Trump-Backed Candidates See Losses in Nebraska Primaries, Victory in West Virginia

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikRep. Alexander Mooney, R-W.Va., left, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, appear at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2021. Mooney faces Rep. David McKinley, in a Republican primary on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.
Rep. Alexander Mooney, R-W.Va., left, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, appear at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2021. Mooney faces Rep. David McKinley, in a Republican primary on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
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The power of an endorsement from former US President Donald Trump was put to the test on Tuesday in both Nebraska and West Virginia – two states holding primaries ahead of the 2022 midterm elections on November 8, 2022. While the Trump-preferred candidate secured a ‘W’ in WV, Nebraska proved to be a major ‘L’ for those supported by 45.

Nebraska

Veterinarian Jim Pillen, a hog farmer, emerged as the victor of Nebraska’s crowded Republican primary for governor. Pillen is expected to have quite the lead in support over Democratic counterpart Carol Blood, a state senator, according to the Associated Press.
Nebraska has not elected a Democratic governor since 1994.
© AP Photo / Grant SchulteNebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, center, talks about his campaign after receiving an endorsement from Gov. Pete Ricketts, right on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, at the state Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. Pillen is in a crowded primary race to succeed Ricketts, who leaves office next year because term limits, and he's been endorsed by former Gov. Kay Orr, left.
Nebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, center, talks about his campaign after receiving an endorsement from Gov. Pete Ricketts, right on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, at the state Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. Pillen is in a crowded primary race to succeed Ricketts, who leaves office next year because term limits, and he's been endorsed by former Gov. Kay Orr, left.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
Nebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen, center, talks about his campaign after receiving an endorsement from Gov. Pete Ricketts, right on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, at the state Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. Pillen is in a crowded primary race to succeed Ricketts, who leaves office next year because term limits, and he's been endorsed by former Gov. Kay Orr, left.
Pillen beat eight opponents, including Trump-backed businessman Charles Herbster, who was accused of groping young women. At least eight women accused Herbster of sexual misconduct occurring between 2017 and 2022, per the Nebraska Examiner.
Herbster is the chief executive officer of Carico Farms, Herbster Angus Farms, and the Conklin Company.
Meanwhile, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who has been outspoken about his opposition to Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection, was projected by Edison Research to be the Republican to face off against Democratic challenger Tony Vargas in a contentious November election.
“They didn’t have a right to break in and do what they did,” Rep. Bacon in a statement published on the one-year anniversary of the insurrection. “Let’s rein this back in.”

West Virginia

However, in West Virginia, Edison Research projected that Trump-back US congressional candidate Alex Mooney beat out challengers Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Susan Buchser-Lochocki in the Republican Primary for state’s 2nd District in the US House.
© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteRep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 15, 2021. The May 10 primary contest in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District between Republican congressmen Alex Mooney and David McKinley is a test of Trump's clout in the state.
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 15, 2021. The May 10 primary contest in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District between Republican congressmen Alex Mooney and David McKinley is a test of Trump's clout in the state.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 15, 2021. The May 10 primary contest in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District between Republican congressmen Alex Mooney and David McKinley is a test of Trump's clout in the state.
McKinley was backed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R-WV).
“I can tell you that I’m absolutely really close with the Trump family and I know President Trump from time to time can make a mistake and in this one—he’s made a mistake,” Justice said of Trump’s endorsement for Mooney, as reported by WV Metro News.
Mooney has notably supported Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 General Election. Meanwhile, McKinley agreed that Biden won the 2020 US presidential.
Mooney will face off against Barry Wendell, who received more than 55% of the vote and beat out opponent Angela Dwyer.
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