Loyalty To Trump On The Ballot In Tuesday's Primaries

Minnie Murray
June 18, 2018

In an unusual Election Day move, Trump attacked Sanford on Tuesday on Twitter, tweeting, "Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA".

Mark Sanford, who earned national ridicule in 2012 after claiming he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail" when he was really spending time with his Argentine mistress, only to resurrect his political career with a second stint in Congress, crashed to defeat against a far-right challenger endorsed by Trump.

Archie Parnell of Sumter, who almost won the 5th District's seat in the U.S. House for Democrats in a 2017 special election, was left for dead by party leaders in May after news broke that he had physically abused his ex wife in the 1970s.

With 16 percent of the vote in for South Carolina's 1st District, both incumbent Mark Sanford and challenger Katie Arrington remain almost tied, with the AP giving both candidates 48 percent.

"It's time for a conservative who will work with President Trump, not against him", Arrington said in her closing TV spot attacking Sanford.

Sanford was defeated by state Rep. Katie Arrington in Tuesday's primary. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes.

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy broke with Trump to say he supported Sanford. Wednesday, Trump tweet again and indicated he might need to take some credit for Arrington's win. Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a runoff last week, taking less than 40 percent of the vote in her primary.

The senior White House official said Trump typically has a meeting each week, during which his political team presents him with updates on the electoral landscape for Republicans. But Arrington made an issue of his criticism of the president, calling him a "Never Trumper".

Arrington poured about $430,000 of her own money into challenging Sanford, arguing that he had become a creature of Washington, more eager to hear himself criticizing Trump on TV than to get things done in Congress.


Indeed, Trump has the second highest "own party" approval rating since WWII, at this stage of his term, second only to former President George W. Bush, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this month.

Even with the cloud of multiple investigations hanging over Trump, his family, former associates, and his campaign, the president's ability to act and speak with near-impunity on matters of personal grievance and matters of policy has frustrated lawmakers in both major parties.

Tuesday night, Sanford said he had no regrets "It may have cost me an election but I stand by every one of those decisions to disagree with the president", he said.

Unseated Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) cries in an interview with Rolling Stone, and later compares the Trump movement to a "cancerous growth".

Besides that district, considered key to the House battleground map this fall, Democrats in two other Virginia districts they hope to retake nominated women, including Abigail Spanberger in the 7th District and Elaine Luria in Virginia's 2nd District. There are nine congressional primaries in South Carolina's seven U.S. House seats. Sanford is also known for not being sufficiently supportive of President Donald Trump.

In the 5th Congressional district, Democrat Archie Parnell overwhelmingly won his party's primary despite a recent admission that he abused his ex-wife decades ago.

Results in yesterday's primaries confirm that, two years in, Donald Trump represents the base of the Republican Party.

That was not enough for Trump, who has made allegiance to his leadership a litmus test in many Republican races across the country.

Her unexpected victory now makes Arrington the poster child for the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party's 2018 takeover.

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