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June 11, 2014 3:09 PM Further Down-Ballot

By Ed Kilgore

Lost in the glare of the VA-07 GOP primary last night were other contests, aside from Lindsey Graham’s easy renomination in SC, which got attention as a counterpoint to Eric Cantor’s loss.

In VA-08, as expected, former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, an unsuccessful gubernatorial nominee back in 1997, beat a large field (winning a near-majority) vying for the Democratic nomination to succeed the ever-entertaining Rep. Jim Moran, who retired after representing this dark-blue NoVa district for more than two decades. Name ID, money, and a widely recognized car dealership count for a lot in crowded primaries.

Up in Maine, state senator Emily Cain crushed fellow senator Troy Jackson for the Democratic nomination to succeed Mike Michaud, who’s running for governor. Cain will be a solid favorite in November against Republican winner Bruce Poliquin, who may be too conservative for this district.

And out in Nevada, the Republican Establishment candidate in NV-04, state legislator Crescent Hardy won the GOP primary to face freshman Dem Rep. Steven Horsford.

Three further down-ballot contests merit some attention as well, two of them in Nevada. That state’s famous “None of the Above” ballot line finished first in the Democratic primary for governor, but all that means is that second-placed finisher Bob Goodman will appear on the November ballot as a very heavy underdog to incumbent Republican Brian Sandoval. And speaking of Sandoval, his candidate to serve as Lieutenant Governor, state senator Mark Hutchison, soundly beat Sue Lowden, who you may recall as the front-runner for the 2010 Senate nomination until her advocacy of “chickens for checkups” (actually a barter system for medical services) drowned her in a sea of derision. Hutchison’s win may open the way for Sandoval to challenge Harry Reid in 2016.

And down in SC, in the GOP primary for the not-very-powerful position of Lite Governor, Nikki Haley’s reported favorite, developer Pat McKinney, appears to have narrowly won a runoff spot over political clan scion Mike Campbell. The top finisher was Henry McMaster, Haley’s runoff opponent in 2010, who’s now quite friendly with Nikki. The most interesting candidate in this race is Democrat Bakari Sellers, who was first elected to the SC legislature in 2006 at the ripe old age of 22.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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