Tea Party a Winner in Nebraska; Two Women to Battle for Senate Seat in West Virginia

Republican Ben Sasse will be favorite to replace Johanns while either Shelley Moore Capito or Natalie Tennant will succeed Rockefeller.

Ben Sasse, republican congressional candidate from Nebraska
National Journal
Andrea Drusch And Jack Fitzpatrick
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Andrea Drusch and Jack Fitzpatrick
May 13, 2014, 7:01 p.m.

A tea-party fa­vor­ite will take on a Demo­crat­ic tri­al law­yer for an open Sen­ate seat in Neb­raska while two wo­men will make his­tory in West Vir­gin­ia fa­cing off for the seat held since 1985 by Sen. Jay Rock­e­feller, a lib­er­al li­on of the Demo­crat­ic Party.

Primary elec­tions in the two states Tues­day also put former Mary­land state le­gis­lat­or Alex Mooney — the top money-raiser in a crowded Re­pub­lic­an field — in the driver’s seat to re­place GOP Rep. Shel­ley Moore Capito in West Vir­gin­ia’s 2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Capito eas­ily won the Re­pub­lic­an slot in the race for Rock­e­feller’s Sen­ate seat and will go head-to-head with Sec­ret­ary of State Nat­alie Ten­nant, who won the Demo­crat­ic primary. West Vir­gin­ia voters have nev­er had two wo­men run­ning against each oth­er in a statewide race.

In Neb­raska, Mid­land Uni­versity Pres­id­ent Ben Sas­se — a fa­vor­ite of con­ser­vat­ive out­side groups — won the Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate primary Tues­day night, pav­ing his way to the Sen­ate and giv­ing his al­lies a much-sought vic­tory. Sas­se will take on the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee, at­tor­ney Dav­id Dom­ina, in a Novem­ber race that’s ex­pec­ted to stay in the Re­pub­lic­an column. GOP Sen. Mike Jo­hanns is re­tir­ing at the end of this Con­gress.

Sas­se, the front-run­ner go­ing in­to Tues­day night, earned 45 per­cent of the GOP vote with 12 per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing when the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race, less than an hour after the polls closed. Sas­se fended off a last-minute surge from bank pres­id­ent Sid Dinsdale, who was tak­ing 25 per­cent as the race was called. Former Neb­raska state Treas­urer Shane Os­born, the one­time fa­vor­ite, took 23 per­cent.

Once con­sidered a dark-horse can­did­ate among the GOP’s choices to re­place Jo­hanns, Sas­se picked up en­dorse­ments from more than a dozen out­side groups in­clud­ing the Club for Growth, the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund, and the Madis­on Pro­ject. In a rare move, an­oth­er group, Freedom­Works, res­cin­ded its en­dorse­ment of Os­born and in­stead gave it to Sas­se, cit­ing Os­born’s per­ceived close­ness with Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell.

In a TV in­ter­view Tues­day, Sas­se said he would vote for Mc­Con­nell to lead the party in the Sen­ate.

In the Moun­tain State, Mooney had 33 per­cent of the vote with 59 per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing when AP called the race. Former George W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial Char­lotte Lane and phar­macist Ken Reed trailed with 20 per­cent of the vote, and four oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans di­vided the re­mainder.

Mooney will face at­tor­ney Nick Ca­sey, who won the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion to re­place Capito. The dis­trict fa­vors Re­pub­lic­ans (Mitt Rom­ney won there by a 22-point mar­gin in 2012), though Demo­crats hope the loc­al party brand re­mains strong enough to chal­lenge for the seat.

There was no clear fa­vor­ite in the sev­en-can­did­ate Re­pub­lic­an primary race, but Mooney out­spent his op­pon­ents and at­trac­ted out­side spend­ing from groups such as the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund and Cit­izens United. He spent more than $400,000 on the primary race, and he be­nefited from an­oth­er $161,000 in out­side spend­ing sup­port­ing him, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Re­spons­ive Polit­ics.

This was the first House primary for a can­did­ate en­dorsed by Mooney’s highest-pro­file back­er, the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund. The anti­es­tab­lish­ment group, which soun­ded un­happy notes about Capito’s Sen­ate run but couldn’t mount an in­tra-party chal­lenge against her, spent over $60,000 on ra­dio ads back­ing Mooney and an­nounced in a vic­tory state­ment Tues­day night that it had raised $30,000 for him dur­ing the primary.

Op­pon­ents sought to counter Mooney’s spend­ing ad­vant­age by paint­ing him as a car­pet­bag­ger on the hunt for a con­gres­sion­al seat. He con­sidered run­ning for Mary­land’s 6th Dis­trict in 2012 but de­cided against it — and moved to friend­li­er, more con­ser­vat­ive pas­tures in West Vir­gin­ia. Mooney noted that many res­id­ents of West Vir­gin­ia’s east­ern pan­handle have moved there from Mary­land.

While Mooney will be favored against Ca­sey, the com­pet­it­ive and costly Re­pub­lic­an primary means the Demo­crat will start the gen­er­al elec­tion with more money to spend. Be­fore coast­ing through his primary, Ca­sey re­por­ted hav­ing more than $626,000 cash on hand, com­pared with Mooney’s $213,000.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
4 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login