Former President Donald Trump's favored candidates won in one of Tuesday's highest-profile Republican primary races and lost in another, handing Trump his first big loss of the midterm influencing season.
In West Virginia, Rep. Alex Mooney (R) is projected to win his primary for the newly drawn 2nd Congressional District, defeating fellow incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R). Trump had endorsed Mooney, while Gov. Jim Justice (R) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D) had backed McKinley. Mooney is heavily favored to beat Barry Wendell, an openly gay Morgantown city councilor who won the Democratic primary.
In Nebraska, hog farmer, veterinarian, and University of Nebraska regent Jim Pillen is the projected winner of the crowded GOP gubernatorial primary, beating state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, Trump-endorsed business executive Charles Herbster, and several other candidates. Pillen was backed by term-limited Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and most of Nebraska's GOP establishment. Trump campaign for Herbster even after the candidate was accused of groping and sexual assault by eight women; Herbster denies the allegations. Pillen is expected to beat state Sen. Carol Blood, who easily won Nebraska's Democratic gubernatorial primary.
In other races Tuesday, Rep. Don Bacon (R) fended off a challenge from roofer Steve Kuehl in Nebraska's somewhat competitive 2nd Congressional District, while state Sen. Tony Vargas won the Democratic nomination. In Nebraska's 1st Congressional District, state Sen. Mike Flood (R) and state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D) will compete in the June 28 special election to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R) after he was convicted of lying to federal investigators about illegal campaign contributions.