Trump critic loses primary in sign of president’s influence

Rep. Mark Sanford hugs his sons after concession speech. | AP Photo

In a sign of President Trump’s influence over GOP voters, frequent Trump critic Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) on Tuesday lost his Republican primary to state Rep. Katie Arrington, who ran as a Trump ally. Trump backed Arrington in a tweet hours before polls closed, saying Sanford was “nothing but trouble,” marking the first time he had targeted a GOP incumbent in the midterms. Sanford had frequently broken with his party in a political career that started in the 1990s, but he never lost an election — until he clashed with Trump.

In another win for conservatives, Confederate symbol champion Corey Stewart won the Republican Senate nomination to face Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in Virginia, while a wave of women candidates won in four competitive House primaries. Maine, Nevada, and North Dakota also held primaries.

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