Don Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general, won the Republican primary for Senate in New Hampshire in Tuesday’s election, NBC and ABC News projected.
It’s a result some in the GOP fear could tip November’s general election to Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.
Bolduc holds a wide variety of extreme beliefs: He wants to eliminate both the FBI and the Department of Education, has backed former President Donald Trump’s lies about the election and called GOP Gov. Chris Sununu a “Chinese Communist sympathizer.”
Establishment Republicans, fearing he would weaken their chances against Hassan, unsuccessfully rushed to defeat him in recent weeks, spending millions on ads attacking him as a weak candidate and boosting New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse, his main competition in the race.
Trump did not endorse either candidate in the race.
In a tweet early Wednesday, Morse said he called Bolduc to concede.
The moderate and low-key Hassan’s popularity in New Hampshire is middling, and Republicans insist even Bolduc could potentially defeat her. The late date of the state’s primary also means Hassan has limited time to define the Republican as an extremist.
Bolduc is set to be one of a slew of problematic Republican candidates, including Herschel Walker in Georgia, venture capitalist Blake Masters in Arizona and television doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. The low quality of GOP recruits this cycle has started preemptive finger-pointing among GOP Senate strategists.