The main theme this primary season has been Republicans trying to oust Republicans who have been in Washington too long. But last night's primaries were a twist on that: in three of the four major races, it was a Tea Party representative who'd been in Washington too long, and one them actually lost.
While Reps. Justin Amash and Tim Huelskamp (an eternal pain in John Boehner's side) managed to hold off their Establishment challengers, Kerry "It'd be a dream come true to impeach Obama" Bentivolio wasn't so lucky.
Sen. Pat Roberts wins in Kansas: Roberts has served Kansas for decades and was better funded. Despite the fact that Roberts doesn't really live in Kansas, Dr. Milton Wolf wasn't able to pull off an upset — he lost 41 percent to 48 percent.
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio loses in Michigan: A sitting congressman was ousted last night, but this time it was the moderate side of the party cleaning house. Bentivolio — the Tea Party's "accidental" congressman and former reindeer farmer — was crushed in Tuesday's primary in the state's 11th district by his Establishment backed opponent. Foreclosure attorney Dave Trott won 66 percent of the vote to Bentivolio's 34 percent, in part because he was better funded (partially with his own money) and had the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Michigan native Mitt Romney.
Unlike Bentivolio, he also doesn't have a history of making cringeworthy headlines for party leadership. Most recently, Bentivolio said it would be "a dream come true" to see President Obama impeached.
Tea Party Wins
Rep. Justin Amash demands apology from "despicable" opponent: Amash, Michigan's sophomore libertarian congressman backed by Sen. Ted Cruz, handily won his primary challenge with 57 percent of the vote. But when his challenger Brian Ellis called to concede the race, Amash ignored him and demanded an apology in his victory speech. “To Brian Ellis, you owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign,” Amash said according to Politico. “You had the audacity to try to call me today, after running a campaign that was called the nastiest in the country.” In an interview with Fox 17, Amash, who is Arab-American, added that Ellis called him Al Qaeda's best friend.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp survives a surprisingly real challenge: The Kansas representative is best known for being outraged by MSNBC's comment that conservatives wouldn't like a Cheerios commercial featuring a bi-racial family, and for being part of the anti-Boehner rebellion in the House last year. Huelskamp won 55 percent of the vote.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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