Women have been the big winners in the US primaries – the selection contest for Democratic and Republican candidates for November’s mid-term elections.
In California, former eBay boss, Meg Whitman, won the Republican nomination for state governor to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The 53-year old billionaire spent some 70 million dollars of her own money to secure victory over Steve Poizner, the state insurance commissioner.
She will face Jerry Brown, California’s attorney general, in November’s election.
In the fight for the senator’s seat another ex-businesswoman, Carly Fiorina, beat Tom Campbell, a former congressman and Chuck DeVore, whose candidacy drew the backing of many Tea Party grass-root conservatives.
The former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard will now challenge the incumbent senator, Barbara Boxer, a Democrat.
Elsewhere, Republicans chose ultra-conservative Sharron Angle as their mid-term candidate to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat whose popularity in Nevada has plummeted.
In the closely watched race in Arkansas, Senator Blanche Lincoln withstood a tough challenge from within her Democratic party, resisting the anti-incumbent wave that has defined the midterm election year.