For these GOP primary losers, total loyalty to Donald Trump wasn’t enough: report
Former President Donald Trump continues to insist that he has the golden touch where GOP primaries are concerned, bragging that an endorsement from him is the key to victory. But while some Trump-endorsed Republicans have triumphed in U.S. Senate primaries — “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance in Ohio, Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina — an endorsement from Trump doesn’t automatically guarantee success. In fact, some Trump-endorsed candidates have suffered major primary humiliations.
The most glaring example was in Georgia, where former Sen. David Perdue, endorsed by Trump, lost a gubernatorial primary to incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp by a brutal 52% on May 24. But Georgia isn’t the only state where, as journalist Zachary Petrizzo emphasizes in an article published by the Daily Beast on June 9, unquestioning loyalty to Trump doesn’t automatically guarantee victory in a GOP primary.
Discussing some Republican primaries held on Tuesday, June 7, Petrizzo observes, “In New Jersey, MAGA-aligned candidates floundered in their quest to take down incumbent Republicans, who found victory without too many headaches from their fervently pro-Trump challengers. Nowhere was this more evident than in New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District, where former Right Side Broadcasting Network host Mike Crispi lost to long-time Republican Rep. Christopher Smith…. Elsewhere, in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, Republican candidate and former State Sen. Thomas Kean, Jr. left both more-MAGA-loving candidates Phil Rizzo and former local Assemblyman Erik Peterson in the dust.”
Petrizzo goes on to note that ultra-MAGA candidates also suffered primary losses in California on June 7.
“In California’s 40th Congressional District, which includes parts of Orange County, voters overwhelmingly supported Republican Rep. Young Kim (CA),” Petrizzo observes. “While the votes are still being counted, Kim is expected to pull out a win and clinch the run-off slot, which would knock off hardcore MAGA candidate Greg Raths. Raths campaign has been plagued by accusations that he made anti-Semitic comments.”
One Trump-endorsed candidate who prevailed in a major GOP primary — although just barely — was Dr. Mehmet Oz, who narrowly defeated hedge fund exec Dave McCormick in a U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Although that race went to a recount, McCormick conceded on June 3. But no matter how much Trump brags about having the golden touch with Oz — and no matter how much Trump’s sycophants make idiotic, baseless claims that votes were stolen from Oz — the fact is that it was an incredibly close primary. Oz was ahead of McCormick by a mere 947 votes when McCormick conceded.
On Truth Social, Trump described the GOP primaries held on June 3 as “a perfect night of Endorsements” — which, of course, they weren’t.
Mark Rozell, a dean of politics at George Mason University, discussed the June 3 primaries with the Beast, arguing, “There is a message here to many Republican incumbents to stop fearing being primaried, that the power of incumbency remains formidable, and that many voters in the party are looking past Trump now. Quite simply, the diminished ex-president doesn’t command the same power within the party that he did a few years ago.”
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