Two far-right Republican candidates have won their New Hampshire primary races — after they were boosted by millions in Democrat spending as part of a guerrilla election tactic that some liberals have blasted as “dishonorable” and “dangerous.”
Don Bolduc and Robert Burns, who are both allies of former President Donald Trump, defeated their more moderate GOP rivals in two of the state’s Senate and House races, Edison Research projected Wednesday.
Democratic Party campaign arms had been banking on them being victorious amid their controversial scheme to amplify GOPers that liberals see as easier to beat in the Nov. 8 election — and help thwart Republican chances of taking back the Senate or House.
Bolduc, a Trump-loving retired US Army brigadier general, was chosen by Republican voters in Tuesday’s primary to take on Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan in the midterms.
Bolduc has repeatedly echoed Trump’s claims of a rigged 2020 election and questioned whether the FBI should be abolished in the wake of the agency’s August raid on the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
His more moderate rival, New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse, conceded defeat late Tuesday, tweeting: “It’s been a long night & we’ve come up short. I want to thank my supporters for all the blood, sweat & tears they poured into this team effort.”
During the campaign, the Senate Majority PAC — which is aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — had forked out $3.2 million on ads endorsing Bolduc, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Meanwhile, in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, a poorly-funded Burns defeated his more centrist candidate, Keene Mayor George Hansel, in the contest to face off against Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster in the upcoming election.
A group called Democrats Serve had forked out more than $100,000 for TV ads that highlighted Burns’ pro-Trump and “pro-life” abortion beliefs throughout the campaign, the Washington Post analysis showed.
“Last night didn’t go our way, but I would like to thank all of our supporters and voters who made this campaign possible,” Hansel said in a statement conceding defeat. “I would also like to congratulate Bob Burns on his victory tonight.”
Bolduc and Burns are among the string of Trump-backing candidates that Democratic campaign organizations have been throwing cash behind as part of their contentious tactic to have them picked over more moderate Republicans.
Democratic campaigns or outside groups have interfered in 13 primary races in New Hampshire, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia — and spent more than $53 million to boost far-right candidates.
In all, the Democrats’ preferred candidate has won six of the 13 races.
Still, the skullduggery hasn’t been embraced by all Democrats — with some warning that propping up such candidates could backfire by potentially propelling them into office.
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) slammed the strategy as “dishonorable,” “dangerous,” and “just damn wrong” in an interview with Politico in July.
“I do want to win these races, but it makes me worried,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) added. “I just really worry about promoting election deniers and this idea that we’re going to be able to control what voters want at the end of the day.”
The White House has been noticeably silent on the controversial issue.
Vice President Kamala Harris told NBC’s “Meet The Press” that “I’m not going to tell people how to run their campaigns.”
“I ran for – statewide, for attorney general, re-election – won both times. For Senate, won that race,” she continued. “And I know that it is best to let a candidate, along with their advisers, let them make the decision based on what they believe is in the best interest of their state. I’m not going to tell people what to do that way.”