There were closely-watched primaries yesterday in South Carolina and Utah. Most of the attention was on the Palmetto State, where an Indian-American woman won the GOP nomination for governor and an African-American won the nomination for the first district congressional seat. Both are positive developments since the respective candidates appear to be solid, limited-government conservatives. But the most important race, in my humble opinion, was the battle to unseat incumbent GOP Congressman Bob Inglis, who was a TARP-supporting, pro-tax Republican. As this Politico story indicates, he got completely stomped as voters wisely recognized that he had become a fan of big government.
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C) became the third House member and the fifth member of Congress to be defeated this year, losing by an overwhelming margin Tuesday in a GOP primary that served as a referendum on Inglis’s conservative credentials. …After finishing a distant second in the June 8 primary, Inglis’s loss did not come as a surprise. Still, the margin of defeat was stunning: Spartanburg County Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who had slammed Inglis for his positions on everything from the Iraq war troop surge to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in an effort to paint the congressman as insufficiently conservative, won 71 percent to Inglis’s 29 percent. …Before the ballots had been cast Tuesday, many Republican operatives in Washington and South Carolina had written off the prospect of an Inglis victory, chalking up his seemingly inevitable loss to a combination of an anti-incumbent tide and local frustration with his departures from conservative orthodoxy. …As town halls raged last summer, Inglis came under glaring criticism from conservative activists after he told a room of angry town hall attendees to “turn off” Glenn Beck.