan drew attention to Mr. Timmons’ comments on the events of Jan. 6, 2021, saying his opponent had labeled participants “insurrectionists.”

Mr. Timmons criticized Mr. Norman for backing Ms. Haley at a late stage in the primary contest. He also lauded former President Trump, saying, among other things, that “the war in Ukraine would have never happened if Trump were in the White House.”

Despite former President Trump’s support, Mr. Timmons’ June 11 victory was fairly narrow. The incumbent led by three points with 99 percent of the vote counted.

The incumbent lawmaker is well situated to win in November in his GOP-leaning district.

Rulli Win in Ohio Grows GOP Majority

In Ohio, Michael Rulli, a Republican, took down Michael Kripchak, a Democrat, in a special election for the state’s Sixth District, the same district that witnessed the East Palestine train derailment early last year.

With 98 percent of votes tallied, Mr. Rulli, an Ohio state senator, had 54.7 percent of the vote. Mr. Kripchak, a political newcomer with a background in acting and physics, received 45.3 percent of the total.

Mr. Rulli will thus finish the term of Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), who stepped down in January to become president of Youngstown State University.

NTD Photo
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) in a still from video released by NTD. (NTD)

After a spate of House GOP resignations, Mr. Rulli’s victory has grown the Republican majority to 219 vs. 213 Democrats.

While the district leans safely Republican according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Mr. Kripchak’s performed better than expected, despite being significantly out-raised. Mr. Rulli garnered more than $678,000 in receipts this cycle, compared to a little more than $22,260 by Mr. Kripchak, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

On social media, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report described Mr. Rulli’s victory in a district that former President Trump handily won in 2020 as “a much closer margin than either party expected.”

Yet, others have pointed out that turnout in the race was likely much lower than can be expected from the general election. The Buckeye State recorded 73.99 percent voter turnout in November 2020.

Mr. Kripchak will face Mr. Rulli again in the general election.

Former NASCAR Driver Wins Maine GOP Primary

In Maine’s Second District Republican primary, Austin Theriault more or less lapped Michael Soboleski. With about 82 percent of the vote counted, he was ahead by 32 points.

While both men are state representatives, it’s Mr. Theriault’s past as a NASCAR driver that has helped set him apart. So has an endorsement from former President Trump.

Today the district is represented by moderate Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who once worked as an aide for centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

In recent election cycles, the heavily rural Second District has trended red, with former President Trump carrying it in both 2016 and 2020. He gained an electoral vote both times thanks to the state’s approach to splitting electoral votes based on both the statewide total and what happens in its Congressional districts.

It’s one of many districts the National Republican Congressional Committee hopes to flip this cycle.

If the past is any guide, it will be fertile ground for the MAGA message.

Sam Brown, Other GOP Victors Set Stage for November in Nevada

Afghanistan war veteran Sam Brown was the victor in Nevada’s Republican U.S. Senate primary.

“Next stop: November 5th,” Mr. Brown, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, wrote on social media soon after his win.

NTD Photo
Nevada Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown speaks to media after voting at Reno High School in Reno, Nev., on June 14, 2022. (Tom R. Smedes/AP Photo)

He will be up against an incumbent, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) in November. Although she has performed dominantly in multiple polls that pit her against Mr. Brown, she will be standing as a Democrat in a swing state where recent opinion research has looked positive for former President Trump.

Mr. Brown defeated a number of Republicans, including dermatologist and former ambassador Jeff Gunter, former state Rep. Jim Marchant, and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tony Grady.

In a statement released late in the evening, Mr. Grady said he had called Mr. Brown to congratulate him, referring to the fellow veteran as Nevada’s “next U.S. Senator.”

The results from key House district primaries in Nevada came through early in the morning on the East Coast.

Drew Johnson, a policy expert who joined conservative and libertarian think tanks after growing up in rural Appalachia, won the Third District GOP primary. He defeated former state treasurer Dan Schwartz, former state senator Elizabeth Helgelien, and “Halo” composer Marty O’Donnell, among others. Mr. Johnson will face Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) in November.

In the state’s First District, Mark Robertson, a retired U.S. Army colonel and small business owner, beat restaurateur Flemming Larsen and other hopefuls. He will be running against another incumbent, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.).

Armstrong and Fedorchak Victorious in North Dakota

While some results out of Nevada took a while to come through, two closely watched primaries in the Midwest were settled pretty early.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) won the GOP gubernatorial primary against Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller.

In line with polling before the contest, he came away with a resounding victory—his lead was 46 points with 99 percent of the vote counted.

In November, Mr. Armstrong will be up against Merrill Piepkorn, a state senator and entertainer who went unchallenged in the state Democratic affiliate’s June 11 primary. Yet, given the state’s strongly Republican electorate, it’s easy to see Mr. Armstrong’s Tuesday victory as a coronation. No Democrat has been governor of North Dakota since the early 1990s when George Sinner was at the helm.

NTD Photo
Republican members of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, including Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), hold a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 10, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The last Democrat to represent North Dakota’s at-large district in the House did so in 2010 when Earl Pomeroy held the position.

Yet, the strongly Republican-leaning state still seems likely to send the victor of the GOP’s at-large district primary, Julie Fedorchak, to Congress. The North Dakota Public Service Commissioner defeated plastic surgeon and real estate developer Rick Becker, among other candidates.

She would replace Mr. Armstrong, who announced his run for governor after Gov. Doug Burgum, now a vice-presidential hopeful for former President Trump, said he won’t run for another term.

From The Epoch Times