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Primary Voters in South Carolina Take Aim at ‘Establishment’ Candidates

June 23, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Four states held primaries and runoffs yesterday, and the outcomes foreshadowed a theme to come in the November election, a backlash against candidates with ties to Washington.

The new Republican nominee for governor in South Carolina walked on to the stage, the crowd chanting her name. Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, easily won Tuesday’s runoff, with the backing of Tea Party activists.

NIKKI HALEY, R, South Carolina gubernatorial candidate: This is a story about determination and a story about a movement. This is the movement about the idea of government being open and accountable to the people.

NIKKI HALEY: This is the story where we push the idea that the taxpayer should get ahead of the special interests every day of the week.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Haley is now favored to become South Carolina’s first female governor. She won easily, despite allegations of marital infidelity and ethnic slurs.

State Republicans also nominated Tim Scott for a U.S. House seat. He would be the state’s first black GOP congressman in more than a century. Scott defeated Paul Thurmond, son of the late senator and former segregationist Strom Thurmond.

And prosecutor Trey Gowdy won the Republican nomination for another congressional seat. He attacked sitting Congressman Bob Inglis for voting to bail out the financial industry. Inglis was the fifth incumbent turned out of office this year.

And, in Utah, another new Republican face emerged. Attorney Mike Lee won the nomination for U.S. Senate.

MIKE LEE, R, Utah Senatorial candidate: We face a federal government that thinks it can be all things to all people. But it solves all the world’s problems just by giving more money, money that hasn’t yet been earned, because the people who will one day earn it have not yet been born, and, in some cases, their parents haven’t even met.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Utah Republicans had ousted incumbent Senator Bob Bennett at a state convention last month.