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Factbox-Five key U.S. midterm primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Idaho

Politics May 18, 2022 01:00AM ET
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4/4 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, poses for a portrait at a meet-and-greet at the Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 1, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier 2/4

(Reuters) -Nominating contests in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Idaho and Kentucky on Tuesday helped shape the field for the Nov. 8 U.S. midterm election, with voters choosing the Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress and other offices.

Here is a look at several important races.

Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate loses

Republican Idaho Governor Brad Little easily defeated his primary contest challenger Janice McGeachin, the state's lieutenant governor who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and had recently spoken at a political conference hosted by a white nationalist.

McGeachin had dogged Little from the right, taking the gubernatorial reins several times while Little was out of the state and issuing executive orders that banned pandemic-related mask mandates. She also tried to order National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump's endorsement of McGeachin had perplexed political observers because Little is a staunch conservative who has not had public spats with Trump.

Rebuked lawmaker voted out

U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina lost a Republican nomination contest to defend his seat after getting rebuked by fellow Republicans for calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy a thug and for saying he had witnessed cocaine use and been invited to orgies in Washington. He has drawn criticism over a naked video, has faced accusations of sexual harassment and has been stopped twice for carrying firearms into airports.

State Senator Chuck Edwards defeated Cawthorn and will likely win the general election because Cawthorn's seat, based in the mountainous western part of the state, is considered safely Republican.

Fetterman wins amid health scare

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman cruised to victory in the Democratic nomination contest for what could be one of the tightest U.S. Senate races in November.

He emerged victorious just hours after having a pacemaker installed as he recovers from a stroke, raising questions about his ability to deliver on one of the Democrats' best opportunities to add to their razor-thin Senate majority.

With Pennsylvania's incumbent Republican Senator Patrick Toomey retiring, Fetterman will face the winner of a crowded Republican nomination contest.

David McCormick (NYSE:MKC) vs. Mehmet Oz

The battle for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania was shaken up in its final week, as conservative commentator Kathy Barnette put in a strong closing performance.

However, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and television wellness celebrity Mehmet Oz, backed by Trump, held their leading positions with 90% of the expected vote counted, according to Edison Research.

McCormick and Oz told their supporters they did not expect their race to be decided on Tuesday. Barnette was far behind in third.

Trump-backed Ted Budd wins

U.S. congressman Ted Budd, endorsed by Trump, defeated former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in the Republican primary to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Richard Burr.

Budd, who voted against certifying Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election, had little statewide name recognition before Trump got behind him. Afterward, Budd rose in public opinion polls against McCrory, a fiscally conservative standard-bearer of the Tea Party era.

In the November election, Budd will face Democrat Cheri Beasley, a Black woman who formerly served as chief justice of the state Supreme Court. Analysts expect the race to be competitive.

Factbox-Five key U.S. midterm primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Idaho

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