Blankenship in 3rd place in West Virginia Republican primary; Braun to face Democratic incumbent Donnelly in Indiana
In West Virginia’s closely watched primary, Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin is the projected winner of the Democratic Senate nod, easily defeating challenger Paula Jean Swearengin. The three-person Republican race remained too close to call at this hour but ex-coal mining executive, and ex-felon, Don Blankenship was trailing in third place. Blankenship, who had used racially charged language in his advertising, promised to be “Trumpier than Trump.” But he had not earned the president’s backing. Elsewhere, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, one of the state’s best-known politicians, is the projected winner in a bitter Republican primary in the race to replace GOP Gov. John Kasich, who is out because of term limits, the Association Press and NBC News have called. On the Democratic side, Obama-era consumer protection bureau head Richard Cordray looks to have won his party’s nomination for governor. He beat Dennis Kucinich, the former nine-term congressman and Cleveland mayor who ran on an anti-gun, pro-environment platform. In the state’s Senate race, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci has won the Republican primary to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown this fall, AP said. Meanwhile, Mike Braun wins the Republican primary in Indiana for U.S. Senate. He advances to face Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in the November matchup; Donnelly is considered one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats. Mike Pence’s brother, Greg, who had never run for office, has won the Republican nomination for an Indiana congressional seat. North Carolina was also holding its primary. All four states went for Trump in 2016, and their primary races are offering some insight into Republican voters’ mood two years later.