CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) Republican voters rejected ex-convict Don Blankenship Tuesday in a West Virginia Senate primary in which he sold himself as Trumpier than Trump but was vigorously opposed by the president. GOP voters in Indiana, meanwhile, chose wealthy businessman Mike Braun over two sitting congressmen to lead the partys charge against a vulnerable Democratic senator in the fall.
President Donald Trump and his allies cheered the West Virginia result, which helped avert a potential political disaster for a GOP already bracing for major losses in the November midterm elections. In a possible sign of party unrest, however, Rep. Robert Pittenger lost in North Carolina to the Rev. Mark Harris, a Baptist pastor he narrowly beat two years ago. Pittinger is the first incumbent to lose his seat this primary season.
The days slate of early season elections tested the limits of the anti-establishment fervor that has defined the Trump era.