The present study examines the effects of dietary potassium (K) on hypertensive glomerular and vascular lesions in deoxycorticosterone acetate and salt induced (DOCA-salt) and two kidney one clip (2K1C) hypertensive as well as normotensive control rats. Animals received a regular (0.28% K), high (1.1% K) or low (0.07% K) potassium diet for 6 weeks. In control rats, low K diet significantly increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p < 0.05). In DOCA-salt rats, high K diet did not modify SBP or glomerular and vascular lesions while low K diet significantly increased premature death in these rats. In 2K1C rats, dietary K did not alter the blood pressure, but percentage media area (% media) of intramyocardial arteries, percentage of glomerular lesions, and renal arterial and arteriolar lesion scores were lower in high K diet rats than regular and low K diet rats (p < 0.05). This study is the first demonstration that high K diet can protect against vascular and glomerular lesions in a non salt-loaded hypertensive model. The beneficial effects of dietary K on vascular lesions are at least in part independent of changes in blood pressure, and may be renin related.