President Trump called Michigan primary candidate John James "a future STAR" of the GOP after James won the Michigan Republican primary on Tuesday.
James, 37, defeated political newcomer and local businessman Sandy Pensler, who loaned himself $5 million for his campaign.
James, who is Black, now faces Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow in the November midterm elections.
“Congratulations to a future STAR of the Republican Party, future Senator John James. A big and bold victory tonight in the Great State of Michigan - the first of many. November can’t come fast enough!” Trump tweeted early Wednesday.
Trump endorsed James last week, but his endorsement was largely ignored by Black people and the news media.
James, an Iraq war veteran, said he wanted to be judged on his character and not his skin color.
Though he faces Senator Debbie Stabenow, who has had no serious challengers in four years, James' supporters are optimistic that he will flip her blue seat red in November.
"Washington has enough career politicians," James said after his win on Tuesday. "We need people who have experience getting results. You aren't going to get results from a 43-year career politician. Debbie Stabenow better get ready for the fight of her political life."
Tuesday was a big night for Trump-backed candidates. In the most important race of the night: Republican Troy Balderson barely managed to hold onto Ohio's House seat in a close win over Democratic challenger Danny O'Connor.
"When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov," Trump boasted on Twitter.com.
But observers say Ohio's weak Republican voter turnout -- only 40% -- spells trouble for the GOP in the November midterms.