U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford hugged his sons after addressing his supporters at Liberty Tap Room in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Sanford lost his first election ever Tuesday, beaten for the Republican nomination for another term in the coastal 1st District around Charleston by state Rep. Katie Arrington. (Wade Spees/The Post And Courier via AP)

Trump enough? Defeat of GOP congressman begs the question

June 14, 2018 - 1:00 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The primary-election defeat of a Republican congressman in South Carolina is playing out as a cautionary tale for those in the GOP who would cross President Donald Trump.

Congressman Mark Sanford lost his re-election bid for the Republican nomination to a state lawmaker, Katie Arrington, who repeatedly highlighted Sanford's criticism of the president.

The day after his defeat, Sanford told reporters on Capitol Hill that the race became a matter of "was I Trump enough?"

Sanford says he hopes his loss won't dissuade others from speaking out against Trump, calling agreeing to disagree "a sign of health" in the political system.

Sanford is the second incumbent House Republican to lose a primary this year, though the defeat of Robert Pittenger in North Carolina came despite his staunch support for Trump.

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