Trump-Backed Candidates 58-1 in Primaries Following Races in Nebraska, West Virginia

Candidates backed by former President Donald Trump are now 58-1 in Republican primaries, as three Trump-endorsed candidates secured the Republican nominations in their respective races in West Virginia and Nebraska Tuesday, while one candidate came up short.

Trump-backed Rep. Alexander Mooney brought home the Republican nomination for West Virginia’s Second Congressional District. Mooney, who currently serves the state’s First Congressional District, ran against Rep. David McKinley for the Republican nomination. McKinley, who has been in office since 2011, represents the state’s Second Congressional District at the moment, but redistricting forced the sitting congressmen to square off in the primary as the state moves from three seats to two, as Breitbart News previously pointed out.

Sixty-six percent of the new Second Congressional, which covers the northern portion of the state, includes the district that McKinley currently serves.

McKinley voted and helped to pass the Democrats’ infrastructure bill, while Mooney voted against it, as Breitbart News previously noted. McKinley proclaimed the legislation “is good for West Virginia,” adding that his vote to pass the bill “is not a vote for anyone but West Virginia.”

Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-WV) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appear at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In a political advertisement released this year, Mooney slammed McKinley, asserting he betrayed West Virginians by voting for the “trillion-dollar spending spree” that was the infrastructure package. He also ripped his opponent for “voting for the January 6 anti-Trump witch-hunt to attack our president and our values.” Mooney will face Democrat challenger Barry Wendell in November’s general election.

“Donald Trump loves West Virginia, and West Virginia loves Donald Trump,” said Mooney during his victory speech, the Associated Press noted.

Rep. Carol Miller, who currently represents West Virginia’s Third Congressional District and received an endorsement from Trump, secured the Republican nomination for the state’s First Congressional District. Miller will square off against the uncontested Democrat Candidate Lacy Watson this November in the general election. Watson was a failed Democrat primary candidate for the state’s Third Congressional District in 2020, the AP noted. 

“Carol is pro-coal, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-Trump through and through, and is prepared to tackle the opioid epidemic that’s affected countless West Virginians,” Lara Trump, senior adviser to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., previously said, according to Ballotpedia. 

In Nebraska, Trump-backed candidate Rep. Adrian Smith won the Republican primary for Nebraska’s Third Congressional District. Smith, who has held office since 2007, beat out challenger Mike Calhoun handily. 

The first snag in the road for a Trump-endorsed candidate occurred in Nebraska’s gubernatorial race Tuesday as Charles Herbster, a wealthy agriculture businessman, lost his bid for the GOP’s nomination. Herbster, who was present for the launch of Trump’s presidential campaign in 2015, lost to Jim Pillen, who is a wealthy agriculture business himself and currently serves Nebraska’s Third District on the Board of Regents. The race also included Brett Lindstrom, who campaigned as the most moderate candidate in the field.

As Breitbart News reported

Herbster’s campaign took a hit in April after allegations that he inappropriately touched multiple women surfaced in the Nebraska Examiner. Herbster’s campaign “unequivocally” denied the allegations, calling them “a political hit-piece built on 100% false and baseless claims.”

Pillen, who secured the nomination of outgoing Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, raised $8.4 million over the course of his campaign, as opposed to Herbster’s $11.8 million — $11.5 of which he donated himself — and Lindstrom’s $2.5 million, according to the latest financials, featured in Breitbart News’s report. 

Former President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at the I-80 Speedway on May 01, 2022, in Greenwood, Nebraska. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Tuesday’s results make Trump-endorsed candidates 58-1 in the midterm primaries thus far, as all 22 candidates who received the 45th president’s nod in Ohio and Indiana won their races on May 3, while all 33 Trump-backed candidates in Texas either won their primaries or advanced to runoffs. Of the May 3 races, the most notable victor was J.D. Vance in Ohio, who earned the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate with the help of a late Trump endorsement. 

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told Breitbart News:

JD Vance put in tremendous work and has immense political talent—which put him in the position to earn the support of President Trump—but it was the endorsement of President Donald J. Trump that took a candidate who many insiders said was in 4th and at single digits in the polls, and in only two weeks, propelled him into a commanding first place finish.

The next primary races take place Tuesday, May 17, in Pennsylvania, Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon.


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