Sen: Following election-day rebuke from Trump, Sanford falls in GOP primary

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"Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA", the president tweeted, using the initials for his campaign slogan "Make America Great Again". It quickly became obvious that Sanford had lost his primary to state legislator Kate Arrington.

Sanford told his supporters shortly before 11 p.m. he was likely to lose his bid for re-election Tuesday night.

The Richland Republican finished first with a strong showing in Tuesday's primary but fell short of the 50-percent-plus one majority needed to clinch the GOP nomination outright.

His biggest challenger, state Rep. Katie Arrington, has characterized Sanford as a disloyal Never-Trumper.

Trump tweets Wednesday that his advisers didn't want him to get involved in the Republican primary, thinking Rep. Mark Sanford "would easily win".

Arrington had attacked Sanford for his past indiscretions, including an affair he had while serving as governor of SC, in which Sanford said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail but was really in Argentina with the other woman. Sanford also said in a 2017 interview that Trump "has fanned the flames of intolerance".

Trump took aim at Sanford on Twitter just hours before the polls closed Tuesday in SC.

"He is MIA and nothing but trouble", Trump tweeted, adding, "He is better off in Argentina". After attacking Sanford, the president backed Arrington.

Then he delivered a scathing rebuke of Sanford's personal life, writing: "He is better off in Argentina". The Cramer-Heitkamp matchup could potentially be a tight race, but in a state that Trump won by more than 30 percent in 2016, Heitkamp will likely lean on her moderate record and support for certain Trump policies.

Joe Cunningham maintains a 2-to-1 lead on Toby Smith in the Democratic race.

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in northern Virginia's 10th District will face the victor of a six-way Democratic primary.

In recent years in Congress, Sanford has drawn ire from chamber-of-commerce Republicans for voting against omnibus spending bills containing money for the Charleston port deepening project - a top priority in his district - because he opposes earmarks.

Incumbency, period: Being an early backer of Trump doesn't always help save Republicans from primary challenges. She would be the first African American woman to represent Virginia in Congress, if she beats incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., in the general election. Together, they raise to 21 the number of states having held their 2018 primary elections so far.

"It's been a long run.who's ready to win an election in November", James Smith remarked.

The Republican congressman Justin Amash, a fellow libertarian leaning Trump critic, also tweeted his support for Sanford, in a message aimed at Trump, writing: "He's one of the most principled, consistent, and conservative members of Congress I've ever known".

Senate Republicans' hopes in Virginia: Sen.

The startling defeat for the three-term congressman and former governor demonstrates the grip Trump has on GOP voters, and comes one week after Representative Martha Roby, an Alabama Republican who also had criticized Trump, was forced into a runoff. In North Dakota, GOP Representative Kevin Cramer was declared the party's primary victor, setting him up to run against Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp.