How Trump Sealed Mark Sanford's Political Fate With a Single Tweet

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Less than three hours before the polls closed, Trump endorsed Arrington on his Twitter account with an especially personal shot at Sanford.

Sanford was defeated by state Rep. Katie Arrington, who spent her campaign blasting Sanford as a "Never Trumper".

During her campaign, Arrington vowed to support President Donald Trump's political agenda. In races where candidates don't secure more than 50 percent of votes cast, runoff elections of the top two vote-getters will be held June 26. But he has accused the president of contributing to the coarsening of the national political discourse, and that turned the primary into a test of whether loyalty to Trump is more important to Republican voters than a lawmaker's record.

Arrington vanquished the 58-year-old career politician by running a textbook contrast campaign - resulting in a stunning upset punctuated by a last-second endorsement from US president Donald Trump.

Sanford had been critical of Trump at times, saying he "fanned the flames" of intolerance and decrying his disregard for facts.

Congressman Mark Sanford is best remembered nationally for a highly public extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina several years ago. Twisting the knife, Trump stated that Sanford "is better off in Argentina".

Trump also tweeted his endorsement of Adam Laxalt, Nevada's attorney general, just after noon Pacific time.

Taking down an incumbent is no easy feat in American politics, but this race was really a referendum on the relative strength of the anti-Trump contingent in the Republican Party as it struggles to hold off the #MAGA cult of personality.

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After declaring victory Tuesday, Arrington asked Republicans to come together. Comstock is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican members of Congress in November.

Sanford, a member of the hard right House Freedom Caucus, has always been one of the few congressional Republicans willing to openly break with Trump.

During the 2016 campaign he famously said Trump should "shut up" and stop lashing out at his critics.

The victor of the Democratic race is expected to face Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt in November.

Over more than two decades, SC voters forgave U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford for his quirkiness, his infidelity and his lies. In North Dakota, GOP Representative Kevin Cramer was declared the party's primary victor, setting him up to run against Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

Tuesday, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, had a stern answer to Trump's tweet.

It was the 58-year-old's first election loss. She needed to win a majority of the vote to avoid a run-off.

The use of the system angered outgoing Republican Governor Paul LePage, who told a television station it was "the most horrific thing in the world". Meanwhile, Sanford's defeat means Congress will lose an advocate for limited government and individual liberty at the end of the current term.

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