It’s that day again — Tuesday is here, and with it, primaries in five more states: Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Minnesota, and Arkansas. Here’s a quick rundown:
Unquestionably, the primaries drawing the most eyes are taking place in Georgia. First, there’s the US Senate race, where Democrat Raphael Warnock seeks to hold onto the seat he won from Kelly Loeffler in the special election runoff of January 2021. His challenger in the primary is Tamara John-Shealey. On the GOP side, it’s Herschel Walker looking to run away with the win (the RCP Average has him up 54.5 points).
There are 14 House seats at issue. Not all have contested primaries, but the one with the most interest directed at is the Fourteenth District, where Republican incumbent Marjorie Taylor Greene seeks to retain her seat. Per the AP:
Now in her first reelection campaign for a solidly red district in northwest Georgia, Greene is facing a handful of challengers, including health care consultant Jennifer Strahan, who pitched herself as a “no-nonsense conservative” alternative to Greene.
And then there’s the Governor’s race, where, for the Republicans, Trump-backed David Perdue faces off against incumbent (according to everyone except Stacey Abrams) Brian Kemp, who’s backed by Trump’s former Vice President, Mike Pence — lots of tea leaves waiting to be read there. For the Dems, Stacey Abrams faces no challenger as she seeks to “retain” (ahem) the seat.
Per the AP:
The Republican primary for the seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby in Alabama has become a bitter, high-dollar race as candidates jockey for the nomination.
The three highest-profile candidates in Tuesday’s primary are U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who won — and then lost — former President Donald Trump’s backing; Katie Boyd Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff; and Mike Durant, the owner of an aerospace company who is best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and captured in the events that inspired “Black Hawk Down.” Lillie Boddie, Karla M. Dupriest and Jake Schafer are also seeking the GOP nomination.
Trump had initially endorsed Brooks in the race but rescinded that backing in March, citing unhappiness with Brooks’ performance and accusing the conservative congressman of going “woke” for suggesting it was time to move on from Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims.
The winner will face the Democratic nominee in November. Will Boyd, Brandaun Dean and Lanny Jackson are vying for the Democratic nomination.
Alabama has seven Congressional Districts at issue as well. However, several of the primaries have been canceled due to only one (or no) candidate filing. The GOP is only holding primaries in the Third and Fifth Districts, while the Democrats are holding them in the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Districts. Additionally, Alabama is holding gubernatorial primaries. Republican incumbent Kay Ivey holds a solid lead in the polls there.
There are a lot of important things happening in the Lone Star State. The initial primary was held back in March, so today’s key races are runoffs. While there are several runoffs for House seats, the real questions surround that of Democrat incumbent Henry Cuellar versus Jessica Cisneros:
On the Democratic side, Rep. Cuellar’s bid for a 10th term has run head-on into a reenergized national battle over abortion rights. His position as one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress has become a central issue in his runoff against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney and abortion rights supporter.
Democratic House leaders have lined up behind Cuellar. Cisneros trailed Cuellar by roughly 1,000 votes in March, but Cuellar didn’t hit the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff.
Cuellar’s essentially become a unicorn — an anti-abortion, pro-border-control Democrat — so the contrast between him and Cisneros couldn’t be more dramatic. This one’s going to have lots of pundit tongues wagging in terms of what it may signal as to the preferences of Latino voters.
The other eyebrow-raiser features a Trump-endorsed candidate versus a Bush: Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton is being challenged by George P. Bush on the Republican side. (Democrats Rochelle Garza and Joe Jaworski battle it out to be the one to challenge the Republican winner.)
Other races of note:
- The lieutenant governor’s race with Democrat Michelle Beckley fighting Mike Collier for the job
- The title of Texas Land Commissioner is up for grabs with Republicans Dawn Buckingham and Tim Westley battling it out; meanwhile, Jay Kleberg and Sandragrace Martinez are going head-to-head for the Democrat nomination
- Republicans have a choice ahead of them for Railroad Commissioner between the incumbent Wayne Christian and his challenger, Sarah Stronger
- Finally, we’ve got Democrats facing off for Comptroller — Janet T. Dudding and Angel Luis Vega will enter the arena for their party’s nod
Minnesota only has a primary in one Congressional District today — that of House District One. This is a special election to fill the seat formerly held by Republican Jim Hagedorn, who succumbed to kidney cancer in February. The AP notes local GOP officials have likened the contest to a “dumpster fire”:
When Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn died of kidney cancer in February, his widow, former Minnesota GOP chair Jennifer Carnahan, said her husband’s wish was for her to succeed him and represent southern Minnesota in Congress.
The race hasn’t shaped up that way.
Even before announcing her bid, Carnahan’s friendship with a GOP donor who was federally indicted for sex-trafficking minors sparked a firestorm. Then a recording surfaced last year in which she said, “Jim’s gonna be dead in two years. So be it.” Last week, she was sued by her deceased husband’s family as they attempted to recoup money they loaned him for cancer treatment, which they say she was supposed to pay back to them.
The drama there leaves the door open for “establishment” candidate Brad Finstad and State Rep. Jeremy Munson, the “outsider.” For the Democrats, it’s Jeff Ettinger, the former CEO of Hormel.
One of the hot tickets in Arkansas is the Senate seat currently held by Republican John Boozman, who faces off against former Razorbacks defensive end and U.S. Army veteran Jake Bequette. Boozman held a pretty sizeable lead in the Talk Business/Hendrix College poll released in early May, but as we detailed here last week, a political action committee supporting him sent out a misleading mailer about Bequette. Whether backlash from that will be sufficient to help Bequette close the gap remains to be seen, but he may well prevent Boozman from hitting the 50 percent mark and thus force a runoff.
The other is the gubernatorial race, where former White House Press Secretary (and daughter of the former Governor) Sarah Huckabee Sanders is vying for the seat against radio show host Doc Washburn. That same early May Talk Business/Hendrix College poll has Huckabee Sanders up 56 points, so she likely will emerge victorious there.
See below for live results, and stay with RedState for the latest election coverage throughout the night and into Wednesday.