Republicans in Congress see warning in Mark Sanford's GOP primary loss

Geneva Stokes
June 18, 2018

A vocal critic of President Donald Trump accused him of lying in a new interview and said the lack of consequences stemming from those lies will hurt society moving forward.

In the Democratic primary in South Carolina's first House district, local lawyer Joe Cunningham handily defeated Toby Smith, a black female nonprofit consultant, with 71.5% of all votes.

Mark Sanford, who earned national ridicule in 2012 after claiming he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail" when he was really spending time with his Argentine mistress, only to resurrect his political career with a second stint in Congress, crashed to defeat against a far-right challenger endorsed by Trump.

In Virginia, several Democrats - especially women - won congressional primaries.

There also was the return of Sharron Angle, the conservative who once ominously threatened to "take out" then-Sen.

Felkel said had Trump not been president, Sanford likely would have won re-election.

"And unlike you", he tweeted at Trump, "Mark has shown humility in his role and a desire to be a better man than he was the day before". Just today, when NYT reporter Alan Blinder asked Sanford if he was confident in the primary, the congressman reportedly replied, "I think confident is too strong a word". "Sanford's performances in the past have been weak", Kondik said, "Very rarely do House members lose re-nomination and Sanford but a logical candidate given his opposition to Trump and his general weakness with the electorate".

Sanford is a former governor who has never lost an election in eight races in SC, even after he admitted to an affair with a woman in Argentina.

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"Trump owns the Republican party and it is virtually impossible for Republicans to criticize him without incurring the wrath of his base", West said.

"There's a temptation, given the American public's frustration with the political system, .to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and 'let's discard all these institutions that have served us incredibly well for 200+ years, '" Sanford said.

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Kate Marshall also won the Democratic primary for Nevada's lieutenant governor, and fellow Democrats Susie Lee (third district), Clint Koble (second district) and incumbent Dina Titus (first district) won congressional primaries. Trump had tweeted an endorsement of his opponent and said Sanford has been "very unhelpful" and "nothing but trouble". Three Democrats seek their party's nomination.

With 48 percent of the vote in, it's starting to look like Arrington could win the GOP nomination without a runoff. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes.

And in a surprise less than three hours before polls close, Trump himself weighed in, asking voters in the coastal 1st Congressional District to boot U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford out. In races where candidates don't secure more than 50 percent of votes cast, runoff elections of the top two vote-getters will be held June 26.

Republicans in Congress said the message came in loud and clear Tuesday night: Oppose President Donald Trump and it could cost you your seat.

Sanford had represented the Charleston district on and off for six terms, with eight years in the Governor's Mansion in between.

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