Trump’s Endorsement Record Midway Through Primary Season

Trump’s Endorsement Record Midway Through Primary Season


With Tuesday’s primaries in Illinois and a handful of other states behind us, we are now more than halfway through this year’s midterm primary season. More than 30 states have hosted nominating contests already — including some of the most crucial ones, like those in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Former President Donald J. Trump has endorsed more than 200 candidates across the country, many of whom ran unopposed or faced little-known, poorly funded opponents.

For some — like J.D. Vance in Ohio and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania — Mr. Trump’s endorsement was crucial to securing victory. But in Georgia, several of his candidates were resoundingly defeated, and he had mixed success in states like South Carolina and North Carolina.

There are a lot of races still ahead of us. But here’s a look at Mr. Trump’s endorsement record so far in some of the most closely watched primaries.

Gov. Brian Kemp easily defeated former Senator David Perdue, Mr. Trump’s handpicked candidate, in the Republican primary for governor. Mr. Kemp was a Trump target after he refused to overturn the president’s re-election loss there in 2020. He will face the Democratic nominee, Stacey Abrams, whom he narrowly defeated four years ago.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who refused Mr. Trump’s demand that he “find” additional votes after his 2020 loss, defeated a Trump-backed challenger, Representative Jody Hice, in the Republican primary.

In the Republican primary for an open seat in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, the Trump-backed candidate, Jake Evans, qualified for the June 21 runoff, though he was a distant second to the top vote-getter, Rich McCormick.

The former professional football star Herschel Walker, who was endorsed by Mr. Trump, dominated the Republican primary for Senate. He will face Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and prolific fund-raiser, in the general election.

After a close race that prompted a recount, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Mr. Trump’s choice, won the state’s critical Republican Senate primary, narrowly defeating David McCormick.

Doug Mastriano, a state senator and retired Army colonel who has propagated myriad false claims about the 2020 election and attended the protest leading up to the Capitol riot, won the Republican nomination for governor. Mr. Trump endorsed him just a few days before the May 17 primary.

Representative Ted Budd, who was endorsed by Mr. Trump, won the Republican nomination for Senate, and Bo Hines, a 26-year-old political novice who enthralled Mr. Trump, was catapulted to victory in his Republican primary for a House seat outside Raleigh.

But Representative Madison Cawthorn crumbled under the weight of repeated scandals and blunders. He was ousted in his May 17 primary, a stinging rejection of a Trump-endorsed candidate. Voters chose Chuck Edwards, a state senator.

Representative Tom Rice, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, was ousted by his Trump-backed challenger, State Representative Russell Fry, in the Republican primary in the Seventh Congressional District.

But Representative Nancy Mace defeated her Trump-backed challenger, the former state lawmaker Katie Arrington, in the First Congressional District primary. Ms. Mace had said that Mr. Trump bore responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack, but she did not vote to impeach him. She had support from Nikki Haley and Mick Mulvaney, who both held office in the state before working in the Trump administration.

In the Republican Senate primary, Adam Laxalt won the nomination and will face the incumbent, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats this fall. Mr. Laxalt, a former attorney general, was endorsed by Mr. Trump and had helped lead his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Nevada.

Joseph Lombardo, the Las Vegas sheriff who was backed by Mr. Trump, won the Republican nomination for governor and will face the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Jim Marchant did not garner a formal endorsement, but his win in the secretary of state primary may well be considered a victory for Mr. Trump: Mr. Marchant is a Trump loyalist who helped organize a slate of “America First” candidates for election posts who question the legitimacy of the 2020 election. He will face Cisco Aguilar, a Democratic lawyer.

State Senator Darren Bailey, who got a last-minute endorsement from Mr. Trump, won the Republican primary for governor. Democratic spending in the primary, including by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, may have helped Mr. Bailey, whom Democrats saw as easier to beat in the general election than the other Republicans.

Representative Mary Miller, whom Mr. Trump endorsed months ago, won her Republican primary against fellow Representative Rodney Davis.

The Senate candidate J.D. Vance defeated a field of well-funded candidates, nearly all of whom pitched themselves as Trump-like Republicans. Mr. Vance, an author and venture capitalist, had transformed himself from a self-described “never Trump guy” in 2016 to an “America First” candidate in 2022.

Max Miller, a former Trump aide who denied assault allegations from an ex-girlfriend and was later endorsed by Mr. Trump, won his House primary after two other Republican incumbents there opted not to run.

Mr. Trump also endorsed Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a lawyer and former beauty queen who had been a surrogate for his presidential campaign. She won a seven-way primary for an open congressional seat being vacated by Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat running for Senate.

Representative Alex Mooney prevailed over Representative David McKinley in a newly drawn congressional district. Mr. Trump’s endorsement was seen as the decisive factor in the race.

Kevin Kiley, a Republican state lawmaker endorsed by Mr. Trump, advanced to the November general election after his second-place finish in an open primary for an open seat in California’s Third Congressional District. He will face Kermit Jones, a Democrat who is a doctor and Navy veteran and was the top vote-getter.

Ryan Zinke had been Montana’s at-large congressman before serving in the Trump administration. Now Mr. Zinke is looking to return to Congress. Mr. Trump endorsed him, but he only narrowly won his Republican primary for the seat.

Charles W. Herbster, a wealthy agribusiness executive, lost his three-way primary to Jim Pillen, a University of Nebraska regent who was supported by Gov. Pete Ricketts, who had long clashed with Mr. Trump and is term-limited. Late in the campaign, Mr. Herbster was accused of groping several women. He denied the accusations.

Gov. Brad Little of Idaho overcame Mr. Trump’s endorsement of the state’s lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, who was challenging him in the Republican primary.

Alyce McFadden contributed research.


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