Republican incumbents face hard primaries after defying Donald Trump

Nancy Mace and Tom Rice both criticised former president after January 6 insurrection

Nancy Mace, a Republican representative from South Carolina, faces a tough primary challenge after criticising former president Donald Trump for the January 6 insurrection. Getty Images / AFP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Two Republican US House of Representatives incumbents in South Carolina who have drawn the ire of former president Donald Trump now find themselves facing tough primary challenges on Tuesday from candidates he has endorsed.

Representatives Nancy Mace and Tom Rice criticised Mr Trump after the January 6 insurrection, with Mr Rice among the 10 House Republicans who crossed party lines to vote to impeach him.

In Nevada, Democrat Dina Titus is being opposed by a progressive for a House seat, while Republican Mark Amodei drew a challenge from a son of one of the state's most famous sports figures. In Maine, a former Republican congressman is looking to reclaim his old seat.

Crossing Trump: South Carolina Republicans face challengers

Mr Rice, a five-term congressman, attracted a half dozen Republican challengers after his vote to impeach Mr Trump. All have cited the vote as a mark of disloyalty to both the former president and Mr Rice's constituents in the 7th Congressional District, which heavily supported Mr Trump in both of his presidential bids.

Mr Trump has endorsed Russell Fry, a state representative, in the race.

An otherwise consistent supporter of Mr Trump's policies, Mr Rice has stood by his vote, acknowledging it may lead to his removal but saying he followed his conscience.

Taking a somewhat different approach, Ms Mace has sought to make amends for angering Mr Trump, filming a video in New York this year outside Trump Tower to remind her constituents that she was one of the former president’s “earliest supporters”. She worked for his 2016 campaign and had his backing in her 2020 run.

Primary challenge in Nevada's safest Republican House seat

Mr Amodei is facing a primary challenge from a perennial candidate with a famous last name.

Danny Tarkanian, son of legendary University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, is trying to knock off the six-term incumbent in the sprawling, rural northern district that no Democrat has won in its 40 years.

Nevada Democrat faces primary in state's bluest district

Ms, the dean of Nevada’s congressional delegation, is facing a progressive challenge from Amy Vilela in the state's most liberal district.

Ms Vilela has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders, a US senator from Vermont, and Cori Bush, a representative from Missouri, a progressive activist who scored a primary upset in 2020 against a 20-year Democratic incumbent.

Former Maine congressman bids for House return

A former congressman wants his old seat back in Maine, but he must first hold off a challenge from a fellow Republican in the largely rural, politically mixed district.

Bruce Poliquin represented Maine’s 2nd Congressional District from 2015 to 2019 until losing to Democrat Jared Golden. Mr Golden’s victory over Mr Poliquin was the first congressional election decided by ranked-choice voting in US history.

Updated: June 14, 2022, 7:40 PM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL