Nikki Haley wins DC primary, her first in a GOP race

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley won D.C.'s primary on Sunday, winning the first race for the Republican presidential nomination. This is unlikely to change the course of the competition.

Voting in the Washington race closed Sunday at 7 p.m. ET after three days of voting. With only 19 delegates at stake, Haley had the best chance of defeating Trump. performed poorly In the last GOP presidential race in 2016. That year, he won the DC primary against Sen. He lost to Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — a rare loss for Trump in that GOP race.

With all the votes counted, Haley won 63 percent of the vote to Trump's 33 percent — and she won all the delegates.

See full Washington, DC GOP primary results

In a statement, Haley's campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubaz noted that the former U.N. ambassador is the first woman in U.S. history to win a Republican primary.

“It's no surprise that Republicans close to the Washington dysfunction are rejecting Donald Trump and all his mess,” Perez-Cubaz said in the statement.

Soon after Haley was invited to the race, Trump campaign spokeswoman Carolyn Leavitt mocked Haley and DC Republicans, echoing Trump's repeated claims that the capital is a “swamp” full of Republicans.

“Even as Nicki was rejected across America, she was crowned Queen of the Swamp by lobbyists and DC insiders who wanted to preserve the failed status quo,” Leavitt said in a statement. Despite four years in the White House and the support of most Republicans in Congress, Trump has long argued that Republicans in DC are primed against him.

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Unlike Trump, Haley campaigned in Washington, D.C., in town on Friday, ahead of the primary.

The Washington primary was small compared to other states, and Republicans in DC voted at the Madison Hotel. The election was managed by the DC GOP.

According to the DC GOP, the weekend election was held “as soon as possible under party rules.” A GOP June primary in DC — when Democrats hold their primary — would have violated the national GOP's rules that prohibit primaries from assigning delegates to the Republican National Convention less than 45 days before the July 15 convention. This means that party divisions have to hold their primaries by May 31.

For the district's GOP, 2,035 Republicans participated in the primary.

The Washington contest comes after Trump scored three victories over the weekend in Missouri, Michigan and Idaho.

Michigan Republican Party officials and other elected party members awarded Trump all 39 delegates at a caucus convention in Grand Rapids. The former president also won most of Michigan's 16 delegates allocated in a statewide primary the previous week. Trump won every delegate in Idaho's caucuses, and the Associated Press expected him to win in Missouri, both states where Republican voters made their choice at party-run caucuses.

Before Washington's primary Sunday, Trump had 244 delegates, compared to Haley's 24.

A third of the GOP delegation is at stake as both Republicans head into Super Tuesday on March 5, when 15 states vote. Despite polling hard behind Trump, Haley has vowed to stay in the Republican primary until at least Super Tuesday. I don't know what she will do after that.

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Haley wasn't in DC on Sunday to celebrate her victory, but instead campaigned in one of the Super Tuesday states, Maine. On Friday, ahead of Tuesday's primary, longtime Maine Sen. Got the endorsement of Susan Collins (R).

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