Factbox-Power of Trump’s endorsements tested in 12 U.S. midterm primaries

By Thomson Reuters Aug 16, 2022 | 5:05 AM

(Reuters) – Donald Trump’s influence over the Republican Party will be tested in two more U.S. midterm primaries on Tuesday, the last of a dozen high-profile races where the former president weighed in.

Here is a list of 12 prominent Trump endorsements, among the more the more than 200 picks he has made ahead of the Nov. 8 elections that will determine control of Congress for 2023 and 2024.


Harriet Hageman

* Seeks to defeat incumbent U.S. Republican Representative Liz Cheney

* Aug. 16 Wyoming at-large-district Republican primary

Trump threw his backing behind Hageman, a lawyer, in September 2021, looking to punish Cheney, who was stripped of her role as the No. 3 House Republican for voting to impeach the former president on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Cheney, the daughter of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, also served as the vice chair of the House committee investigating the Capitol attack. A Casper Star-Tribune poll from mid-July showed Hageman with a 52% to 30% lead over Cheney.

Kelly Tshibaka

* Seeks to defeat incumbent U.S. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

* Aug. 16 open primary contest

Trump is backing Tshibaka, a former Alaska state administration commissioner, to unseat Murkowski, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in 2021 on impeachment charges. Both Murkowski and Tshibaka will likely advance from Tuesday’s primary contest, which under new state election rules will send four candidates to the November contest regardless of their political parties. The state’s new rules, however, could give Murkowski a boost in the general election. Voters will be asked to rank their candidates by preference, and Murkowski – a moderate who won re-election in 2010 as a write-in candidate after losing the Republican primary – could win if she garners more second-choice votes than Tshibaka.


Joe Kent

* Seeks to win Washington state’s 3rd congressional district, which leans Republican, on Nov. 8.

Kent, a former special forces officer endorsed by Trump, narrowly won Aug. 2 Republican primary over incumbent U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump last year. Kent could be the frontrunner in November for the newly-drawn district, which Trump would have won by four percentage points in 2020. But he faces the risk his hard right views could galvanize Democrats. Kent has campaigned with far-right U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida and told Oregon Public Broadcasting he held a social media strategy call with white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes, though he said he disagreed with Fuentes’ “ethno-nationalism.”

John Gibbs

* Seeks to win Michigan’s 3rd congressional district on Nov. 8.

Gibbs is a former housing official under Trump with a history of inflammatory tweets, including references to baseless conspiracy theories about Democrats and Satanism. He beat U.S. Representative Peter Meijer in the Aug. 2 Republican primary after a Democratic Party group spent heavily on television ads touting the former leader’s endorsement of Gibbs. Meijer slammed the ads as a ploy to help his “far-right opponent” get on the ballot and make it easier for Democrats to win the moderate district in November. Meijer was one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year.

Mehmet Oz

* Seeks U.S. Senate seat for Pennsylvania vacated by retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey

Oz, a celebrity doctor whose endorsement by Trump divided Republican leaders in Pennsylvania, beat former hedge fund executive David McCormick in a primary by a margin of 951 votes.

Oz will face Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman in what is expected to be among the tightest races of the November election. Fetterman took a break from the campaign trail after suffering a stroke in the days before the May 17 primary, and on Aug. 12 held his first rally since the life-threatening health event.

Herschel Walker

* Will face incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia

A retired football star, Walker easily won the May 24 Republican nomination contest and opinion polls point to a close race in November against Warnock, a pastor. But Trump-endorsed Walker, who has never held elected office, has vulnerabilities including past allegations of domestic abuse.

Ted Budd

* Seeks U.S. Senate seat for North Carolina vacated by retiring Republican Senator Richard Burr

A rank-and-file member of the House of Representatives, Budd had little statewide name recognition before he sought the Republican nomination for what is expected to be a tight race in November. Following Trump’s endorsement, he surged in opinion polls and easily defeated former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in the May 17 primary.

In November, Budd will face Democrat Cheri Beasley, a Black woman who formerly served as the state’s chief justice.

J.D. Vance

* Seeks U.S. Senate seat for Ohio vacated by retiring Republican Senator Rob Portman

The Trump-backed Vance triumphed in a crowded May 3 Republican primary and is favored to win in November against Democrat Tim Ryan, currently a U.S. representative for Ohio, although some political observers expect a stiff challenge from Ryan.

Vance is best known as the author of best-seller “Hillbilly Elegy,” which documented the descent of factory towns in states like Ohio into poverty and drug abuse. He has styled himself as an angry populist in the Trump mold, shedding his prior reputation as a Trump critic.

Russell Fry

* Expected to win South Carolina’s 7th congressional district, which is strongly Republican, on Nov. 8.

Fry, a state representative, won Trump’s endorsement after U.S. Representative Tom Rice joined Democrats and a handful of Republicans in voting to impeach the former president for inciting a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Fry easily defeated Rice in the June 14 Republican primary, telling supporters afterward he would work hard to make Trump proud.


Loren Culp

* Lost to incumbent U.S. Republican Representative Dan Newhouse

Former small-town police chief Loren Culp won Trump’s endorsement to take on Newhouse, who had stoked Trump’s ire by voting to impeach him last year. But it was Newhouse who advanced in the Aug. 2 Republican primary, with Culp blaming his loss on a crowded field of Republican candidates who were similarly pro-Trump.

David Perdue

* Went up against Georgia’s incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp

Former U.S. Senator David Perdue, despite getting Trump’s endorsement, did not come close to upsetting Georgia’s incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Perdue, who repeated Trump’s falsehoods about losing Georgia in the 2020 presidential election due to widespread voter fraud, conceded to Kemp shortly after polls closed in the May 24 Republican primary. Kemp had angered Trump by dismissing the former president’s false statements about election fraud.

Katie Arrington

* Challenged Republican U.S. Representative Nancy Mace

Arrington, a former South Carolina state lawmaker, won Trump’s endorsement after incumbent Mace publicly criticized Trump for his role in his supporters’ assault on the U.S. Capitol. Mace, who voted against Trump’s impeachment, defeated Arrington in the June 14 Republican nomination contest. Newly drawn district boundaries have made her seat safely Republican in November.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Additional reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)