South Carolina: Sanford goes down swinging. U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), recently defeated in a primary by Katie Arrington, is not leaving office quietly. Long outspoken against President Donald Trump, Sanford is demanding the president release his tax returns to “clear the air” following what some interpreted as a pro-Russian press conference last week when Trump met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Georgia: Kemp widens lead in gov.’s race. Secretary of State Brian Kemp looks to be in pole position heading into next Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff, posting an 18 point lead over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Contributing to that gap: President Donald Trump unexpectedly gave his endorsement to Kemp this week, and Vice President Mike Pence will be in Georgia over the weekend campaigning on his behalf. Texas: Lt. Gov. boasts massive fundraising advantage. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has hauled in $4.5 million since February and is sitting on a whopping $14 million in his war chest compared to just $265,000 raised and $65,000 on hand for opponent, Democrat Mike Collier.