Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., easily defeated a former CIA agent to win the first primary he's faced in 20 years while Sen. Gary Hart won the crown in a North Dakota beauty contest other candidates passed up.
As five states were holding contests Tuesday, Hart won the last presidential primary -- a non-binding beauty contest -- by default in North Dakota. Neither Walter Mondale nor Jesse Jackson were on the ballot, leaving the field to Hart in a contest that has no meaning.
Mondale already has claimed victory in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination with more than the 1,967 delegates needed for nomination.
Thurmond, the 81-year-old Senate president pro tem and Judiciary Committee chairman, faced opposition in his own Republican Party for the first time from Robert Cunningham, an ex-CIA agent and retired publisher. Thurmond has not faced a primary opponent since he jumped to the Republican party 20 years ago.
Thurmond's opponent in November was still in doubt early today. With about 97 percent of the precincts reporting and more than 285,000 votes counted, Melvin Purvis Jr. held less than a 1,000 vote lead over black Orangeburg photographer Cecil Williams. Purvis is the son of famed FBI man Melvin Purvis -- whose agents gunned down gangster John Dillinger.
Neither of the challengers is considered a serious threat to Thurmond, who was first elected in 1954 as a Democrat.
In other races: South Carolina -- In the 2nd District, Ken Mosely, a black physical education professor from South Carolina State, beat former Lt. Gov. Nancy Stevenson. Mosely will face incumbent Republican Floyd Spence.
In the 6th District, Rep. Robin Tallon easily turned back Mary Demetrious and Luther Lighty in the Democratic primary. State Rep. Lois Eargle beat Florence radio station owner Jim Maurer on the Republican ballot.
In the 3rd District, Clarence Taylor of Seneca beat Garfield Flurett of Augusta for the right to oppose incumbent Democrat Butler Derrick, who both contenders claimed is too liberal for the area.
Arkansas -- In the 2nd District, Tommy Robinson, the colorful sheriff of Pulaski County, won the Democratic nomination against Secretary of State Paul Riviere. The House seat is being vacated by Republican Ed Bethune. Robinson will face Republican state Representative Judy Petty and independent James Taylor in November.
Maine -- In the 1st District, former Democratic state party Chairman Barry Hobbins defeated Ralph Conant, a former college president, for the Democratic nomination. Hobbins will face Republican Rep. John McKernan.
North Dakota -- State Rep. George Sinner won the Democratic nomination for governor by a landslide over challenger Anna Belle Bourgois. Republican Gov. Allen Olson was unopposed on the GOP ballot, but is burdened with an administration Democrats have dubbed 'the Republican Hall of Shame.' Several members have been involved in scandals in the past year.
Virginia -- In the 10th District, John Flannery, former federal prosecutor, won against political consultant Harris Miller. Flannery will challenge Republican Rep. Frank Wolf.
In the 8th District, state Sen. Richard Saslaw overcame Craig Coverdale, a Vietnam veteran, and David Holland, a financial consultant. Saslaw takes on Republican Rep. Stan Parris, who is seeking a third term.