2010 Featured GOP Primaries

Despite stampeding to the far right in order to win over Sarah Palin's supporters in the Tea Party, a growing number of Washington Republican backed candidates have suffered embarrassing defeats at the polls. Those that have lost include Congressman Parker Griffith in Alabama's 5th District, Vaughn Ward in Idaho's 1st District, Jeff Reetz in Kentucky's 3rd District, and Mary Beth Buchanan in Pennsylvania's 4th District. Other Washington Republican favorites have emerged damaged from bloody Republican primaries where they signed on to right wing pledges such as privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and supporting a 23% national sales tax.


Featured Races


AL-02 Despite being one of the first candidates named to the NRCC "Young Guns" program, Martha Roby was unable to win her nomination in Alabama's 2nd district even after outraising her closest rival by a 6-1 margin [FEC.gov]. She now faces a July 13th runoff against Rick Barber, a local tea party activist who hired staff from Doug Hoffman's race in NY-23 and was backed by a founder of the National Tea Party and by leading conservative blog RedState, among others [The Hill, 2/26/10; Rick Barber for Congress, accessed 6/1/10]. The National Journal reported, "Roby should win comfortably, and a closer-than-expected primary will be a sign that her camp is not yet ready for primetime, and may never be," [The Hotline, 5/28/10].
CA-11 With four contenders, the Republican primary coming up on June 8th in CA-11 is getting increasingly intense. David Harmer has been under fire from his Republican opponents for being a greedy credit card lawyer for a failed bank that profited from the federal bailout [Contra Costa Times, 6/01/10], [The Stockton Record, 5/26/10]. Brad Goehring has taken heat for his Palin-like rhetoric about hunting liberals [Tracy Press, 5/11/10].
NH-02 Washington insider and former Congressman Charlie Bass is facing serious competition from conservative activist and 2008 nominee Jennifer Horn. Between his record of supporting out of control deficit spending and his association with the failed Bush economic agenda, Bass's record has already come under fire in what will be a hotly contested primary fight. Bass has attempted to cozy up to Tea Party activists, but has been called out for his blatant pandering [New Hampshire Union-Leader, 11/03/09; Concord Monitor Editorial, 2/25/10]. The New Hampshire primary is not until September 14th.
NY-23 It's deja vu all over again. National Republicans are preparing for another divisive and expensive fight between Republicans in New York's 23rd Congressional District. Sarah Palin's endorsement of Doug Hoffman last fall in a losing effort in the special election set off a Republican Civil War that is currently sweeping the country. Republican challenger Matt Doheny, a Wall-Street executive, has come under fire for using "Scozzafava's insider tactics and buy[ing] supporters," [The Gouverneur Times, 4/13/10].

Hoffman has secured the Conservative Party's line and is accusing the Republican establishment of once again abandoning their conservative values. If he doesn't win the primary, Hoffman is likely to run as a third party candidate once again [Hotline, 4/27/10]. The primary is not until September 14th.
TN-08 Although Steve Fincher has been highly touted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, he now faces a competitive Republican primary in Tennessee's 8th Congressional District. As National Republicans have embraced Fincher, two well-funded physicians announced their candidacies, Dr. Ron Kirkland and Dr. George Flinn, who have publicly expressed their resentment towards Washington Republicans efforts to hand pick the nominee for the 8th District of Tennessee. [Politico, 1/29/10; CQ Politics, 2/04/10]. And if the GOP infighting in the primary is not enough, Brighton businessman Donn Janes said he will now run as a "Tea Party" independent candidate [CQ, 1/11/10]. The Tea Party has attacked Fincher for his hypocritical criticism of government spending while receiving farm subsidies [The Washington Post, 4/1/10]

To make their case to Republican voters prior to the August 8th primary, as of the latest filing, Fincher has almost $829,000 COH, Kirkland has over $780,000 COH and Flinn has over $124,000 [FEC.gov].
VA-02 Scott Rigell is the favorite of the DC establishment in the June 8th Republican primary in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. The Tea Party endorsed his opponent Ben Loyola citing the fact that Rigell's auto dealership participated in the taxpayer-funded Cash for Clunkers program [AP, 5/26/10].
VA-05 No primary in the country has garnered more attention as the divisive battle between Washington Republicans backing Robert Hurt and grassroots conservatives opposed to his nomination. The battle lines have formed around Hurt's support for a $1.4 billion tax increase which landed him on the conservative Americans for Tax Reform list of "Virginia's Least Wanted." [CQ, 12/17/09] Hurt's primary opponents have invested significant personal funds including over $200,000 from Laurence Verga and $500,000 from James McKelvey. [Charlottesville Daily Progress, 1/28/10] The Virginia primary is June 8th. The race has been seen nationally as a competitive primary that could aid the Democrats re-election and as a test of Tea Party strength [Hotline, 4/27/10; Washington Post, 1/23/10]. If Robert Hurt wins the nomination, candidate Jeffrey Clark has said he will challenge him as an independent candidate to rally conservative support. [Washington Post, 3/27/10]
VA-11 Oakton businessman Keith Fimian is on the air with a new ad attacking Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity for hiking taxes over 25 times [The Washington Post, 5/27/10]. Herrity's campaign sent out a mailer labeling Fimian a "tax cheat" for a $16,000 lien levied on his company. [The Washington Examiner, 6/1/10].
Original List of Featured Races >>

Full List of Palin's Primaries Districts
AL-02, AZ-01, AZ-03, AZ-05, AZ-08, CA-11, CA-45, CA-47, CO-03, CO-07, CT-04, DE-AL, FL-08, FL-24, GA-02, IA-03, KS-03, KS-04, LA-03, MD-01, MI-03, MI-07, MI-09, MO-04, NC-08, NH-01, NH-02, NJ-03, NY-01, NY-13, NY-19, NY-23, NY-24, SD-AL, TN-04, TN-08, VA-02, VA-05, VA-11, WA-03, WI-08