Trump applauds primary defeat of South Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford

Trump applauds primary defeat of South Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford

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Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) (https://www.facebook.com/RepSanfordSC)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump applauded in a Wednesday morning tweet the defeat of Rep. Mark Sanford in South Carolina’s primary.

Sanford was defeated by State Rep. Katie Arrington in the Republican contest for South Carolina’s First Congressional District. Arrington received 50.5 percent of the vote whereas Sanford received 46.6 percent, according to the Associated Press. Arrington will face Charleston construction attorney Joe Cunningham in the general election.

Trump had tweeted disdain for Sanford on Tuesday afternoon as ballots were still being cast.

Sanford, 58, has served in Congress since 2013. Sanford has been critical of Trump’s often combative political style and has made comments that suggest he believes the president is not fit to lead.

Sanford opposes the administration’s travel ban and imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs. He voted against funding for Trump’s border wall and last year joined Democrats in signing a letter that called for the president to release his tax returns.

Trump’s Argentina reference refers to an extramarital affair Sanford admitted he had had with an Argentinian businesswoman while governor of South Carolina.

Three states held Senate primaries on Tuesday.

Nevada: Republican Sen. Dean Heller easily fended off a long-shot challenge from Reno businessman and Air Force veteran Tom Heck. Heller will face Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen in the general election. Rosen easily defeated five challengers.

Recent polls show Heller and Rosen neck-in-neck.

Heller is considered a moderate Republican. He has supported most of the Trump administration’s key policies but has been careful not to alienate Democratic and independent voters.

Nevada is a swing state that has leaned Democratic in the past decade. Hillary Clinton won the state by two points in 2016. Former President Barack Obama carried Nevada twice by comfortable margins. The state’s governor, Brian Sandoval, is a Republican.

North Dakota: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, did not face a primary challenge. Heitkamp will face Rep. Kevin Cramer, a Republican, in the general election. Cramer, who represents North Dakota’s at-large congressional district, easily fended of a long-shot challenge from Air Force veteran Thomas O’Neill.

Recent polls show Heitkamp facing an uphill re-election battle.

Heitkamp is a considered a moderate Democrat. She broke party ranks to support the nominations of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Pruitt has come under fire for questionable ethics practices.

North Dakota is reliably Republican. Trump carried the state by almost 36 points in 2016.

Virginia: Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine did not face a primary challenge. The 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate will face Prince Williams County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart in the general election. Stewart narrowly fended off a challenge from State Rep. Nick Frietas.

Stewart is a staunch opponent of illegal immigration and has defended the maintenance of Confederate monuments.

President Trump tweeted praise for Stewart early Wednesday morning.

Recent polls show Kaine with a substantial lead over Stewart.

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