Last night was a relatively quiet one on the primary front. That’s mainly because it became clear a month ago or more that Sen. Orrin Hatch would cruise to victory over insurgent candidate Dan Liljenquist. Nothing, then, for the MSM to fixate on here.
Hatch did indeed cruise, besting Liljenquist by almost exactly a 2-1 ratio.
I’m happy that Hatch will be returning to the Senate. He has been a reliable, though not a perfect, conservative for decades. At least as importantly, he has provided forceful leadership in key conservative battles, particularly those involving the judiciary.
Had Hatch been defeated, the MSM hand-wringing about extremist conservatives eating their own, or whatever, might finally have some plausibility. Instead, Hatch’s win supports the view that it’s not that complicated for incumbent Republicans from conservative states to win re-nomination — just consistently, though not invariably, be the conservative that the voters sent you to Washington to be.
In other news, Dakota Wood, about whom I wrote admiringly here, finished a distant third in the six-man field seeking the Republican nomination in Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District. He thus misses the run-off.
That run-off — to be held on August 28 between Markwayne Mullin and George Faught — is worth watching. Mullin, I assume, is the favorite, as he captured 42 pecent of the vote compared to 23 percent for Faught.
However, the Washington Times reported that Mullin, who owns a successful plumbing company, may face legal difficulties. Some apparently involve his campaign; others, which seem quite speculative, involve Mullin’s hire of, and association with, a convicted felon who kept firearms at the office of Mullin’s company.
Faught, meanwhile, serves in the state legislature where, I understand, he has a strong conservative record. Mike Huckabee endorses him, as do Phyllis Schlafly, the Gun Owners of America, and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.
The Fourth District is conservative country, but it is not a guaranteed pick-up for Republicans. Moderate Democrat Dan Boren has represented the District, albeit in a somewhat different configuration, and the Dems will put up a similar candidate this time. Republicans risk losing if their nominee ends up being dogged by controversy. Fortunately, voters have two months to sort out the extent to which Mullin will be thus dogged.