Primary Results in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina, and Ohio 6 Special

by Jacob Rubashkin June 12, 2024 · 12:46 PM EDT

Two more House Republicans survived spirited primary challenges this week. Elsewhere, Republicans picked their nominees in takeover targets in Maine and Nevada, and nearly got a shock in GOP territory in Appalachian Ohio.

Voters in four states – Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina – cast primary ballots on Tuesday. That means 26 states have completed their primaries up to this point with 23 remaining between now and Sept. 10. (Yes, that adds up to 49. Louisiana has its all-party primary on Nov. 5.) And voters in Ohio’s 6th District selected a replacement for Rep. Bill Johnson, who resigned earlier this year.

With five months still before Election Day, 27 candidates effectively have their tickets punched for Capitol Hill. They are likely to be new members of Congress next year because they’ve already won primaries in districts or states that are either solidly Republican or solidly Democratic and the general election is more of a formality. North Dakota’s Julie Fedorchak was the latest addition to that list.

Here’s what happened in some key contests on Tuesday.

2nd District (Northern Maine) Jared Golden, D, re-elected 53%. Trump 52%.
State Rep. Austin Theriault will be the GOP nominee against Golden. A former NASCAR driver from the northern part of the district, Theriault was the preferred candidate of House Speaker Mike Johnson and national GOP strategists, who believe that Theriault is a better foil for Golden than former Rep. Bruce Poliquin. But the tatted-up Marine has cultivated a Blue Dog image that keeps him strong in the district. Lean Democratic.

Senate. Jacky Rosen, D, elected 50%.
Retired Army Captain Sam Brown captured 57 percent of the GOP primary vote as a late spending push by former Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter failed to have an effect on the race. Brown received a last-minute endorsement from Trump but that doesn’t appear to have changed much – two polls from before the endorsement showed Brown leading by the margin he ultimately won by. Now he’ll face Rosen in a general election that won’t get the same attention as Montana and Ohio but could get dicey for Democrats if Trump really is winning Nevada by mid-single digits. Tilt Democratic. 

1st District (Eastern Las Vegas area) Dina Titus, D, re-elected 52%. Biden 53%. Republicans renominated retired Col. Mark Robertson to take on Titus after he lost by 6 points in 2022. Restaurateur Flemming Larsen had the capacity to self-fund but trails Robertson, 48-39 percent, with most of the vote counted. Likely Democratic. 

3rd District (Southwestern Las Vegas area) Susie Lee, D, re-elected 52%. Biden 52%. An endorsement from Gov. Joe Lombardo wasn’t enough to get Halo composer Marty O’Donnell the nod – he’s in fourth behind the winner, conservative commentator Drew Johnson (32 percent), former state treasurer Dan Schwartz (23 percent), and former state Sen. Elizabeth Helgelien (21 percent). Lee was a top target in 2022 for Republicans but is almost an afterthought in 2024. Likely Democratic.

4th District (Northern Las Vegas area and rural central Nevada) Steven Horsford, D, re-elected 52%. Biden 53%. It’s too close to call between Air Force veteran David Flippo and former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee (a former Democrat endorsed by Trump) in the GOP primary. Either would be an underdog against Horsford. Likely Democratic.

North Dakota
Governor. Open; Doug Burgum, not seeking re-election.
At-Large Rep. Kelly Armstrong easily won his party’s nomination over Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller; he leads 67-33 percent with 20 percent of the vote counted. Miller couldn’t outrun perceptions that she was too moderate for the state, even with a spending advantage and an endorsement from Burgum. Armstrong will be the prohibitive favorite against state Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, a well-liked radio host and singer who seeks to be the first Democrat elected governor since 1988. Solid Republican.

At-Large District. Open; Kelly Armstrong, R, running for governor. Trump 65%. State Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak is the projected winner and the latest likely new member of Congress. Fedorchak was endorsed by Trump, Burgum, and Sen. John Hoeven, and with half the vote counted is ahead of state Rep. Rick Becker, 46-29 percent. Former Miss America Cara Mund is in third with 20 percent. Becker was supported by the Club for Growth. Solid Republican.

6th District Special (Southeastern Ohio and Youngstown area) Vacant; Bill Johnson, R, resigned Jan. 21 to become president of Youngstown State University. Trump 64%.
What should have been an easy win for state Sen. Michael Rulli turned into an unexpected nailbiter against Democratic Air Force veteran Michael Kripchak. Despite the district’s significant Republican bent – it would have voted for Trump by 29 points – Rulli is outpacing Kripchak by a relatively anemic 9 points, 54-46 percent. Turnout was low; just 12 percent of 2020’s voter participation. When Rulli is sworn in he’ll give a much-needed boost to House Speaker Mike Johnson, whose current majority stands at just five seats, 218-213.

South Carolina
1st District (Coastal South Carolina and Charleston suburbs) Nancy Mace, R, re-elected 57%. Trump 54%.
An onslaught of anti-Mace spending – $5.4 million, including from groups with ties to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – couldn’t do the trick in this Lowcountry district. Despite making enemies in both pro-Trump circles and House leadership, Mace easily outpaced opponent Catherine Templeton; she leads 57-29 percent with about half of the vote counted. Mace was boosted by $2.5 million in spending from the Club for Growth. She’ll be the favorite in this district after the Supreme Court declined to enforce a lower court ruling that ordered it be redrawn. Move from Likely Republican to Solid Republican.

3rd District (Northwestern South Carolina) Jeff Duncan, R, not seeking re-election. Trump 68%. Trump-endorsed pastor Mark Burns and Air Force National Guard Lt. Col. Sheri Biggs are headed to a June 25 runoff in the GOP primary after winning 32 and 29 percent of the vote, respectively. State Rep. Stewart Jones placed third with 19 percent despite receiving nearly $400,000 in outside support from the libertarian-leaning Protect Freedom PAC. Burns and Biggs begin the runoff on relatively even financial footing, and it remains to be seen if Biggs’ allies at Elect Principled Veterans Fund continue to spend on her behalf after shelling out $300,000 in the primary. Solid Republican.

4th District (Greenville area) William Timmons, R, unopposed in 2022. Trump 58%. Timmons eked out a victory over state Rep. Adam Morgan, who helped found the local Freedom Caucus in the state legislature. Timmons, who has been rankled by accusations of marital infidelity, led Morgan, 52-48 percent, with more than 95 percent of the vote counted. Solid Republican.