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GOP veterans Tommy Thomspon and John Mica survive primary, but Fla. tea partier steals the show

While some GOP strongholds have held in the primaries, Florida tea party member Ted Yoho is on the verge of upsetting a 12-term Republican representative.


Lida Bonilla casts her vote during the Florida Primary elections in Hialeah, Fla., Tuesday.

Alan Diaz/AP

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While two veteran Republicans, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Rep. John Mica of Florida, survived conservative challenges in Tuesday's primaries, a veterinarian and political novice named Ted Yoho stole much of the spotlight.

Florida tea party challenger Yoho was on the verge of a major upset against 12-term GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns as four states held primaries, including Connecticut and Minnesota. Yoho was ahead of Stearns by less than 900 votes, complete but unofficial primary results showed.

Yoho's anti-incumbent campaign was boosted by a television ad with actors dressed as politicians in suits eating from a trough alongside pigs and throwing mud at each other.

Stearns, who is chairman of an investigations subcommittee for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has led high-profile probes of Planned Parenthood and the failed California solar energy company Solyndra.


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