Trump’s favorite candidate falls short in Nebraska, while the former president’s choice prevails in West Virginia.
Tuesday’s Republican primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia produced mixed results for politicians backed by former US President Donald Trump, who has endorsed more than 150 candidates as he tries to shape the GOP ahead of a possible 2024 presidential race.
In Nebraska, their choice for governor, Charles Herbster, lost to rival Jim Pillen, according to Edison Research, an exit polling firm, even though Trump had staged a pro-Herbster rally just over a week earlier. .
But in West Virginia, voters chose Rep. Alex Mooney, a candidate who has endorsed Trump’s false claims on fraud in the 2020 United States presidential election.
Tuesday’s election was part of a series of intra-party nominating contests that will set the stage for the Nov. 8 national election in which Republicans are favorites to win control of at least one house of Congress. That would give them the power to stop Democratic President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
Thank you Nebraska. You made this possible. Tonight we will celebrate a great victory. Tomorrow, it’s back to work in the fight to keep Nebraska great. pic.twitter.com/q1oZmUZlKk
—Jim Pillen (@jim_pillen) May 11, 2022
trump’s influence it will be tested in high-profile senatorial races later this month in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.
The Nebraska pageant had been dominated in recent weeks by allegations that Herbster, a farm executive, had sexually harassed multiple women, which he has denied.
Edison Research projected that Pillen, a hog farmer and college board member, would defeat Herbster and win the nomination. Pillen was endorsed by current Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.
In West Virginia, Mooney, Trump’s preferred candidate, defeated his rival David McKinley, who was backed by the state’s governor, Jim Justice.
McKinley had campaigned in support of Biden Infrastructure Act, which will send billions of dollars to the state for roads, bridges and other projects. Both are incumbents in a state that has lost a seat due to declining population.
“I am honored that the voters of West Virginia’s new 2nd congressional district have chosen me to carry the Conservative flag as they begin the race into November,” Mooney said on Twitter. “Tonight is a monumental night for West Virginians and I look forward to being your trusted conservative voice in Congress.”
Also in Nebraska, Rep. Don Bacon was on pace to win the Republican primary after Edison Research predicted he would hold out against challenger Steve Kuehl. Trump had urged voters to reject Bacon because of his criticism of the role of trump in the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.
Bacon will face a competitive election in November in the Omaha-based district against Democrat Tony Vargas, who was projected by Edison Research to win his party’s primary.