by Steve Benen
Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country
* In Pennsylvania, Democrat Helen Tai won a state House special election yesterday, flipping a “red” seat that Donald Trump and Mitt Romney narrowly carried. It’s the 41st state legislative seat Democrats have flipped since Trump took office.
* Elsewhere in the Keystone State, four women – Madeleine Dean, Chrissy Houlahan, Mary Gay Scanlon and Susan Wild – won Democratic congressional primaries in a state that currently has an all-male congressional delegation. In light of Pennsylvania’s new district map, some of these women are very likely to win in November. (Note, Wild narrowly defeated John Morganelli, who recently made headlines for his pro-Trump, anti-progressive record.)
* Losing hurts, but losing twice in three months hurts more: Pennsylvania’s Rick Saccone (R), who lost a congressional special election to Rep. Conor Lamb (D) in March, also lost a congressional primary yesterday.
* Pennsylvania Republicans’ statewide ticket will apparently be led by two Trump-like candidates: Rep. Lou Barletta won the GOP’s Senate primary, while state lawmaker Scott Wagner, won the party’s gubernatorial primary. Both are immigration hard-liners.
* In one of yesterday’s bigger upsets, former Rep. Brad Ashford’s (D) comeback bid in Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district was derailed by progressive Kara Eastman, who narrowly defeated him in a Democratic primary. She’ll face Rep. Don Bacon (R) in the fall.
* In Idaho’s very competitive Republican gubernatorial primary, Lt. Gov. Brad Little defeated Rep. Raul Labrador, perhaps best known for his role in the House Freedom Caucus. Come January, it looks like Labrador will no longer hold elected office.
* And Idaho’s Democratic gubernatorial primary offered something of a surprise, with state Rep. Paulette Jordan easily dispatching A.J. Balukoff, who ran for the same office four years ago. Jordan’s an underdog in the general election, but if she prevails, she’ll be the nation’s first ever Native American governor.