Election results in a key primary race list on Tuesday night, the former president pointed out donald trumpthe enduring influence of over the Republican Party, despite signals that his status as de facto leader could be erode.
In Arizona, several candidates up and down the ballot who posed as genuine Trump loyalists — who embraced his campaign conspiracy theories and Make America Great Again agenda — have won or appeared to be on the verge of winning in races that were still too close to call Wednesday. Morning.
And in Michigan, a House Republican incumbent who won Trump’s contempt by voting to impeach him after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot lost his primary to a Trump-endorsed challenger.
Trump took a victory lap on social media early Wednesday, suggesting the results demonstrated the power of his endorsement as the deciding factor in every race he weighed in. In fact, some of these candidates were already in the lead the moment they received Trump’s endorsement – and in a GOP primary in Missouri, Trump hedged his bet by endorsing ‘Eric’ in a race where several suitors shared this first name.
In Washington, meanwhile, results were too early to be announced Wednesday morning in races involving two other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The election results, however, show how currying favor with Trump and emulating his brand of far-right populism – including reiterating his doubts about the integrity of the election – has become a widespread tactic among candidates seeking to secure primary victories by appealing to Trump’s base.
The Arizona results in particular gave many victories to supporters of Trump’s false claim that his 2020 election loss to the president Joe Biden was “rigged” by widespread fraud.
Among these main winners is the Republican Secretary of State appointed Marc Finchem, who denies Biden’s victory and attended Trump’s January 6, 2021 rally shortly before the Capitol riot. If he wins overall, Finchem will become the state’s top election official.
Five other Republican candidates labeled Holocaust deniers won the post of Secretary of State in the primaries, according non-partisan election watchdog, United Action.
Also in Arizona, Trump-backed Senate candidate Blake Masters won the Republican primary, advancing him to the general election against incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly.
And Rusty Bowers, the Republican Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, who testified in a public hearing on the Capitol Riot of January 6 on how Trump and his allies pressured him to challenge the 2020 election results, lost its main auction for a seat in the State Senate.
Trump had endorsed Bowers’ Republican opponent, former state senator David Farnsworth, for the seat. Trump in this endorsement called Bowers a “weak and pathetic [Republican In Name Only] who blocked Election Integrity.”
Meanwhile, the winner of Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial primary was too close to be called Wednesday morning, according to NBC News’ tally of the race. But Kari Lake, the former Trump-endorsed local news anchor who has repeatedly claimed the 2020 race was robbed, appeared to be leading her closest GOP challenger, Karrin Taylor Robson, who is backed by the former vice-president. Mike Pence.
Trump also pushed for the ousting of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him after the riot, and much of the Republican Party followed suit. Four of those pro-impeachment Republicans — Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, John Katko of New York and Fred Upton of Michigan — will retire at the end of their current terms.
Another, Rep. Tom Rice, RS.C., lost his first race in June. David Valadao, R-California, survived his main challenge.
But Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., lost his primary election on Tuesday, after withstanding attacks from Trump and Democrats, who would have boosted his far-right opponent, John Gibbs.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee cut an ad touting Gibbs’ ties to Trump, a move that drew accusations from Meijer’s campaign and others that Democrats were meddling in the race to boost an election candidate general potentially weaker.
“I am disgusted that hard-earned money intended to support Democrats is being used to boost Trump-backed candidates,” said U.S. Representative Dean Phillips, D-Minn.
Democrats in Arizona reportedly attempted a similar move in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary, a tactic that was seen as an effort to undermine Robson and aid Lake’s far-right.
“This was a hard-fought primary campaign, and I want to thank everyone in West Michigan for their support,” Meijer said in a concession statement sent out early Wednesday morning.