Georgia takes center stage in Tuesday’s primary elections as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger try to fight back challengers endorsed by Donald Trump. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is testing Republican voters’ tolerance for controversy in her primary. In Alabama, three Republicans are in a tight race for the nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. In Arkansas, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is a front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor. In two Texas runoffs, Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to hold off Land Commissioner George P. Bush, while congressman Henry Cuellar is facing a progressive challenger.
Georgia's Stacey Abrams has benefitted from being unopposed in the state's Democratic primary for governor by using the period to spread her message while Republicans have fought. Even Republicans say Abrams is a “political international rock star with unlimited resources," although the Abrams campaign says the sour national environment for Democrats is a major hurdle. Polls so far this year show a close race, with incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp narrowly ahead if he wins Tuesday's GOP primary. Abrams' campaign is sharpening attacks against Kemp. Democrats also hope that Georgia's continued growth in nonwhite voters will aid Abrams.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has been released from the hospital after a stay of more than a week following a stroke. The Democratic nominee in the state’s high-profile U.S. Senate contest said in a statement Sunday that he was headed home to Braddock. He says he is “feeling great" but plans to “continue to rest and recover." The 52-year-old Fetterman had been at Lancaster General Hospital since May 13. He won the Democratic nomination while in the hospital and will face either heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz or former hedge fund CEO David McCormick.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is Arkansas' top Republican and is entering the final stretch of his term with strong approval ratings. Yet he's been conspicuously absent from his state's primary campaigns. Other top GOP figures, like former President Donald Trump, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sarah Sanders, are instead frequenting the state's airwaves leading up to Tuesday's election. Cotton and Sanders are making pitches for Sen. John Boozman as he fends off challenges from the hard right. Sanders is relying on her experience as Trump's press secretary in her bid to succeed Hutchinson as governor. It's a sign of how much Hutchinson's GOP has changed.
The campaigns for U.S. Senate and governor have gotten the most attention leading up to Tuesday’s primary in Alabama. But other contested races are on the ballot. Four Republicans and one Democrat are on the primary ballot to succeed GOP incumbent John Merrill as Alabama’s top elections officer, secretary of state. A runoff is possible on the Republican side. The ballot also includes statewide races for attorney general, state auditor and an Alabama Supreme Court seat. Voters also will decide a constitutional amendment to fund work on state parks and historical sites.
Wisconsin Republicans have voted not to endorse anyone for governor ahead of the GOP primary in August, after many activists rose up against the move. The Republican endorsement has been highly sought after because it unlocks funding from the state party. Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch got the most votes at 55%, just short of the 60% needed for an endorsement. Now the Republican candidates for governor will fight it out without any official backing from the party. The winner of the Aug. 9 primary will advance to face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
Two Republican frontrunners are hoping to clinch primary victories in Georgia. Candidates in the state are making their final pitches to Georgia voters ahead of Tuesday’s election. Gov. Brian Kemp and former football star Herschel Walker hope to win GOP majorities and clinch nominations for governor and U.S. senator on Tuesday without runoffs. Kemp spoke to voters at a rally with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts showing up to support him. Walker was scheduled to rally later Saturday in Columbus. For Kemp, an outright win would be vindication after months of attacks from former President Donald Trump.
For some female incumbents running for reelection in Congress this year, holding their seats comes with a new challenge. Because of redistricting, some of those congressional districts will be tougher to win. It’s too early to know how many female representatives were hurt by the once-a-decade process because maps haven’t been finalized in several states. But in states with new district boundaries set, the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University found more than a dozen women who are running in significantly tougher territory. This comes as female representatives make up about 28% of the 435 House members.
Massachusetts Republicans gathered in Springfield Saturday ahead of the fall elections to hear from candidates and GOP leaders as they hope to rebuild a party that has lost nearly all of the levers of political power in the state. The top job for Republicans is hanging on to the governor’s office. Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who has remained popular with voters, has decided not to seek a third term. Candidates needed the support of at least 15% of the delegates to get on the primary ballot. Former state representative Geoff Diehl got 71% while Wrentham business owner Chris Doughty got 29%.
Arizona’s Republican governor has signed legislation preventing state health officials from ever adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required school inoculations and barring mask mandates in government buildings. The bills Gov. Doug Ducey signed Friday permanently block disease mitigation measures that many health professionals say are critical to reining in the pandemic if case counts again surge or the virus mutates and becomes more deadly to children. GOP lawmakers say they are needed to stop government overreach and intrusion into personal choice. Minority Democrats were united in opposition.
Legislation proposed by Florida lawmakers for an upcoming special session to reform the state’s property insurance market would create a $2 billion reinsurance fund for insurers to get insurance that insulates them from risk. Four bills filed late Friday in the state House and Senate would also allow homeowners with roofs 15 years or older to get an inspection of their condition before insurers deny them coverage. If an inspection shows that a roof has at least five years of life remaining, insurers can’t refuse to issue a policy only based on the roof’s age under the proposed legislation.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — In 2007, not long before Las Vegas’ frenzied real estate market imploded, Nevada lawmakers approved a seemingly minor tweak to a tax law.
Democrats in New York will face new challenges from Republicans and be drawn into interparty battles under new redistricting maps released late Friday. A rural judge approved the maps that will set political district boundaries in New York over the next decade and give Democrats less of an edge in their quest for control of the U.S. House than they originally hoped. But they set up battles between Democrats like U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, and an open battle for the 10th Congressional District. The maps produced by an outside expert are more favorable to Republicans and more competitive than the previous maps drawn by the Democratically-controlled state Legislature.
Several of Georgia's statewide officials are battling to keep their offices in down-ballot primary elections being decided Tuesday. State Attorney General Chris Carr and Insurance Commissioner John King both face fellow Republicans endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Trump is also backing one of four Republicans in the open race for lieutenant governor. Meanwhile, Republican state school Superintendent Richard Woods is being opposed by his predecessor, John Barge.
Alabama’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby is a bitter high-dollar fight between three candidates. U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks who won _ and then lost _ former President Donald Trump’s backing in the race on Tuesday faces Katie Boyd Britt, the former leader of Business Council of Alabama and Shelby’s former chief of staff; and Mike Durant, the owner of an aerospace company but who is better known as the helicopter pilot whose capture during a U.S. military mission in Somalia was chronicled in the “Black Hawk Down” book and subsequent movie.
The head of the U.S. Forest Service is suspending planned burning operations to clear out brush and small trees at all national forests while his agency conducts a 90-day review of protocols and practices. Forest Chief Randy Moore made the announcement Friday. He cited the hot and dry weather and extreme winds that have led to explosive fire behavior across the Southwest. Nearly 6,000 firefighters are battling fires in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and California. Crews at the biggest fire in northern New Mexico worked to reinforce fire lines as winds gusted to 40 mph. Forecasters say several days of cooler, moister conditions beginning Saturday should provide some relief.
Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat is too close to call and is likely headed for a statewide recount to decide the winner of the contest between heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick. A recount would mean that the outcome of the race might not be known until June 8, the deadline for counties to report their results to the state. The race is close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, with the separation between the candidates inside the law’s 0.5% margin. The Associated Press will not declare a winner in the race until the likely recount is complete.
A state lawmaker in Oregon is calling for a formal investigation into a ballot-printing fiasco that will delay results from Tuesday's primary by weeks in the state's third-largest county, with a key U.S. House race hanging in the balance. The call from Democratic Rep. Janelle Bynum comes amid mounting pressure on Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall, who has overseen elections in the suburban county south of Portland for nearly 20 years. As many as 60,000 ballots are unreadable by vote-counting machines because of blurry barcodes and the voter's intent must be transferred by hand to a new ballot in each instance.
Common ground on several budget bills remains elusive as Minnesota lawmakers rapidly approach the end of the legislative session. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Friday that tax committee chairs have made “fantastic progress” on a tax relief bill. But sticking points between committee chairs in most other areas — including health and human services, education and public safety — have forced leadership to get involved. Targets for how to divide up the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus include $4 billion for tax relief, $4 billion in spending and another $4 billion to be left in reserve.
North Carolina advocacy groups and voters have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to avoid hearing arguments on the role of state courts in reviewing congressional redistricting maps created by state legislatures. Their attorneys and those representing North Carolina government filed legal briefs Friday in a case involving the U.S. House map that was just used in the state for primary elections this week. The Supreme Court in March refused to block the map's use this year, but some justices signaled they were interested in formally discussing the broader questions of a clause in the Constitution. Republican legislative leaders already petitioned the court to take the case.
Summer Lee has won a five-way Democratic primary for a Pittsburgh-based U.S. House seat. That makes her the favorite in the heavily Democratic district to win the fall general election and become the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. Friday was the fourth day of counting ballots after Tuesday’s primary in the closely contested race for the open seat. Lee is a second-term state House member, lawyer and former labor organizer. Lee beat out second-place Steve Irwin, who was endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Party and backed by prominent Democrats from the county. Lee will face Republican nominee Mike Doyle in the fall general election.
The Kentucky attorney general's office says it's not currently investigating the governor’s office. But it claims that Gov. Andy Beshear mischaracterized the purpose for its recent request for information from his administration. It's the latest twist in an escalating political feud. Beshear says it was “news to us” that Attorney General Daniel Cameron has no active investigation of his office. The Democratic governor maintains the Republican attorney general broke ethics rules by investigating his office and later filing paperwork to run against him for governor. The Kentucky Democratic Party has filed a complaint alleging that Cameron violated ethics laws.
Voters in southern Minnesota will choose candidates in a special primary next week. It's the first step in the process for filling the seat of Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February. The GOP candidates on Tuesday's ballot include Hagedorn’s widow, Jennifer Carnahan, a former chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Other candidates include state Rep. Jeremy Munson and former state Rep. Brad Finstad. On the Democratic side, the endorsed candidate is former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger. The winners will face each other in a special election Aug. 9 to fill out the rest of Hagedorn's term.
A unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court has broadened who can legally carry concealed guns and other weapons in the state, overturning a lower court’s ruling dealing with a man whose license was revoked due to a domestic violence conviction. The court ruled Friday that disorderly conduct is not a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under federal law, and does not disqualify a person from holding a concealed carry license. Justice Jill Karofsky concurred, but in a separate opinion called on the Legislature to close what she called a “dangerous loophole” in the law. The case involves a man who was convicted in 1993 in Door County of misdemeanor domestic violence.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he doesn’t have a timeline yet on when his administration might roll out a long-blocked school voucher program that saw its biggest legal roadblock removed by the state’s high court. The Republican told reporters Friday that it was a “good first step” for the Supreme Court to rule Wednesday that the voucher initiative doesn’t violate the Tennessee Constitution’s “home rule.” That provision says the Legislature can’t pass measures singling out individual counties without local support. The decision upends earlier court rulings that have kept the program that passed in 2019 from ever being implemented. The governor also said there are “legal decisions yet to be made” about the program.