GOP veterans Tommy Thomspon and John Mica survive primary, but Fla. tea partier steals the show
While some GOP strongholds have held in the primaries, Florida tea party member Ted Yoho is on the verge of upsetting a 12-term Republican representative.
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The GOP sees the Senate race in Wisconsin as a pickup opportunity as they try to gain majority control from the Democrats.Skip to next paragraph
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Thompson, a governor for 14 years who was first elected in 1966, enjoyed the most name recognition statewide.
He got a late boost from Ryan, who praised Thompson's record as governor during a rally in Wisconsin on Sunday. Ryan did not mention Thompson's rivals. Thompson aired a radio ad on Monday featuring Ryan's comments.
In Florida, Mica, a 10-term congressman who wields considerable clout as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is expected to win in November in his Republican-leaning district. Tea party freshman Rep. Sandy Adams fell short against Mica despite backing from 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Mica and Adams landed in the same central Florida district due to redistricting, and the result was a nasty member-versus-member primary.
The Florida contest was a prime example of the sharp split in the Republican party this election season between grass-roots conservatives and the GOP's establishment candidates.
Mica overcame criticism by Adams that the big-spending ways of longtime lawmakers and Washington insiders like him have fueled the nation's soaring debt, a charge that echoes the deep divisions in the GOP. The two tangled over spending for pet projects and who's more conservative.
In Connecticut, wealthy former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, the GOP's endorsed candidate, defeated former Rep. Christopher Shays in the Senate primary. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, is retiring.
Shays, a moderate who had represented a district anchored by Greenwich and other wealthy suburbs outside New York City since 1987, lost his seat in 2008. He had hoped his Washington experience could blunt McMahon's wealth and official party support.
McMahon spent about $50 million of her own money in her failed 2010 Senate race. It was the largest amount of money spent on any campaign in state history, as well as the largest amount per vote nationwide. She outspent Shays and attacked him as a career politician.
In Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Chris Murphy, who was the party's endorsed candidate, beat former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. Looking past Shays, McMahon has already aired an attack ad against Murphy.