Trump-Backed Candidates Win in Tuesday Primaries

Pennsylvania governor's race, North Carolina Senate race go Trump's way
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2022 12:09 AM CDT
State Sen. With Links to Capitol Riot Wins PA Gubernatorial Primary
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-District 33, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, addresses supporters during a campaign stop at Alfredo's Brick Oven Pizza in Hazleton Pa., on May 13, 2022.   (John Haeger/Standard-Speaker via AP)

(Newser) – Doug Mastriano, a state senator who secured a late endorsement from Donald Trump and has trumpeted the former president’s lies about nonexistent, widespread voter fraud costing him the 2020 election, won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania’s open governor’s office on Tuesday, the AP reports. Mastriano’s victory boosts Trump’s winning record in major Republican primaries around the country. But it also raises immediate questions about whether Mastriano, who was outside the US Capitol in January 2021 when a mob overran it in a deadly insurrection, can attract enough moderate swing voters to prevail in November’s general election. Mastriano, a retired Army colonel who has been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot following his efforts to name a slate of alternate Electoral College electors in Trump’s favor, will face Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who was unopposed in his primary. More from Tuesday, the busiest night of the nascent primary season:

  • Trump scored an easier victory early in the night when US Rep. Ted Budd clinched the GOP nomination for Senate in North Carolina. Trump’s surprise endorsement last year lifted Budd, a little known congressman, over better-known rivals, including a former governor. He quickly pivoted to a general election message focused on breaking Democratic control of Washington. Budd will face Democratic former state supreme court justice Cheri Beasley, who is aiming to become North Carolina’s first Black senator. She told supporters “this is our moment.”
  • Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate contest was too early to call. Celebrity heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and commentator Kathy Barnette were all vying for the party’s nomination. Oz is the preferred candidate of Trump, who has sought to wield the power of his endorsement to lift his loyalists and reshape the GOP.
  • Whoever wins will face off with Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, who easily won Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary days after a stroke sent him to the hospital to have a pacemaker installed.
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little survived a Republican primary challenge from his lieutenant governor, who was endorsed by Trump, the AP reports.
  • In North Carolina, Trump-backed Madison Cawthorn lost his bid for re-election to the House.
(Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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