Trump Backs 2 Successful US Senate Nominees in Primaries


President Donald Trump backed two successful U.S. Senate nominees in Pennsylvania and Nebraska, which were among four states holding primaries Tuesday.

The primaries began to settle swing state Pennsylvania’s chaotic congressional landscape after a court fight ended with redrawn districts just three months ago.

Among the more unusual results of Tuesday’s primaries was the loss by Pennsylvania’s Democratic lieutenant governor, Mike Stack, who was ousted by mayor John Fetterman.

Oregon and Idaho also held primary elections.

Here’s a look at some of the other interesting races:

Two of the president’s favored candidates, Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania and Deb Fischer in Nebraska, won their U.S. Senate primaries.

Barletta, currently a congressman, was heavily favored over state Rep. Jim Christiana to become the Republican challenger for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who is seeking a third term in November. Fischer, the incumbent, defeated four GOP challengers and will be the strong favorite to win re-election in deep-red Nebraska. Her Democratic opponent is Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould.

Barletta was a Trump supporter before the 2016 presidential nomination was settled. The loyalty won him Trump’s early support in the Senate race, as well as recorded telephone calls last weekend featuring the president backing Barletta “fully, strongly and proudly.”

Early Tuesday afternoon, Trump tweeted: “Nebraska – make sure you get out to the polls and VOTE for Deb Fischer today!”

Last week, Trump urged GOP Senate primary voters to support Rep. Jim Renacci in the Ohio Senate and oppose former coal company executive Don Blankenship in West Virginia. Renacci won and Blankenship lost.

Mary Gay Scanlon won a 10-way Democratic primary in southeastern Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, which is likely to flip to Democrats following a court-ordered redrawing of the state’s congressional district boundaries.

Scanlon is a longtime public interest lawyer and chair of the pro-bono committee at a Philadelphia-based law firm.

She will face Republican Pearl Kim, a former state and county prosecutor, in November’s general election in the now-Democratic-leaning district. The seat is open following the resignation of Republican Rep. Pat Meehan amid allegations he used taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment allegations by a former aide.

Meehan had represented the Delaware County-based seat since 2010. It was widely viewed as among the nation’s most gerrymandered until the court redrew it in February.

Mike Stack became the first holder of the Pennsylvania lieutenant’s office to lose in a primary election.

John Fetterman, the Braddock mayor, won the five-way Democratic Party primary race for lieutenant governor Tuesday, meaning he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall. Pennsylvania first started allowing lieutenant governors to serve a second term in the 1970s.

Fetterman had made a failed bid in 2016 for the U.S. Senate.

Stack, a former Philadelphia state senator, has had a chilly relationship with Wolf in their first term together.

Wolf last year ordered an investigation into the treatment of state employees by Stack and his wife and stripped Stack of state police protection.

State Rep. Knute Buehler has emerged from a crowded primary to capture the Republican nomination for Oregon governor.

Buehler, who ran for secretary of state in 2012, was the most centrist of the Republican front-runners. He was among 10 GOP candidates in the primary.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler gathered with supporters in Wilsonville, Oregon, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Buehler, a doctor and state representative from Bend, won Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial primary and will face Gov. Kate Brown in November. (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian via AP)

However, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown remains the favorite to win in November. Brown became governor in 2015 upon the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber following an ethics scandal, and she won a special election in 2016.

Oregon is among eight states where Democrats control the governorship and both houses of the state legislature. Voters who identify as Democrats also outnumber their Republican counterparts by more than 9 percentage points.

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