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Key results from Tuesday’s primaries and special election

Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina hold primaries, while Texas fills a vacancy

Vote signs point to the entrance for the temporary Clark County early voting location at Arroyo Market Square in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 28.
Vote signs point to the entrance for the temporary Clark County early voting location at Arroyo Market Square in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 28. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Voters in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina nominated candidates Tuesday to run for House and Senate in November, while a district in South Texas held a special election to fill an open seat.

Here’s highlights of what happened.

Texas

Flores flips 34th District: Republican Mayra Flores will serve the remainder of former Rep. Filemon Vela’s term after defeating Democrat Dan Sanchez and two others in a special election in Texas’ 34th District. Though it may flip back in November, when redistricting adds more Democratic voters and Flores will face Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, the win bolsters GOP arguments of momentum heading into the midterms, especially among Latino voters in South Texas.  The special election was run using the same boundaries that gave Vela, who resigned in March to join a lobbying firm, a 13-point win in 2020. With an estimated 99 percent of the vote in, Flores had 51 percent to Sanchez’ 43 percent when the Associated Press called the race at 10:13 p.m. Central time. Inside Elections rates the November race Solid Democratic.

South Carolina

Rice ousted: Rep. Tom Rice, one of the 10 Republicans who voted for impeachment after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, was soundly beaten in Tuesday’s primary in the 7th District by a state lawmaker backed by former President Donald Trump. Rice had less than 25 percent to state Rep. Russell Fry’s 51 percent when the AP called the race at 11:01 p.m. with an estimated 98.4 percent of the vote counted. There were five other Republicans running. Fry, the state House majority chief whip, centered his campaign on Rice’s impeachment vote. He also highlighted a legislative record that included work to expand the rights of state residents to openly carry firearms, dramatically limit abortion access and oppose some COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Rice stood by his impeachment vote, saying on NBC’s “Meet the Press NOW” on Tuesday, “I don’t vote to preserve my job, I vote to do the right thing.”

Mace beats Arrington: Rep. Nancy Mace defied Trump’s efforts to oust her, overcoming his depiction of her as an unhinged traitor to conservative values to beat the challenger he backed in a Republican primary Tuesday. Mace was leading former state Rep. Katie Arrington 53 percent to 45 percent when the AP called the race at 11:13 p.m. Mace was among Trump’s fiercest critics in the days after Jan. 6, but she sided with Trump’s defenders on a series of key votes, and appealed to his supporters on issues he made popular.

Nevada

Laxalt to challenge Cortez Masto: The matchup is set for one of the most important Senate races of 2022, with former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt winning the Nevada Republican primary. The AP called the race at 10:02 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday. With an estimated 70 percent of the vote counted, Laxalt had 55 percent to Purple Heart recipient Sam Brown’s 36 percent in the eight-candidate field. Seeking to become a third-generation senator, Laxalt will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who won the nomination for her second term with 91 percent against three challengers. Inside Elections rates the race as a Toss-up.

Titus coasts to general election in new-look 1st District: Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., won the Democratic primary in Nevada’s 1st District, easily defeating progressive challenger Amy Vilela. Titus was ahead with 84 percent to 16 percent with an estimated 70 percent of the vote counted. The AP called the race at 10:05 p.m. Pacific. Titus faces a new challenge in the fall, as thanks to redistricting she has a substantially different map than in 2020, with a larger minority of Republican voters than in the past. Inside Elections rates the November race Lean Democratic. Retired Army Col. Mark Robertson won the the Republican primary with 30 percent of the vote in an eight-candidate field. The AP made that call at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time Wednesday.

Amodei prevails: Rep. Mark Amodei is on track to return to Congress for a seventh term after winning the GOP primary in the 2nd District. Amodei was leading perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian, 55 percent to 33 percent in a five candidate field with an estimated 70 percent of the vote counted. The AP called the race at 11:15 p.m. Pacific. Elizabeth Krause won the the seven-candidate Democratic primary with 47 percent in a race called minutes later. The November race is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections.

Lee to face Becker: Attorney April Becker, one of the NRCC’s “Young Guns,” won the Republican primary to take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Susie Lee in the reconfigured 3rd District. Becker led a field of five candidates with 68 percent with 75 percent of the vote counted. The AP called the race at 10:08 p.m. Pacific. The race is rated Tilt Democratic by Inside Elections.

Horsford to face Peters: Air Force veteran Sam Peters, who was second in the GOP primary for the same seat in 2020, won the 4th District Republican primary and will face Rep. Steven Horsford, the Democratic incumbent. The AP called the race at 9:41 a.m. Pacific time on Wednesday when Peters had 48 percent in the three-candidate field. Inside Elections rates the November race Lean Democratic.

Maine

Poliquin will face Golden: Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin won the GOP primary in Maine’s 2nd District, taking 60 percent to Caratunk Selectboard Chair Liz Caruso’s 40 percent when AP called the race at 11:03 p.m. In a rematch of the 2018 race he narrowly lost, Poliquin will take on Rep. Jared Golden, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Golden is one of the House Democrats most likely to vote against party leadership. Both candidates have support from their party’s campaign arms, with Golden named a DCCC “Frontliner” and Poliquin an NRCC “Young Gun.” Maine uses ranked-choice voting, and an Independent candidate, lawyer Tiffany Bond, qualified for the general election ballot. Bond was also on the ballot when Golden defeated Poliquin in 2018. 

North Dakota

Hoeven to face Christiansen: Sen. John Hoeven’s bid for a third term is on track after he easily defeated challenger Riley Kuntz in the Republican primary. Hoeven had 79 percent when the AP called the race with an estimated 5 percent of the vote counted at 8:03 p.m. Central. Hoeven will face engineering professor Katrina Christiansen, who had 77 percent in the Democratic primary when AP called it at 8:27 Central. The race in November is rated Solid Republican.

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