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Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, and Tina Freitas competed for the GOP nomination in Senate District 24.

Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, fended off a primary challenge Tuesday from conservative Tina Freitas.

Freitas, whose husband, Nick, is a Republican delegate from Culpeper and a former U.S. Senate candidate, had criticized Hanger over his support of Medicaid expansion and asserted that he is not conservative enough on abortion and gun issues.

Hanger, who disputed those concerns, publicized endorsements late in the contest from some prominent Virginia Republicans, including former Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen, and from former Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, who was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

In the fall Hanger will face Democrat Annette Hyde, a yoga teacher who lives in Madison County. She sought the Democratic nomination to run for a House seat in 2017.

The district includes parts of Rockingham and Culpeper counties, all of Augusta, Greene and Madison counties, and all of the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.

Hanger, 70, has served in the Senate since 1996. He served in the House of Delegates from 1983 to 1992.

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