[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/video/politics/2010/06/09/am.women.win.big.primaries.cnn.576×324.jpg caption="Women win big in primaries" width=300 height=169]
Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas won the Democratic primary Tuesday, beating back a challenge from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, whose campaign was fueled by unions and liberal activists.
Voters in 12 states held primary elections Tuesday night, but the outcomes of two contests in South Carolina will be delayed by another two weeks. A runoff will be held June 22 for the Republican gubernatorial nomination as well as for a GOP congressional seat in the northern part of the state.
California Republican voters chose two women to vie for two of the state's highest offices: Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman will face Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former governor, for the governor's office, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will take on Sen. Barbara Boxer for her seat.
And in Nevada, Tea Party-backed Sharron Angle beat the GOP establishment candidate to earn the right to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November.
At the same time, embattled Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, a Republican, became the state's first incumbent governor in 100 years to lose a primary race.
The South Carolina GOP gubernatorial contest captured national attention because of accusations of extramarital affairs.
The candidates are vying to succeed scandal-plagued Gov. Mark Sanford, a fellow Republican. A year after Sanford made national news for disappearing and then admitting to an affair with a woman from Argentina, allegations of infidelity surrounded state lawmaker Nikki Haley.
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