Georgia will be at the center of Tuesday’s primary elections as Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Rappensperger battle former President Donald Trump-backed contenders seeking revenge for their 2020 presidential defeat.
US House of Representatives Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia is testing Republican voter tolerance for controversy in the primary. On the Democrat side, Congressman Lucy McBath and Congressman Carolyn Bourdeaux face off as McBath changes her district over her redistricting grounds.
In Alabama, three Republicans are vying for the nomination to replace retired US Senator Richard Shelby. In Arkansas, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders leads the Republican nomination for governor.
In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to stop Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and Congressman Henry Cuellar is trying to stop his progressive challenger in the 2020 rematch.
Watch Tuesday’s primary elections in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota:
Trump’s desire for revenge fueled a major challenge for Kemp and Rappensperger, who ignored his pressure to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.
Trump hired former Senator David Purdue to replace Kemp for the Republican nomination for governor, but Purdue fell behind in polls and fundraising. Kemp is increasingly convinced that the GOP will send him to a November rematch with Stacey Abrams, who is not against the Democratic nomination.
Raffensperger, the state’s chief elections official, faces the daunting challenge of US Congressman Jody Hice, who promoted Trump’s lie that widespread voting fraud or manipulation cost him money in the 2020 election.
Trump’s Senate nominee, football legend Herschel Walker, appears to be cruising as the Republican nominee, despite some Republican leaders warning that Walker will not be elected over incumbent Democrat Rafael Warnock in November. Walker is accused of endangering his ex-wife’s life, exaggerating his business records, and lying about his University of Georgia graduation.
A political lightning rod, Greene is trying to stop several Republican contenders. Trump-backed Firebrand was stripped of commission last year for racist comments, acceptance of conspiracy theories and past support for violence. Her group of voters tried to remove her from her vote, but failed, accusing her of helping her January 6 uprising at the US Capitol.
In the Atlanta area, a new, unfavorable constituency led Congressman McBath to run for the Democratic nomination against fellow Congressman Bourdeaux. McBath says that she wants her to remain in Congress to fight for her gun safety on behalf of her son Jordan, who was killed in a shooting 10 years ago.
Shelby’s retirement kicked off a hot and expensive primary for GOP nomination for seat.
US Congressman Mo Brooks faces Katie Britt, former chief of staff to Shelby and former leader of the Alabama Business Council, best known for being a helicopter pilot shot down and detained in an incident documented in “Black Hawk Down”. .”
Trump initially supported Brooks last year, but withdrew his support in March after their relationship deteriorated. Trump had no other support in the primary. The fractured field makes the race more likely to go to the June 21 runoff.
Republican Governor Kay Ivey is trying to avoid a runoff as she faces several contenders on the right flank.
Lindy Blanchard, Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia, and Tim James, a businessman, criticized Ivy’s support for raising fuel taxes and her response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including calls for mandatory masks and vaccinations. They also criticized Ivey for charter schools that welcome LGBTQ students.
Ivey highlighted her conservative record, including signing bills currently blocked by courts, making abortion a felony at every stage of pregnancy. In one campaign ad, the governor pulls out her pistol from her purse to mention that she supports her unauthorized concealed carry.
Second-term US Senator John Boozman from Arkansas is hoping to defeat the challenge of three Republican contenders in a race that will have to rely on his support from Trump and the state’s top Republicans.
The mild-mannered Boozman used a more aggressive tone in his campaign ads, vowing to complete a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Boozman’s rivals are former NFL player Jake Bequette, backed by a super PAC who attacks Boozman as not being conservative enough, and conservative activist and former TV reporter Jan Morgan.
Sanders, the former spokesman, has been receiving a lot of support in the Republican presidential primary. She faces a major long-term challenge for former talk show radio host Doc Washburn.
Sanders broke fundraising records and ran a seat where he criticized President Joe Biden on issues like inflation while ignoring his rivals, focusing primarily on national issues.
Five Democrats are trying to nominate the party’s governor, with nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones leading the way.
Candidates are running to replace Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who is unable to run for re-election due to term limits.
Texas held its first primaries of 2022 in March, but runoffs will finalize two major primary primaries.
One jeopardizes the dynasty of the Bush family. Republican George P. Bush, son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, has been a primary challenge to second-term Attorney General Paxton over the past year.
George P. Bush is the last member of his family to still hold office and is 20 percentage points behind Paxton in a four-way race. Bush’s efforts to close the gap since then have focused on highlighting Paxton’s legal issues, including an ongoing FBI investigation into corruption allegations and a separate 2015 prosecution on securities fraud allegations.
Paxton, who has denied the crime, has broad party support and Trump’s support.
On the Democratic side, Senator Cuellar’s ten-term challenge was re-energized by a national war over abortion rights. His position as one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in the House of Representatives was a key issue in a runoff with 28-year-old immigration lawyer and abortion rights advocate Jessica Cisneros.
Democrat House leaders lined up behind Cuellar. Cisneros trailed Cuellar by roughly 1,000 votes in March, but Cuellar did not reach the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff.
Preliminary Tuesday, held in Southern Minnesota’s 1st House District, is the first step toward replacing Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican who died of cancer in February. A special general election is scheduled for August 9th to fill Hagedon’s remaining term in the Republican constituency.
Hagedon’s widow, Jennifer Canahan, has made the most outspoken appeal to Trump supporters. She served as Minnesota’s Republican state party leader until August after a prominent donor was expelled after being charged with prostitution.
State Representative Jeremy Munson, the founder of the far-right, who broke up at the GOP caucus in the Minnesota House of Representatives, was supported by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Former State Assemblyman Brad Finstad has the backing of several Minnesota GOP officials. He reminded voters that he was President Trump’s Minnesota USDA Rural Development Director.
On the Democratic side, the candidate supported at the national convention earlier this month is former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger. His opponents include Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, a former White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
Associated Press Correspondent Kim Chandler of Montgomery, Alabama; Ark. Andrew DeMillo of Little Rock; Paul Weber of Austin, Texas; Steve Karnowski of St. Paul, Minnesota contributed to this report.
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