Election Summary: Victory For Rand Paul, Marijuana & MAGA Candidates In Primary Elections

âœȘ Five states held primary elections on Tuesday: Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. One of the big questions going in was how Trump-endorsed candidates would fare (which many see as a proxy for measuring the former president’s influence within the party). The results on that front were a mixed bag...

For instance: Trump-endorsed candidate Tedd Budd—currently a congressman—won in the North Carolina Senate primary, beating out former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory. (“McCrory would seem to be a prototypical Trumpian Republican: As governor, he banned sanctuary cities, extended the waiting period for an abortion from one day to three, and required people to use the public bathroom that corresponded to their biological sex,” notes Reason‘s Joe Lancaster. So McCrory’s loss isn’t something for libertarians to lament. “But it is concerning when a candidate like McCrory, who made his name on culture war battles, is somehow not MAGA enough.”) And 26-year-old Bo Hines, whom Trump endorsed, won the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th District House seat.

However, Trump also endorsed U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R–N.C.) in his bid for reelection. And Cawthorn—a scandal magnet—lost to state Sen. Chuck Edwards (R–Henderson County), whom NBC describes as “a conservative backed by many of the state’s establishment players.”

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who was endorsed by Trump and ran on a promise to challenge the 2020 election, lost badly to Gov. Brad Little, a more moderate Republican. “The race was called with 23% of precincts reporting and Little receiving 64.1% of the vote, while Lt. Gov Janice McGeachin had 23.4%,” reports the New York Post.

In Pennsylvania, the Senate faceoff between Trump-backed celebrity doc Mehmet Oz and hedge fund CEO David McCormick is still too close to call.

“Overall, it was a night that saw Trump’s hold on the GOP appear not quite so solid as previously thought,” suggests The Hill. But others say that even if not all of Trump’s picks win, the MAGA ethos is apparent in many of last night’s GOP winners whether or not Trump endorsed them.

In other election news, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman—a anti-establishment Democrat who has backed marijuana legalization (he sells campaign T-shirts with marijuana leaves on them) and criminal justice reform—won the Senate primary in his state. This means he’ll be racing off for a Senate seat against either Oz or McCormick.

And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul—who can still be an important pro-liberty voice in Congress, even if his limited-government stances have been getting woefully selective—easily won the Republican primary. Paul will face off in the fall against former state Rep. Charles Booker. âœȘ

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