Barrasso secures GOP nomination in Wyoming Senate primary

Barrasso secures GOP nomination in Wyoming Senate primary

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoLife after Yucca Mountain: The time has come to reset US nuclear waste policy Trump announces restart to Taliban peace talks in surprise Afghanistan visit Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda MORE (R-Wyo.) held back a challenge from political newcomer Dave Dodson in the state’s Republican Senate primary on Tuesday, putting himself on the path to a third term in office.

With 21 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Barrasso, who carried about 65 percent of the vote.

Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee, is among the most popular U.S. senators, according to a Morning Consult survey released in January. That survey puts him in the No. 5 spot with 61 percent approval.

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But he faced a significant challenge from Dodson, a Jackson Hole investor and first-time candidate who pumped more than $1 million of his personal funds into the campaign.

Dodson campaigned on a promise to work to bring down the cost of health care in the state, while Barrasso has been among the most vocal Republican advocates of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

But Barrasso, who has served in the Senate since 2007, secured the endorsement of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE — a blessing that likely carried significant weight in the state that gave the real estate mogul his largest margin of victory in the 2016 presidential election.

Barrasso will face businessman Gary Trauner, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, in November. The Cook Political Report rates the Wyoming Senate race as “solid Republican.”