Former Sen. Scott Brown wins GOP nomination for New Hampshire seat

Written By kolimtiga on Rabu, 10 September 2014 | 12.56

Scott Brown, the former U.S. senator from Massachusetts, easily won the GOP nomination for a Senate seat in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, trouncing his rivals as he pivoted toward a general election race against Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen that has already demonstrated it will be among the most heated in the midterm election.

Brown's victory came on a night when troublesome primaries gave way to comfortable wins for several front-runners.

In New York, liberal activists disenchanted with Gov. Andrew Cuomo had sided with his Democratic challenger, Zephyr Teachout. But Cuomo soundly dispatched the Fordham University educator and former Howard Dean campaign aide, and now will face Republican long shot Rob Astorino, executive of Westchester County.

In Massachusetts, Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley romped to the Democratic nomination for governor, setting her on a path to possible redemption for her 2010 loss to Brown in a Senate special election.

In Rhode Island, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo won the Democratic nomination for governor over two rivals, one of whom was endorsed by outgoing Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Raimondo, who will face Republican nominee and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, had won the support of female-focused groups such as Emily's List, which congratulated her Tuesday for getting "one step closer to making history" as the state's first female governor.

In New Hampshire, Gov. Maggie Hassan won nomination to a second term and will face Republican businessman Walt Havenstein. If party trends hold true, New England could see three female governors by next year.

Tuesday night's results in New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Delaware brought the long 2014 primary season to a close. The lone exception is Louisiana, which will hold its nonpartisan "jungle" primary on Nov. 4, when the rest of the country holds general election contests. At that point, if no candidate clears 50%, the top two candidates will compete in a December runoff.

Brown, who represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate from 2010 until he was ousted by Elizabeth Warren in 2012, stirred controversy this year when he moved to his Rye, N.H., vacation home full time and announced that he would challenge Shaheen. He initially faced skepticism among GOP voters, but they ultimately embraced him as the most formidable candidate to take on the incumbent senator and gave him a double-digit win Tuesday over his two main opponents: former state Sen. Jim Rubens and former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith.

In his victory speech at the Grappone Center in Concord, Brown repeatedly chided Shaheen for supporting the policies of President Obama, whose poll numbers have sunk in New Hampshire even though he won the state in both of his presidential bids.

"I will be a voice and a vote for the independent spirit of this state," Brown said, calling Shaheen Obama's "No. 1 foot soldier." "We have a senator who is voting 99% of the time with the failed policies of President Obama."

Shaheen, whose lead over Brown has shrunk to single digits in several recent polls as outside spending has poured into the race, has already aired several negative ads against Brown. Shaheen foreshadowed the spirited contest ahead with a message from her official Twitter campaign account Tuesday night, once again casting Brown as a carpetbagging candidate.

"No matter where @SenScottBrown lives, he's going to put Scott Brown first. Not you. Not your family. Not New Hampshire," Shaheen's message said.

In Massachusetts, Coakley's 2010 loss to Brown in the special election for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seat had shadowed her gubernatorial run this year. But she has labored to get past that political defeat in the primary race and will now face Republican Charles D. Baker, a businessman, in the fall. Baker also was seeking resurrection; he lost in 2010 to Gov. Deval Patrick but has run a more energetic campaign this cycle.

There was one major upset in Massachusetts on Tuesday night, as Rep. John F. Tierney bowed to Seth Moulton, an Iraq war veteran. The defeat made Tierney the fourth sitting member of Congress to lose to a primary challenger this year.

The congressional races in New Hampshire had also gained national attention. The GOP is hoping to take out both of New Hampshire's incumbent Democratic congresswomen: first-term Rep. Ann McLane Kuster and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

Former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta defeated former University of New Hampshire business school dean Dan Innis. Guinta now faces Shea-Porter, his longtime rival. In 2010, Guinta unseated Shea-Porter before losing the 2012 rematch.

After a hard-fought race in the 2nd Congressional District, state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, a 31-year-old Latina, was declared the winner of the Republican primary.

She has been the favorite of national Republicans to face Kuster, and cast as a rising star. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz campaigned with her last weekend. But the primary battle became bitter in the final weeks as former state Sen. Gary Lambert accused Garcia of supporting lax immigration policies he says would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Twitter: @MaeveReston

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

9:17 pm.: This post was updated throughout.

This post was originally published at 6:41 p.m.

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