The final primaries before the November elections were held Tuesday in seven states and the District of Columbia. In Delaware, tea party-backed candidate Christine O’Donnell scored an upset by winning the Republican Senate nomination.
Christine O’Donnell: “We worked hard to be here. I cannot thank you enough for that. Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Delaware have spoken. No more politics as usual. We’re in this to win, and we’re in this to win big. And win big, we did. Don’t ever underestimate the power of 'we the people.'”
O’Donnell’s victory could boost Democrats’ chances of maintaining a Senate majority. O’Donnell’s opponent, nine-term Congress member Mike Castle, was seen as a favorite over Democratic nominee Chris Coons. Castle is known as a moderate Republican for his support of abortion rights and gun control, while O’Donnell ran with the backing of the tea party and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Republican leaders had opposed O’Donnell and now say they won’t help fund her campaign. Another closely watched race was in New Hampshire, where the state’s former Attorney General, Kelly Ayotte, holds a slight lead over tea party candidate Ovide Lamontagne with ballots still being counted. In New York, longtime Democratic Congress member Charles Rangel won renomination over five challengers who had sought to unseat him amidst a wave of ethics charges. Rangel addressed supporters in Harlem.
Rep. Charles Rangel: “I don’t know how this cannot — how this will be misinterpreted, but I want you to know, no matter what they say, I go back to Washington stronger than I’ve ever been, and it has nothing to do with my personality. It has everything to do with you.”
In New York’s gubernatorial primaries, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo secured the Democratic nomination after running unopposed. He’ll square off against tea party-backed Republican candidate Carl Paladino. And in Wisconsin, millionaire entrepreneur Ron Johnson won the Republican nomination to square off against Democratic Senator Russ Feingold.