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376 views • August 10, 2022

Takeaways From Tuesday Primaries: Four Trump-Backed Candidates Win, Omar Survives

NTD News
NTD News
November general election slates for 16 congressional, four gubernatorial, and three U.S. Senate seats were set in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont in Aug. 9 primaries. Among first-glance takeaways are triumphs by four candidates endorsed by former President Trump and the narrow victory by “squad” honcho Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in her Democratic primary. Meanwhile, a Minnesota Republican congressional candidate won two races on the same day, and Vermont voters are positioned to elect the state’s first woman to Congress. Trump Endorsements The former president backed three victorious candidates in Wisconsin and one in Connecticut. Leora Levy won the GOP U.S. Senate primary in Connecticut and will challenge incumbent two-term Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Trump-endorsed Derrick Van Orden, a former Navy SEAL, won his Wisconsin congressional district primary, as did two-term incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) In Wisconsin’s Republican gubernatorial primary, Trump-backed businessman Tim Michels won by four percentage points over a party rival endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. With Michels' triumph, Trump took a 2-to-1 lead over Pence in head-to-head gubernatorial endorsements. In May, Pence-supported Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp easily defeated Trump-supported challenger David Perdue. In the Aug. 2 primaries, Trump-endorsed Kari Lake defeated Pence-backed Karrin Taylor Robson in Arizona. Gubernatorial Primaries Republicans elected challengers to face incumbent Democrats in Wisconsin and Minnesota, while three-term Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott rolled to an easy primary win and will square off against Democrat Brenda Siegel, who was uncontested in her party preliminary. Michels, who owns a construction company, entered the Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial primary race in April, secured Trump’s endorsement in June, and poured $12 million of his own money into TV ads, portraying himself as a businessman and an outsider. Michels trumped former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who was backed by Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and former Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker. A former TV news anchor, Kleefisch launched her campaign last September and appeared to have a significant lead before Michels joined the race. Trump criticized Kleefisch during an Aug. 5 rally for Michels in Waukesha as “the handpicked candidate of the failed establishment, the RINOs." Although she claimed the 2020 election was “rigged,” she is the lone Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial candidate who dismissed attempts to overturn the outcome. Biden won Wisconsin in 2020 by 21,000 votes. Trump called for state legislators to invalidate the results. Michels will face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who defeated Walker by one percentage point in 2018, did not face a primary opponent, and has $11.1 million in his campaign war chest to seek a second term. In Minnesota, Republican Scott Jensen will take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Tim Walz in November after both cruised to primary wins over nominal opposition on Tuesday. Jensen is a fierce critic of Walz's initial COVID-19 response and, at a recent forum, called the incumbent's mitigation measures at the beginning of the pandemic an "abomination of government overreach." Jensen's past remarks downplaying COVID-19, including a past assertion that hospitals were inflating the number of cases to collect more stimulus money. Jensen also touts his unvaccinated status, sowing doubts over the safety and efficacy of the shots. In Connecticut, Democratic incumbent Gov. Ned Lamont will seek a second term on Nov. 8 against Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski. Both were uncontested in the Aug. 9 primary. U.S. House Primaries In Minnesota, Republican Brad Finstad won twice on Aug. 9—defeating Democrat Jeffrey Ettinger in a special general election for Minnesota’s Congressional District 1 and then winning his GOP CD 1 primary against state Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) to run for the seat again in November. Finstad, a former state rep
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