HARTLAND, Wis. — Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota was soundly defeated Tuesday in his bid to reclaim the Republican nomination for governor, a remarkable upset that demonstrated President Trump’s tightening grip on his party and the difficulty those who have criticized him in the past are facing with today’s primary voters.

Mr. Pawlenty, who called Mr. Trump “unsound, uninformed, unhinged and unfit to be president” in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, lost to Jeff Johnson, a local official and former state lawmaker who was the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, The Associated Press reported.

On a night when voters in four states went to the polls, Democrats delivered groundbreaking primary victories for a transgender woman in Vermont, a Muslim woman in Minnesota and an African-American woman in Connecticut, while voters in Wisconsin nominated a top state education official, Tony Evers, to challenge Gov. Scott Walker, one of the most vulnerable high-profile Republicans of the midterms cycle.

Also in Wisconsin, Republicans backed State Senator Leah Vukmir to run against Senator Tammy Baldwin, a first-term Democrat, propelling an establishment Republican who was careful to heap praise on Mr. Trump while harnessing the support of state party leaders.


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