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Sasse wins Republican Senate primary

Sasse wins Republican Senate primary
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls NYT's Stephens says Ted Cruz more 'unctuous' than Eddie Haskell GOP worries fiscal conservatism losing its rallying cry MORE (R-Neb.) won Nebraska’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday, defeating a challenger who sought to make an issue of the senator's occasional criticism of President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE.

Sasse, who is running for a second term, comfortably defeated Nebraska Republican Matt Innis, a Marine Corps veteran and business owner. With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Sasse won with 77 percent of the vote compared to Innis's 23 percent, according to the Associated Press.

The primary was largely conducted through mailed-in ballots.

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Innis had sought to cast Sasse as insufficiently supportive of Trump, but Sasse leaned into his occasional criticism of the president, releasing an ad ahead of the primary raced touting his “guts.”

“He’s ticked off a lot of folks these past six years, from the radical left to, every now and then, even the president from his own party,” a narrator says in the ad. “Here’s the deal: Ben’s got guts."

Sasse is widely expected to win reelection in a race that The Cook Political Report rates as "solid Republican." He will face off against Democrat Chris Janicek, a baker who prevailed in his party's primary.