Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper said this morning that if Donald Trump is the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, he would not vote for the former president. Other former Trump aides who've denounced him, including Bill Barr and John Bolton, have not been willing to go this far.
* In Wisconsin, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tim Ramthun is not only doubling down on the idea of “nullifying” election results he doesn’t like, he also wants to see State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos prosecuted.
* Speaking of Wisconsin, a GOP congressional candidate in the state, Derrick Van Orden, was fined this week after bringing a loaded gun to an Iowa airport.
* In Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary, former Sen. David Perdue said yesterday that if he’s elected, and Roe v. Wade is overturned, he would “immediately call a special session of the legislature to ban abortion in Georgia.”
* Speaking of Georgia Republicans endorsed by Donald Trump, John Gordon, who’s running for state attorney general, told a group of voters that he’s prepared to prosecute school teachers as “child abusers” if they teach critical race theory or “gender identity” in public schools.
* In Arizona, the state Supreme Court yesterday said three incumbent Republican congressmen — Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and Mark Finchem — can run for re-election in the fall. The trio was facing a Fourteenth Amendment challenge based on the lawmakers’ alleged role in Jan. 6.
* In Wyoming’s Republican congressional primary, incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney has a significant financial advantage over her GOP rival, Harriet Hageman, but Trump hopes to change that. The former president’s operation has formed a joint fundraising committee with Hageman, in the hopes of helping fill her campaign coffers.
* And in South Carolina, where Rep. Nancy Mace is facing a Republican primary challenge from Katie Arrington, former Gov. Nikki Haley appears in a new TV ad in support of the incumbent. Many on the far-right, including Trump, have endorsed Arrington, deeming Mace insufficiently loyal to the conservative cause.