ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia takes center stage in Tuesday’s primary election as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger try to fend off challengers backed by former President Donald Trump, who are out for revenge for his loss in the 2020 state election.
US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia it is testing Republican voters’ tolerance for controversy in their primaries. On the Democratic side, US Representative Lucy McBath and US Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux they face after McBath changed districts due to redistricting.
In Alabama, three Republicans are in a tight race for the nomination to replace retiring US Sen. Richard Shelby.. In Arkansas, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders he is one of the favorites for the Republican nomination for governor.
In Texas, two runoffs are turning heads: Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to keep Land Commissioner George P. Bush at baywhile Rep. Henry Cuellar is trying to fend off his progressive challenger in a 2020 rematch.
What to watch in Tuesday’s primaries in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota:
Trump’s desire for revenge has fueled major challenges to Kemp and Raffensperger, who defied their pressure to overturn the results of the 2020 Georgia presidential election.
Trump recruited former US Senator David Perdue to face Kemp for the GOP nomination for governor, but Perdue has trailed in the polls and fundraising. Kemp has been increasingly confident the GOP will send him to a rematch in November with stacy abramswho is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Raffensperger, the state’s top election official, faces a tough challenge of US Representative Jody Hice, who has promoted Trump’s lies that widespread voter fraud or rigging cost him the 2020 election.
Trump’s candidate for the US Senate, soccer legend Herschel Walker, appears to be sailing toward the GOP nomination despite some GOP leaders warning Walker will be ineligible. in November against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. Walker has been accused of threatening the life of his ex-wifeexaggerating your trading history and lying about graduating from the University of Georgia.
Greene, a political lightning rod, is trying to avoid multiple Republican challengers. Trump-backed firebrand was stripped of her committee assignments last year for racist comments, his embrace of conspiracy theories and a previous endorsement of violence. A group of voters tried but failed to remove her from the ballot, accusing her of helping to foment the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
In the Atlanta area, a new unfavorable district led Rep. McBath to participate in the Democratic primary. against fellow representative Bourdeaux. McBath said his drive to stay in Congress was about fighting for gun safety on behalf of his son Jordan.who died in a shooting 10 years ago.
shelby retreat launched a heated and expensive primary for the Republican nomination for the seat
US Representative Mo Brooks confronts Katie Brittformer Business Council of Alabama leader and Shelby’s former chief of staff, and businessman Mike Durantbest known as the downed and held captive helicopter pilot in the events chronicled in “Black Hawk Down.”
Trump initially endorsed Brooks last year but withdrew the endorsement in March after their relationship soured. Trump has made no other endorsement in the race. The fractured field increases the chances that the race will go to a second round on June 21.
Republican Governor Kay Ivey he is trying to avoid a second round while facing several rivals from his right flank.
Lindy Blanchardformer Trump ambassador to Slovenia, and businessman Tim James have criticized Ivey’s support for a gas tax increase and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that included a temporary mask mandate and calls for people to get vaccinated. They also criticized Ivey for a charter school that welcomed LGBTQ students.
Ivey has emphasized his conservative record, including signing legislation. – now blocked by the courts — make abortion a felony at any stage of pregnancy. In a campaign commercial, the governor pulls a gun from her purse to signal her support for concealed carry without a permit..
In Arkansas, US Senator John Boozman for two terms he hopes to fend off a challenge from three Republican rivals in a race in which he has had to rely on support from Trump and the state’s leading Republican figures.
The Well Mannered Boozman he has taken a more aggressive tone in his campaign ads, promising to complete the wall along the US-Mexico border.
Boozman’s rivals include former NFL player Jake Bequettewho is supported by a super PAC that has run ads attacking Boozman for not being conservative enough, and Jan Morgana conservative activist and former television reporter.
Sanders, former Trump spokesman, is heavily favored in her Republican gubernatorial primary. She faces an unlikely primary challenge from former radio host Doc Washburn.
Sanders has broken fundraising records and has focused mainly on national issuesrunning ads criticizing President Joe Biden on topics like inflation while ignoring his rivals.
Five Democrats seek the party’s nomination for governor, with nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones the favorite.
Candidates are running to succeed Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinsonwho is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
Texas held the first primary of 2022 in March, but the runoffs will ultimately settle two important races.
One brings into play the Bush family dynasty: Republican George P. Bushson of former Florida Governor Jeb Bushhas spent the last year riding a main challenge to Paxton, the two-term attorney general.
George P. Bush is the last of his family still in public office and finished 20 percentage points behind Paxton in a four-way primary. Since then, Bush’s efforts to bridge the gap have focused on emphasizing Paxton’s legal problems.including an ongoing FBI investigation into allegations of corruption and a separate 2015 indictment on securities fraud charges.
Paxton, who has denied any wrongdoing, has broad party support and the backing of Trump.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Cuellar’s candidacy for a 10th term has run into a reinvigorated national battle for abortion rights.. His standing 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 advocate.
House Democratic leaders have aligned behind Cuellar. Cisneros trailed Cuellar by about 1,000 votes in March.but Cuellar did not reach the 50% threshold to avoid a second round.
A Tuesday primary in the 1st Congressional District of southern Minnesota is a first step toward replacing Republican US Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February. A special general election to fill the remainder of Hagedorn’s term in the Republican-leaning district is scheduled for August 9.
Hagedorn’s widow, Jennifer Carnahan, has been making the most outspoken appeals to Trump supporters. She was state chair of the Minnesota Republican Party until she was ousted last August. after a prominent donor was indicted on sex trafficking charges.
State Representative Jeremy Munsonfounder of an extreme right The faction that broke away from the main Republican Caucus in the Minnesota House of Representatives, has been endorsed by US Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Former state Rep. Brad Finstad is endorsed by several Minnesota Republican officials. He has reminded voters that he was Trump’s Minnesota director for USDA Rural Development.
On the Democratic side, the endorsed candidate at the party’s district convention earlier this month is former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger.. His opponents include University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter.former White House ethics attorney for President George W. Bush.
Associated Press reporters Kim Chandler in Montgomery, Ala.; Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Arkansas; Paul Weber in Austin, Texas; and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.
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