A view shows the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2022.
A view shows the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2022. Reuters / TOM BRENNER

Donald Trump's favored candidate won a Republican congressional primary in West Virginia on Tuesday, but in Nebraska the former president's pick for governor was trailing behind two other candidates in that state's Republican nominating contest.

Tuesday's elections are part of a series of nominating contests that will set the stage for Nov. 8 elections in which Republicans are favored to win control of at least one chamber of Congress, which would give them the power to bring Democratic President Joe Biden's legislative agenda to a halt.

In a U.S. House of Representatives primary race in West Virginia, Edison Research projected that Alex Mooney, Trump's preferred candidate, would defeat rival David McKinley, who was backed by the state's governor, Jim Justice.

Mooney has echoed Trump's false accusations of fraud in the 2020 election, while McKinley had campaigned on his support for Biden's infrastructure law, which will send billions of dollars to the state for roads, bridges and other projects. Both are incumbents in a state that has lost a seat due to a shrinking population.

"Serving the people of West Virginia has been the honor of my life," McKinley said in a Facebook post. "I'm proud that I have always stood up for what's right for West Virginia - even when it hurt me politically."

In Nebraska, Trump's choice for governor Charles Herbster was trailing two other candidates, with 58% of the expected vote tallied, according to Edison Research.

Several women have accused Herbster, a business executive, of sexual harassment, a charge he denies. Trump, who also faces multiple accusations of harassment and sexual assault, said at a May 1 rally that he believed Herbster is innocent.

Herbster trailed Jim Pillen, a hog farmer and university board member backed by the current governor, and Brett Lindstrom, a state senator who has drawn support from Nebraska's largest city, Omaha.

Also in Nebraska, Representative Don Bacon was on track to win the Republican primary after Edison Research predicted he would hold off challenger Steve Kuehl. Trump had urged voters to reject Bacon due to his criticism of Trump's role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Bacon will face a competitive November election in the Omaha-based district against Democrat Tony Vargas, who was projected by Edison Research to win his party's primary.

Trump has endorsed more than 150 candidates this year as he lays the groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2024. His influence will be put to the test in high-profile Senate contests later this month in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.

Elsewhere in Nebraska, Republican voters in the eastern part of the state picked state senator Mike Flood to succeed former Representative Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned in March after being convicted of lying to federal investigators about illegal campaign contributions.

Flood had already won the Republican endorsement for a June 28 special election to fill Fortenberry's vacant seat through January 2023. He is expected to be elected to Congress in the solidly Republican district.