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GOP congressman dubbed 'Grandstander' by Trump wins primary

Rep. Thomas Massie beat out three other challengers during Tuesday's primary.

WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman whom Donald Trump once called a “third rate Grandstander” and a “disaster” for Kentucky coasted to victory Tuesday in his primary election.

Rep. Thomas Massie had angered Trump by opposing a massive COVID-19 relief package in 2020 when he was in the White House. Trump took to Twitter to urge GOP leaders to “throw Massie out of Republican Party!″

The two apparently patched things up. The bill passed, and Trump endorsed Massie earlier this month.

Massie's primary was among the first congressional races to be called during Tuesday's primary elections in Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, Idaho and Pennsylvania.

Other notable U.S. House races:


Six open congressional seats up for grabs Tuesday were vacated by Democrats who opted to retire or seek higher office rather than run again.

Mass exoduses from Congress are not uncommon before midterm elections, when voters have historically punished the party of the sitting president. But this year, an unusually high 31 House Democrats have announced they will not run again.

Most are safe Democratic seats, or at least lean that way. That means they likely won't play a role in determining which party controls the House next year. But the retirements represent a major loss of experience, knowledge and influence at the Capitol for House Democrats and underscore the party's deep sense of pessimism about their prospects in November.

A western Pennsylvania seat held by Rep. Conor Lamb is one of the few that is viewed as competitive. He opted to run for the state's open U.S. Senate seat rather than seek reelection.

In Louisville, Kentucky, state Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey and progressive state Rep. Attica Scott are vying to replace retiring House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth, who was first elected in 2006.

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