Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., both survived primary challenges Tuesday, and will have the chance to continue their long careers in Washington. But Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla., was defeated by a Tea Party-backed challenger.
Hatch easily defeated former Utah State Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, to gain a shot at his seventh term in the Senate. Liljenquist had been backed by Tea Party groups and activists who supported Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, for president.
It was the first primary challenge for the 78-year-old Hatch since being elected in 1976.
In a victory speech, Hatch told supporters that he was “energized” by the primary fight, adding, “This will give us an opportunity to help Mitt Romney to get the things that will really turn this country around.”
Hatch is expected to defeat former Utah State Senate Minority Leader Scott Powell, D-Provo, in November.
Rangel will serve a 22nd term in Congress after narrowly defeating New York State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, D-Manhattan, who was trying to become the first Dominican-American elected to Congress.
Rangel received 45 percent of the vote to Espaillat’s 40 percent to win the primary in New York’s 13th Congressional District. Clyde Williams, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, received 10 percent of the vote.
Rangel had been fighting ethics concerns, health issues and newly-drawn congressional boundaries that put him into a new district with a majority-Latino population. The 82-year-old Rangel had been censured in 2010 for failing to properly disclose income and failing to pay taxes.
Rangel’s victory in November is all but assured, as Republicans failed to field a challenger to him.
Navy Reserve pilot Jim Bridenstine scored an upset victory over John Sullivan in Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District, winning 54 percent of the vote to top the five-term congressman.
“We ran on the facts. And today we were victorious,” Brindenstine told supporters Tuesday night.
Bridenstine ran to the right of Sullivan, who once joked that the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., could only get passed if he killed a couple Democratic senators.
The tea-party backed Bridenstine is considered the favorite to defeat businessman John Olson in November’s election.
Image Credit: Joe Hall