Amid a long list of primaries and Tuesday’s second round in Kentucky, New York, Virginia, North Carolina and Mississippi, progressives are looking to snag some wins.
A series of progressive primary candidates, especially State Representative Charles Booker, challenging retired Navy fighter pilot Amy McGrath at the Kentucky Senate primary and educator Jamaal Bowman, running against the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, Eliot Engel in New York, could be a test of how progressive color-rate candidates against more moderate candidates.
In New York City, Bowman may have the best chance to replicate Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise victory in 2018 against a powerful member of Congress. Engel has faced criticism for not spending enough time in her district, which has been badly affected by Covid-19. Further south in Kentucky, Booker still considers himself the underdog candidate in the Senate primary against McGrath, but massive protests over police brutality in Louisville have fueled the young black state lawmaker. Kentucky voted for Trump by 30 points in 2016 and may not be the friendliest environment for policies like Medicare for All and a green New Deal. The biggest Democratic victory in the entire state there recently was the successful campaign of Governor Andy Beshear, who stayed on a moderate agenda. But Booker projects confidence that he can win the primary election and beat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (arguably the most powerful man in the Senate) in the general election.
“People are getting up,” Booker told Vox in a recent interview. “They are analyzing structural problems, they analyze the fact that poverty is generational and we criminalize poverty. It will surprise people to know that they can lean on problems that address poverty, problems that are progressive, and build an incredible coalition of support. “
The other primary to see in Kentucky is on the Republican side, where libertarian representative Thomas Massie faces a serious Republican challenger on attorney Todd McMurtry. Massie could be on the ice this year after Trump called him a “great third-class standard bearer” and said he should no longer be in the GOP after Massie raised a massive coronavirus aid bill by calling for a recorded vote and compel lawmakers to return to Washington, DC, amid a pandemic.
In Virginia, a list of Republicans competes to see who will challenge Senator Mark Warner in the fall (a position he is expected to remain a Democrat). Republicans are also vying to take on a handful of moderate House Democrats who turned districts to blue in 2018.
It could take time to know for sure who won the competitive primaries this year. Due to Covid-19, there are a large number of absentee votes to be counted, which means that some races are unlikely to be called on Tuesday night.
Vox is covering the results live, with our partners in Decision table HQ
The main contest between Democrats Amy McGrath and State Senator Charles Booker, both competing to compete against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the fall, is arguably the most important race in Kentucky this summer. McGrath is the moderate marine Veteran who has become a fundraising giant, despite narrowly losing a career at the Kentucky House in 2018, and she has a serious challenge from the most progressive Booker.
While the Senate contest will be the most watched race Tuesday night, there are other primaries taking place in congressional districts across the state. Republicans are vying to be the nominees to try to defeat former Representative John Yarmuth, the only Democratic member of the Kentucky Congressional delegation and the powerful chairman of the House Budget Committee. Democrats and Republicans are both competing to challenge embattled Rep. Thomas Massie, an outspoken member of the House of Liberty Chamber, and there are also primaries in both parties for the 6th Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Andy Barr.
For more details on all the most interesting races in the state, Vox has you covered.
Kentucky Democratic Senate and House primaries
Kentucky Republican Senate and House Primaries
While the The Engel-Bowman showdown may be New York’s most watched primary this year, it’s certainly not the only competitive or interesting one. Representatives Yvette Clarke, Carolyn Maloney, and Jerry Nadler face significant challenges, although Clarke’s seat appears to be the only one that could be at risk. And the primaries filled to fill the open seats of representatives José Serrano and Nita Lowey, neither of whom are running for reelection, have uncertain results. The race in the Serrano district is an interesting test; It is an opportunity for progressive candidates to demonstrate that they can win vacant seats in addition to primary establishment holders.
Many of New York’s congressional districts span diverse communities with significant divisions along socioeconomic and racial lines, which will also come into play on Tuesday. District 16, which Engel represents, contains parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. And the entire New York delegation is emblematic of New York’s inequalities: both the richest congressional district in the country – Maloney, District 12 – and the poorest – Serrano, District 15 – are seeing competitive careers right now.
There are also competitive primary elections for the Democratic and Republican House in upstate New York, including special and primary elections for the vacant seat of former Rep. Chris Collins in District 27 of Congress, outside Buffalo.
For more details on all of the state’s hottest races, read Vox coverage here.
Democratic primaries of New York
New York Republican Primary
In the 2018 midterms, several Virginia Battlefield House districts changed from red to blue. This year, many of those lawmakers for the first time will have to fend off attempts to flip those districts.
One of the primary Republican House primary elections is the state’s Second Congressional District, which was rejected by Representative Elaine Luria in 2018. Voters will choose Luria’s competitor for the battlefield district, which is located in the Eastern state border spanning Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. Republicans will also vote on which candidate they would like to see face Senator Mark Warner, who is running for his third term. Republicans in the Seventh Congressional District have yet to decide who will face moderate first-term representative Abigail Spanberger, who also stepped down from Republican David Brat’s seat last cycle, but that will happen at a party convention on July 18. , instead of a primary.
Democrats, meanwhile, are evaluating a contested primary in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, an open seat currently held by Representative Denver Riggleman and which has become more competitive because the Republican Party is running a hardline social conservative this cycle. .
For more details on all the most interesting races in the state, read Vox coverage here.
Republican Senate of Virginia and House primaries
Virginia Democratic House Primaries
Second Round of the North Carolina Congressional District
On Tuesday, Republican voters in the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina will go to the polls, again, to choose a replacement for the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, who represented the district in Congress until this year. . Although the state held its presidential and congressional primaries on March 3, a crowded field meant that no Republican in District 11 broke the 30 percent threshold required to avoid a second round. Now, Republicans Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn will go head-to-head for the seat.
Bennett led the first round of the primaries with 22.7 percent of the vote, but Cawthorn came in second with the support of 20.4 percent. The two candidates represent a generational divide that is much more than ideological: as Roll Call’s Chris Cioffi points out, they are both “fiscally conservative, pro-Trump, anti-abortion, and a hard line on immigration.” However, Bennett, whom Meadows has endorsed as his successor, is 62 years old, while Cawthorn, a motivational speaker, is only 24 years old.
The winner on Tuesday will face Democratic candidate Moe Davis for the seat in November, but the real competition is happening today. While the North Carolina map of Congress was redesigned late last year, Cook’s Political Report still considers District 11 to be a solid Republican.
Second round of the Mississippi Congressional District
On Tuesday, two Mississippi Republicans will compete for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Democrat Bennie Thompson in November. In Mississippi’s Second District, Brian Flowers led Thomas Carey in the primaries on March 17 by less than two points, which could point to a close race on Tuesday. escape.
Flowers is a Navy veteran who currently works at a nuclear power plant; Carey ran for the Republican Senate in 2014 and made headlines after winning a small fraction of the vote, less than 2 percent, but he may have played a role in forcing the race to a second round.
Regardless of who wins on Tuesday, all indications are that it will not be a closed race in November. Thompson, who chairs the House National Security Committee and has served in Congress since 1993, won his district with more than 71 percent of the vote in 2018, and the race is not considered competitive according to Cook’s Political Report.
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