Trump test continues in Nebraska and West Virginia primaries

The Nebraska gubernatorial race was jostled by a recent scandal involving the Trump-backed candidate.

Updated: May 10, 2022 - 9:27am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Links

Nebraska and West Virginia voters go to the polls Tuesday in primaries that are once again headlined by Republican races and former President Trump's endorsements. 

In Nebraska, Republicans will select their nominee for governor from a field of nine vying to replace GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts, who must retire because of term limits. 

The race has been rocked in recent weeks by accusations against frontrunner Charles Herbster that he groped, mostly in public, at least eight women over the last several years. Herbster, a businessman and cattle breeder, who has a Trump endorsement, has denied the allegations. 

Ricketts has endorsed Jim Pillen, a hog farm owner and veterinarian.

Heading into election day, Herbster and Pillen are locked in a dead heat, with state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, a financial adviser in Omaha, also in contention.

The winner will likely become the next governor in heavily red Nebraska, after facing off against likely Democratic nominee state Sen. Carol Blood. 

In West Virginia, Trump has backed incumbent GOP Rep. Alex Mooney over incumbent Rep. David McKinely, who drew the ire of the former president when he supported the creation of the select panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure package. 

Mooney and McKinely have be forced into the same congressional district because West Virginia lost one after the 2020 U.S. Census showed a population decline. 

Last Tuesday, Trump went 22-0 in the Indiana and Ohio GOP primaries, showcased by his late endorsement of Senate candidate J.D. Vance moving him into first place, then victory. 

Next Tuesday, Trump will face another notable hurdle as his chosen candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race – Dr. Mehmet Oz – goes up against former hedge-funder David McCormick in what has become a competitive, bareknuckled race that gas divide Trump and others in his former administration. 

Also on May 17, North Carolina will hold primaries, in which Trump has backed GOP Rep. Ted Budd in a full Republican field to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr.