Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

What to know ahead of primary elections in Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota

By 37ci3 Jun4,2024



Sen. Bob Menendez is not on the primary ballot in New Jersey, but he is bribery and corruption trial could be the most important factor in shaping Tuesday’s primary races in the state.

Five states — New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, Iowa and South Dakota — hold primaries on Tuesday. Most of the focus will be on the Garden State, where Menendez’s legal troubles have rocked the race for his Senate seat and put his son, Democratic-Republican Rob Menendez, in a competitive primary.

The younger Menendez faces a hotly contested House primary against Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhall as he seeks a second term in the state’s deep blue 8th District, which includes parts of Newark and Jersey City. Bhalla tried to tie Rob Menendez to his father, who was charged with 18 counts of bribery and corruption. The senator has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

Bhalla beat Rob Menendez in the race, and he received help from an outside group, America’s Promise PAC. Group launched a TV ad Relating Rob Menendez to his father’s trial, a narrator says, “They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So it’s no surprise that Rob Menendez is defending his father’s corruption,” later adding that the congressman is “rotten to the core.” (Rob Menendez has not been charged with any impropriety.)

Rob Menendez, meanwhile, received support from BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Protect Progress, a group affiliated with the cryptocurrency industry. one BOLD PAC TV commercial Noting his work to lower drug costs and protect Medicare and Social Security, one speaker said the two-term congressman “works every day to lower costs and protect what’s important to our families.”

Rob Menendez, the only Hispanic member of New Jersey’s House delegation, also wants to use his connections to communities in the majority-Hispanic area.

In turn, Bob Menendez announced in March he will not run for re-election as a Democrat this year. But he filed on Monday to run as an independent, a process that allowed him to gather fewer signatures to qualify for the ballot. An ongoing campaign also means Menendez can continue to raise and spend campaign funds for legal fees.

Menendez’s bribery conviction led to a Democratic primary vote in the Senate to replace him, with three-term Rep. Andy Kim running a day after Menendez was indicted in September.

While there are other Democrats vying for the nomination, Kim is the front-runner in Tuesday’s primary, behind Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy. finished his campaign In March.

As Murphy’s Senate bid ended abruptly, Kim tapped into local energy. firing activists fed up with the state’s Democratic Party machines, especially after Menendez’s indictment. Who has already won one — changing the state’s ballot design thus, county parties can no longer favor their chosen candidates on the ballot.

While New Jersey has been solidly Democratic in recent years, he warned that Kim Menendez’s run as an independent could make the race competitive in November.

“There’s no way he can win this seat,” Kim said told NBC News in March Amid reports that Menendez is considering running for office again. “But what he can do is threaten that seat and give the Republicans a chance.”

On the Republican side, real estate developer Curtis Bashaw, who self-financed his campaign, is the only candidate who has spent significant money on the airwaves, according to ad tracking firm AdImpact. Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner, who is also self-funding her campaign, is the other top GOP candidate.

Other New Jersey races

We have a crowded Democratic primary to replace Kim in the 3rd District in November, where the party’s nominee is expected to carry the seat. According to AdImpact, none of the candidates are on the air, but state Assemblyman Herb Conaway has received endorsements from outside groups VoteVets and 314 Action, which support candidates with STEM backgrounds. Conaway is an Air Force veteran and physician.

Tuesday’s primary will also be contested in New Jersey’s competitive 7th District, Rep. Tom Keane Jr.’s bid for a second term will intensify the competition. Democrats have already rallied around Sue Altman, who previously led the New Jersey Working Families Alliance.

Democratic Republican Donald Payne Jr., who died in April still on the primary ballot because he died after the state’s filing deadline. Party leaders will choose his replacement later on the November ballot.

The special election primary to fill out the remainder of Payne’s term will be held on July 16, and the special election will be held on September 18.

Although President Joe Biden has long secured enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, opponents of his handling of the Israel-Hamas war successfully petitioned for the slogan “Justice for Palestine, Now a Permanent Ceasefire” to appear on the election ballot. The “non-faithful” in the Democratic presidential primary.

A primary Senate race will be set in Montana

While the New Jersey races are in the spotlight on this relatively sleepy Tuesday primary, there are several other races worth watching around the country.

Voters in Montana will almost certainly place Democrat Sen. John Tester and Republican Tim Sheehy on the general election ballot, making a matchup official in one of the tightest races for Senate control.

Montana offers Republicans one of their best chances to flip a Senate seat this year — they need to win two seats to take full control of the body (and only one seat if they win the presidency, since the vice president casts the tie-breaking votes in the Senate). Former President Donald Trump won the state by 16 points in 2020, and while some Democrats like Tester have made gains there in recent elections, it has been a tougher run for the party in a presidential year.

There’s Sheehy, a former Navy SEAL and businessman It basically cleared the GOP field and won the support of the party establishment, including Trump. The Democrats tried it frame him as an outsider (he’s lived in the state for nearly a decade) and has drawn some negative headlines about inconsistency. bullet wound. But Sheehy has proven to be a strong fundraiser, in part through more than $2 million in personal loans to his campaign, and Republicans are hoping for a chance to unseat Tester, who has been linked to President Joe Biden on issues. such as immigration.

There is also an open congressional seat in the state, where Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale is retiring. The GOP primary for the 2nd District will likely decide who replaces Rosendale in the deep red district. That led to a crowded field that included state auditor Troy Downing, former U.S. Rep. Danny Rehburg and state schools superintendent Elsie Arntze.

There isn’t much to Tuesday’s competitive primaries in New Mexico and Iowa, but voters are expected to set the stage for some key races this fall.

In New Mexico, Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Nella Domenici are the only major candidates in the Senate primary. Although New Mexico hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate in more than two decades and Biden won the state by 10 points in 2020, the GOP sees it as a possibility if all goes well for the party in the fall.

Tuesday will set up another key general election race in New Mexico’s 2nd District, where Democratic Rep. Gabriel Vasquez will face off against former Republican Yvette Herrell in a 2022 rematch.

Iowa has trended Republican in recent years, but it’s possible that the 1st District (represented by Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks) and the 3rd District (represented by Republican Rep. Zach Nunn) could be competitive in the fall. Democrats will select their candidates for those races on Tuesday — former state Rep. Christina Bohannan is set to run against Miller-Meeks in the fall of 2022, and former federal Department of Agriculture official Lanon Baccam will face off. Nunn.

South Dakota’s heavy Republican leaning means that primary day is virtually the only game in town to decide who will represent the state next year. The state’s U.S. and top state officials are not up for re-election, leaving the state’s legislative primary as the primary. the most competitive races on the ballot.



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By 37ci3

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