Incumbent Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, a frequent Trump critic who the president lambasted earlier in the day as “nothing but trouble” and “very unhelpful,” was ousted in Tuesday night’s primary by state Rep. Katie Arrington.
On a key primary night with elections also held in Maine, Virginia, Nevada and North Dakota, the results in South Carolina were an unmistakably positive referendum on President Trump’s tenure.
Arrington’s shock win was also a dramatic rebuke of Sanford’s heated “Never Trump”-style rhetoric and scandal-pocked career. It signaled that the president’s base in the state remains solidly behind him ahead of November’s midterm elections, despite withering criticism from both inside and outside the Republican party.
State Rep. Katie Arrington, a relative political newcomer who secured Trump’s backing, repeatedly bashed Sanford for deriding the president and even ran advertisements featuring video clips of Sanford’s Trump criticisms.