Rep. Mark Sanford, one of President Donald Trump's sharpest Republican critics, was ousted by a primary challenger on Tuesday after Trump waged an extraordinary last-minute effort to defeat him.
The South Carolina congressman lost to state lawmaker Katie Arrington, who won Trump's support just hours before the polls closed Tuesday. Trump lashed out against Sanford, declaring him "unhelpful" in a tweet and referring to his 2009 extramarital affair.
Sanford becomes just the second sitting member of Congress to lose in a primary this year. The president's broadside marked the first time he targeted a congressional Republican incumbent in the midterms.
In Sanford, he chose a well-known former governor, who among other criticisms held him partly responsible for a shooting at a congressional baseball practice by stoking national tensions
"Based on the numbers I see, I think I'll end up losing this election," Sanford told supporters Tuesday night, just before the Associated Press projected Arrington's victory.
With 99 percent of the vote tallied, Arrington had 50.6 percent of the vote - a figure that would cinch the nomination outright. Sanford had been battling to ensure a runoff, which would have occurred if no candidate reached the 50 percent-plus-one vote threshold.
"We are the party of President Donald J. Trump," Arrington said to her backers.
The intraparty strains came on a day when other cracks emerged in the GOP establishment, all of them reflectingTrump's dominance. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., mocked his colleagues for being afraid to "poke the bear" and cross the president by voting on an amendment to grant Congress more authority over tariffs. And moderate House Republicans fell short of securing enough support to force votes on sweeping protections for young undocumented immigrants - a measure at odds with Trump's hard-line immigration posture.
Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who clashes frequently with party leaders, responded to Trump's tweet with one of his own defending Sanford.
"Unlike you, Mark has shown humility in his role and a desire to be a better man than he was the day before," he wrote.
Elsewhere, voters made their picks for key November elections for Senate, House and governor in Virginia, Maine, Nevada and North Dakota, on a day with considerably less drama and lower stakes than primaries in recent weeks.
In North Dakota, Rep. Kevin Cramer won the Republican nomination for Senate and will face Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, who had no primary challenger. The race is a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, who are trying to hold onto a narrow 51-to-49 Senate advantage.
Trump personally recruited Cramer to run, but there has been tension between the congressman and the White House. Trump has treated Heitkamp better than other red-state Democratic senators, as she has crossed party lines to vote for some of his policies and nominees.
State legislator Kelly Armstrong won the GOP nomination for Cramer's House seat and will be favored in November.
In Nevada, the Senate race has emerged as a marquee midterm showdown. Dean Heller is considered the most vulnerable Republican senator running for reelection. He was projected as the winner thanks to some help from Trump: The president shooed his biggest challenger, activist Danny Tarkanian, out of the race.
On the Democratic side, one-term Rep. Jacky Rosen was projected as the winner over five long-shot candidates.
Tarkanian, who lost the 3rd Congressional District to Rosen in 2016, plunged back into that race and raised four times as much money as his closest challenger. He led the GOP primary with half the vote tallied.
The Democratic winnerwas Susie Lee, a philanthropist who previously lost a primary in the nearby 4th Congressional District and had locked up most party support.
The Democratic-leaning 4th District, meanwhile, may set up a rematch between the players in one of 2014's biggest upsets. That year, voters there ousted Democrat Steven Horsford after one term and elected Republican Cresent Hardy, who was unseated in 2016 by a Democrat who in December announced a scandal-driven retirement. Horsford won his primary Tuesday and Hardy was leading in early returns.
Both parties also faced competitive, pricey primaries for governor. Attorney General Adam Laxalt defeated a fellow beneficiary of the 2014 Republican wave, state Treasurer Dan Schwartz, for their party's nomination. Democrats were choosing between Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak, both Clark County commissioners, who represent the left wing and business-friendly wings of their party, respectively. Sisolak led with about half the vote tallied.
In Maine, voters for the first time picked party nominees in a "ranked choice" system that let them assign preferences to several candidates. If no candidate wins an outright majority, ballot-counters eliminate the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes and redistribute that person's support to the runners-up - and so on until one candidate comes out on top.
Businessman Shawn Moody led the Republicans' four-way race for governor. The Democrats were sorting out a seven-way contest, with every candidate promising to end Republican Gov. Paul LePage's blockade of Medicaid expansion.
The Democratic primary in Maine's 2nd Congressional District has drawn national attention for becoming a faceoff between two kinds of candidates that the party has been trying to recruit in swing seats: Jared Golden, an Iraq War veteran and state representative, and Lucas St. Clair, the wealthy heir of the Burt's Bees fortune.
Golden was leading late Tuesday. The eventual winner will challenge Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin.
In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster was forced into a runoff against business executive John Warren. McMaster was one of the few established Republicans in the state to back Trump in 2016, and became governor when Trump named Nikki Haley as United Nations ambassador.