Two high-profile candidates backed by former US President Donald Trump have emerged as winners of primary elections in America, which were held on Tuesday.
The votes — organised in various states by both Republicans and Democrats — were to choose which candidates will go through to contenst Congressional and Senate elections later this year.
In Alaska, Sarah Palin advanced to the November general election where she could win the northern state’s only House seat.
Palin, who was plucked from relative political obscurity as governor of Alaska to be John McCain’s 2008 vice presidential candidate, was on the ballot twice in Alaska: once in a special election to complete the term of a sitting senator who died in March, and another for a full two-year House term starting in January.
Voters approved an elections overhaul in 2020 ending party primaries and instituting ranked voting in general elections. Endorsed by Trump, Palin finished first among 48 candidates to qualify for a special election.
In a recent address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Palin decried the new voting system, saying, “It is bizarre, it’s convoluted, it’s complicated. And it results in voter suppression.”
Meanwhile, one of Donald Trump’s most vocal critics Liz Cheney was defeated in a Republican Party primary election in Wyoming, falling to a rival backed by the former president, in a rout that reinforces Trump’s grip on the party’s base.
Cheney, a third-term congresswoman and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, started election day downbeat about her prospects, aware that Trump’s backing gave Harriet Hageman considerable lift in the state where he won by the largest margin during the 2020 campaign.
Cheney was already looking ahead to a political future beyond Capitol Hill that could include a 2024 presidential run, potentially putting her on another collision course with Trump.
Addressing a small collection of supporters, including her father, Cheney described her loss as the beginning of a new chapter in her political career.
“Our work is far from over,” she said Tuesday evening, evoking Abraham Lincoln, who also lost congressional elections before ascending to the presidency and preserving the union.
Cheney is the top Republican on the House panel investigating the 6 January 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, an attack she referenced in nodding to her political future.
Harriet Hagerman, who also falsely claims the 2020 election was “rigged” celebrated with supporters, and said she was “very grateful to President Trump.”