Primary night tid bits: Lots of ladies win, birther Taitz loses
Ladies won across the country in primary voting last night, including embattled Democratic Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, the big bucks candidates in California, Meg Whitman for governor and Carly Fiorina for Senate, South Carolina GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley and Nevada’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (which means Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams lost). Californians dashed the hopes of “birther queen” Orly Taitz, who got clobbered in her run for Secretary of State. And Maine voted against updating its tax system. Citizens of the Pine Tree State would rather pay higher income taxes than risk threatening tourism by upping sales and service taxes.
Blanche Lincoln defeated Bill Halter in a battle that saw an angry national movement by progressives looking to make a statement against the Democratic establishment, which backed Lincoln. Progressives see Lincoln as a kind of arch Blue Dog, who they say killed the public option in health care reform legislation and bragged about thinning the stimulus package many Democrats thought should be more robust in order to generate greater construction and investment. Lincoln’s victory has for now seemed only to heat up the political back and forth. A “senior White House official” reportedly called organized labor, which backed Bill Halter, “absolute idiots” who “flushed $10 million down the toilet” in a “pointless exercise” that may “cost [Democrats] the House.”
Colorado GOP strategy man Dick Wadhams backed Sue Lowden in the Nevada U.S. Senate race. Lowden at one point in her campaign said people should barter for health care, including bringing chickens to the doctor as payment as they did in ye old days. Lowden lost to former Reno Assemblywoman Sharron Angle.
The billionaire Republicans won in California, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. No surprise there.
Among the most curious what-if scenarios in Tuesday night’s primary was the possibility that Orly Taitz, widely known as the Birther Queen, might win the Republican primary for secretary of state in California.
It wasn’t even close. Former NFL player Damon Dunn beat Taitz by about 3-to-1. He will face Democratic incumbent Debra Bowen in the fall.
South Carolina’s Nikki Haley weathered affair rumors and racial slurs to advance solidly into the next round for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
Haley entered a runoff for the Republican gubernatorial primary with a substantial edge over her GOP rival, deflecting attacks on her marriage and her ethnicity using an antiestablishment message that resonated with the state’s voters.
“We saw us push against the establishment, we saw us push against the power and push against the money and boy did they push back,” Haley, a three-term state lawmaker and tea party headliner, said after coming close to winning the four-way race outright.
Hoping to become the state’s first female nominee for governor from a major party, Haley captured 49 percent of the vote to U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett’s 22 percent. A majority of the vote was needed to avoid the June 22 runoff.