Sanford Loses GOP Primary After Trump Attack

President called him 'nothing but trouble'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2018 4:37 AM CDT
Updated Jun 13, 2018 6:48 AM CDT
Sanford Loses GOP Primary After Trump Attack
Rep. Mark Sanford hugged his sons after addressing his supporters at Liberty Tap Room in Mount Pleasant, SC., Tuesday, June 12, 2018.   (Wade Spees/The Post And Courier via AP)

Rep. Mark Sanford can now spend as much time as he wants hiking the Appalachian Trail: The congressman and South Carolina governor lost his Republican primary Tuesday, hours after a very critical tweet from President Trump, Politico reports. "Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina," Trump said, referring to Sanford's infamous 2009 affair. "I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love," Trump said. Analysts say the 58-year-old Sanford, whose political career is now probably over, criticized President Trump more often than South Carolina voters considered acceptable. "We are the party of President Donald J. Trump," Arrington told supporters after winning just over half the vote.

Sanford, who has long seen himself as a political outsider, was unrepentant after the defeat Tuesday, which was his first-ever election loss, CBS reports. "I stand by every one of those decisions to disagree with the president," said the Republican, who was re-elected to his old House seat in 2013 despite the national GOP withdrawing support. In other races, Nevada's Sen. Dean Heller cruised to victory in the GOP primary, the Washington Post reports. He had been expected to face a tough challenge from activist Danny Tarkanian, but Trump persuaded Tarkanian to seek a congressional nomination instead, which he won Tuesday. In North Dakota, Rep. Kevin Cramer won the GOP primary for a Senate race. He will face Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp this fall in a race that could determine control of the chamber. (More primaries stories.)

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