Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

What to know ahead of Tuesday’s primary elections in Maryland, Nebraska and West Virginia

By 37ci3 May14,2024

Voters head to the polls Tuesday for primaries in four states that will set up key Senate races and decide other intraparty battles, including a race between a Capitol rioter on Jan. 6 and a police officer who fought rioters that day.

Maryland, West Virginia and Nebraska hold primaries, and North Carolina holds runoffs for races where candidates did not win a majority of the vote in the March primaries.

There is a threat of confirmation in West Virginia, where former President Donald Trump is shaping the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. And Trump is confident that his two House candidates in North Carolina — lobbyist Addison McDowell and attorney Brad Knott — are the only candidates standing in a pair of primary runoffs after their opponents ended their campaigns.

Meanwhile, several Republican lawmakers are trying to fend off primary rivals from their right, and a handful of open seats in Maryland will also help shape the Democratic caucus next year.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. in West Virginia and North Carolina, 8 p.m. in Maryland and 9 p.m. in Nebraska. There are four things to look at.

Senate races

Republicans are eyeing possible pickups in typically blue Maryland and red West Virginia as they seek to flip the Senate this year.

Manchin’s retirement makes West Virginia, which Trump won by 39 points in 2020, an easier target for the GOP. The Republican primaries are still contested and will test Trump’s influence with primary voters.

Trump endorsed GOP Gov. Jim Justice early in the race, as did the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But Rep. Alex Mooney didn’t let that happen, garnering huge support on the air for the Growth Action Club, the political action committee of the conservative Growth Club.

There’s Mooney and Club for Growth He tried to describe justice As a liberal who raised taxes, Justice launched his job as governor. Justice also highlighted Trump’s endorsement each of the television commercials.

Three candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination: Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, Marine veteran and organizer Zachary Shrewsbury, and Don Blankenship, a former coal baron. He ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the Senate in 2018. Blankenship he spent a year in prison for violating mine safety rules after an explosion in one of his company’s mines.

Maryland’s Senate race will also be decided Tuesday, and if former Gov. Larry Hogan wins the GOP primary, the race could be crucial for control of the Senate. Republicans hailed Hogan, a two-time statewide recruit in a traditionally Democratic state, as a top recruiter, and he was quickly endorsed by the NRSC.

Hogan, a fierce critic of Trump, is running in the primary against perennial candidate Robin Ficker, who self-financed his campaign. Although Ficker made several unsuccessful runs for office, he was outplayed by Hogan on the airwaves. running ads Ficker said he would “stand by President Trump.”

The NRSC teamed up with Hogan on the ads to create spots focused on immigrationA key issue for GOP primary voters.

Hogan’s entry into the race upsets the Democratic primary between David Trone and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, both of whom have argued they can hold on to the seat in November.

With some endorsements from prominent House members and the state teachers union, Trone has flooded the airwaves with television ads. He used his personal wealth as the founder of the Total Wine & More retail chain to lend more than $60 million to his campaign.

Alsobrooks, who will become the state’s first black female senator, has received endorsements from Gov. Wes Moore, Sen. Chris Van Hollen and other members of the congressional delegation. He is one a late push on the airwaves from EMILY’s List, a group that supports women candidates who support abortion rights.

Senate matches will also be played in crimson Nebraska. GOP Sen. Pete Ricketts is running to fill the final two years of former Sen. Ben Sasse’s term after he was appointed to the Senate last year. Preston Love Jr., an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha, is the only Democrat vying to pass it.

Democrats have not nominated a candidate to challenge Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, who is running for a third term. As such, he is expected to face independent Dan Osborne, the union leader, in November.

In the House of Representatives, Republicans face opponents from the right

Many House Republicans face primary challengers from their right. Nebraska state Rep. Don Bacon, one of 17 Republicans representing districts won by Joe Biden in 2020, faces businessman Dan Frei in Omaha’s 2nd District.

Frei receives support from the state Republican Party did not endorse any member of the state’s congressional delegation and instead supported the three main challengers. An allied super PAC funded by Bacon and Ricketts far outspent Frei in the race, and Bacon expressed his confidence he will win on Tuesday.

Rep. Don Bacon on Capitol Hill
Representative Don Bacon on Capitol Hill in Washington on January 30. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

If Bacon wins the primary, he will face a rematch in 2022 with Democratic state Sen. Tony Vargas, who lost to him by 3 points. Democrats are optimistic of defeating Bacon in his presidential year, and abortion is expected to be a key issue. voters (and so on Bacon did not spare the support of anti-abortion rights groups Firstly).

In West Virginia’s 1st District, Miller faces former state Del. Derrick Evans in the GOP primary.

It was Evans He was convicted of a felony for storming the Capitol January 6, 2021. In a TV commercial, he voiced his actions on January 6, saying that he was “with President Trump to peacefully and patriotically protest the stolen elections” and claimed that he was a “hostage” as a “political”. prisoner.” (Evans found guilty of inciting civil unrest in March 2022.)

Miller, who preceded Evans on the air, referred his former candidacy as a Democrat. Miller also got to work Trump’s ad praising him, although Trump did not vote in the primaries.

Former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn is running for Congress

Tuesday’s primaries also include a familiar face to those who watched the testimony during the House investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol: a former Capitol police officer Harry DunnHe is running in Maryland’s open 3rd District.

The seat being vacated by retiring Democratic-Republican Paul Sarbanes is in Democratic-leaning territory, meaning the winner of the primary will be the favorite in November. According to AdImpact, Dunn was the top fundraiser in the race with millions of dollars in advertising, including highlight ads, allowing more than $2 million to be spent on ads. his actions on January 6.

The United Democracy Project, a super PAC with the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has spent more than $3.5 million to boost state Sen. Sarah Elfreth. The group’s ads focus not on issues related to Israel abortion and healthcare. The Dunn campaign tried to fight back by highlighting how the UDP relies in part on Republican donors (The UDP responded to an attack with its own point and Dunn should “he is ashamed of himself“).

Maryland’s 6th District also has a competitive and crowded primary to replace Trone in the House. Democrats include April McLain Delaney (former assistant commerce secretary and wife of former Rep. John Delaney), state Del. Joe Vogel, Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez and Montgomery County Councilwoman Laurie-Anne Sayles. And in the 2022 Republican primary, GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox and former state Del. Neil Parrott are the top contenders.

The retirement of Dutch Rep. Ruppersberger, a Democrat, opens up another Democratic seat — Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and state Del. Harry Bhandari are among the top contenders in the race, while the Republican party has pro-Trump radio personality Kimberly Klacik. GOP candidate in a different Maryland congressional district in 2020.

Brutal primary for West Virginia governor

The race to replace the justice was wild and brutal, with a crowded field that included powerful politicians and descendants of prominent political families in the state.

There doesn’t appear to be a clear runaway favorite in a crowded field. The candidates include officials from two states, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Secretary of State Mack Warner, and two children of West Virginia’s Republican members of Congress, former state Rep. Moore Capito, son of Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, and businessman Chris Miller. Son of Rep. Carol Miller. (Tuesday’s election is a family affair, as the senator’s nephew and cousin of former state Rep. Riley Moore, also seeks to sit in the Open House.)

More than $33 million was spent on advertising by candidates and outside groups. Justice supported Capito, but Trump did not choose a candidate.

The ad wars have gotten particularly bad. A group supporting Morrisey released various ads condemning transgender people accuses Miller and Moore Being an ally to the LGBTQ community. A group that supports Miller He compares Morrissey to a pig Before proceeding to make similar anti-transgender arguments against Morrisey. And a group in support of Capito exploded Morrissey’s lobbying work and claimed to be “making money from Big Pharma when they push their poison pills.”

The silver lining for Republicans is that whoever gets through the messy primary will be heavily favored. Huntington Mayor Steve Williamsthe only Democrat in the race.

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