By Sean Sullivan and David Weigel | The Washington Post

Rep. Mark Sanford, one of President Donald Trump’s sharpest Republican critics, fell to his Republican primary challenger Tuesday after Trump waged an extraordinary last-minute effort to defeat him.

The South Carolina congressman lost to state legislator Katie Arrington, who won Trump’s support just hours before the polls closed on Tuesday. Trump lashed out against Sanford, declaring him “unhelpful” in a tweet and referring to his 2009 extramarital affair.

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Sanford was battling to ensure a runoff, which would occur if no candidate reaches the 50 percent-plus-one vote threshold. But he came up short. the second sitting member of Congress to lose in a primary this year.

The president’s broadside marked the first time he targeted a congressional Republican incumbent in the midterms. He chose a well-known former governor who, among other criticisms, held him partly responsible for a shooting at a congressional baseball practice by stoking national tensions.

“South Carolina’s a Trump state and Sanford’s never lost,” said Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. “So, it’s an interesting matchup.”

The intraparty strains came on a day when other cracks emerged in the GOP establishment. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., mocked his colleagues for being afraid to “poke the bear” and cross the president by voting on an amendment to grant Congress more authority over tariffs.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who clashes frequently with party leaders, responded to Trump’s tweet with one defending Sanford.

“Unlike you, Mark has shown humility in his role and a desire to be a better man than he was the day before,” he wrote.

Elsewhere, voters made their picks for key November elections for Senate, House and governor in Virginia, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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