WASHINGTON – Voters in several states and Washington, D.C., a variety of political contests Tuesday, including a high-profile Republican Senate runoff in Alabama and a contested mayor’s race in the nation’s capital.
Alabama business executive Katie Britt faces U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks in the Republican Senate race marked by ex-President Donald Trump’s decision in March to withdraw support from Brooks amid his struggles in polls.
In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser faces two City Council members – Robert White and Trayon White – in a primary that that is tantamount to election in the heavily Democratic city. Bowser is seeking her third term.
Voters will determine Republican candidates and Arkansas Supreme Court Justices across multiple counties on Arkansas primary runoff Election Day Tuesday, June 21.
Also on tap Tuesday: A series of congressional primaries in Virginia and runoffs in Georgia.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was renominated for a third term, despite the headwinds of increased crime in the nation’s capital and two Democratic challengers from city council who unsuccessfully tried to unseat her.
Bowser faced a tough fight against two members of the city council, who have criticized her public safety management and disagreed with her push to hire more police officers as crime rates increased.
The mayor has continually said the city needs more police officers to restore public safety, including after two teenagers were fatally shot over the weekend.
The primary winner is expected to cruise to victory in November in the Democratic stronghold.
— Candy Woodall
Georgia voters Tuesday chose State Rep. Bee Nguyen as the Democratic nominee to take on Republican incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in November.
The state and the office have received attention in the past two years since former President Donald Trump made claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia after the 2020 presidential election. Raffensperger testified before the Jan. 6 committee in Washington Tuesday that investigations into fraud claims turned up nothing.
Amid the fraud claims, Nguyen ran on a platform of debunking false narratives. She’s criticized Raffensperger’s support for sweeping election overhauls passed last year by Republican state lawmakers.
— Chelsey Cox
Voting is now done in Alabama and election officials will soon report out one of the night’s biggest races.
Business executive Katie Britt and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks are battling for the Republican nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.
— David Jackson
The polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where two-term Mayor Muriel Bowser is in a three-way race in the Democratic primary.
She is seeking a third term against competition from Robert White and Trayon White, two city council members who are not related.
Both challengers have criticized Bowser’s handling of crime in the city, while denying her requests for more police officers.
Bowser has been one of the leaders in D.C.’s fight for statehood and has also marched with social justice advocates, spending part of her first two terms squaring off against former President Donald Trump.
The winner of the Democratic primary will likely decide the mayoral race in the reliably blue capital city.
— Candy Woodall
RICHMOND, Va. — State senator and Navy veteran Jen Kiggans won the Republican nomination Tuesday in Virginia’s coastal 2nd Congressional District.
Kiggans, a nurse practitioner, will go on to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria in what’s expected to be a competitive general election contest that could help determine which party controls the U.S. House.
She defeated three opponents, including far-right Jarome Bell, who called himself the “MAGA candidate” and had called for executing anyone involved in what he claimed was widespread voter fraud.
Luria is also a Navy veteran. She’s currently on the Jan. 6 committee investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol and has cultivated a congressional identity as a centrist since flipping the district blue under its previous lines in 2018. She’s expected to face a tough challenge under the district’s new lines.
The 2nd District covers much of Virginia’s coast, including the city of Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore.
— Associated Press
Miss Day 4 of the Jan. 6 hearing?:Fake electors, Trump pressuring state leaders and more
State Rep. Bee Nguyen and former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler are vying for the chance to challenge incumbent Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the fall.
Trump targeted Raffensperger for failing to overturn his narrow loss in the state. Raffensperger — who won the praise of some Democrats for refusing to bend to pressure from the former president — dispatched a challenge from a Trump-endorsed primary challenger without being forced into a runoff.
Nguyen and Dawkins-Haigler agree on their visions for the office: increase voter education and work more closely with local election boards to ensure universal access to free, fair and secure elections. But they say Raffensperger is no election hero, targeting his endorsement of a sweeping election overhaul passed last year by Republican state lawmakers.
— Associated Press
Polls have now closed in Virginia and Georgia, and officials should soon be reporting results in a slew of congressional and legislative primaries and runoffs.
Alabama, site of a high-profile Republican runoff for the U.S. Senate, is scheduled to close its polls at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
— David Jackson
–– Ella Lee
Lora Dotson, a resident of Locust Grove, Virginia, blames Democrats for inflation and the economic pain Virginians are facing.
“I think that the gas issue is on voters’ mind the most because it’s hitting everybody at home right now in their pockets,” Dotson said.
Republicans are betting that Democrats will face backlash from voters across the nation this year, angry over higher costs of living, exhausted from the coronavirus pandemic and a looming recession.
“We’re paying these outrageous prices,” Dotson said. “It’s hurting everything. It’s hurting the whole economy.”
Read the whole story here:Inflation fears pressure Democrats in Virginia House races. Could they be a bellwether?
In Alabama, Sen. Richard Shelby is retiring after 35 years in the chamber and his current stint as the ranking member on the Committee on Appropriations.
Former Business Council of Alabama President Katie Britt and Rep. Mo Brooks — who had, and then lost, Trump’s backing — emerged from the Republican primary May 24, but neither with enough votes to win outright.
Given the partisan lean of the state, whoever wins the runoff is likely to easily win election in November and join the Senate Republican conference. The winner will face Democrat Will Boyd in November.
— Dylan Wells
Alabama State Rep. Wes Allen faces outgoing State Auditor Jim Zeigler in the runoff for the Secretary of State’s office, which oversees elections in the state.
Zeigler is casting himself as the outsider candidate in the race and says he would be a “watchman” on the state’s election system. Allen, a former Pike County Probate Judge, is stressing his experience running elections and calls himself the only “lifelong” Republican in the race, an allusion to the fact Zeigler, like many other state Republicans, started his political life as a Democrat.
Both candidates say they want to maintain the security of the election system, and both oppose efforts to make voting easier or more convenient. The winner will face Democratic nominee Pamela Laffitte in the November election.
–Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser
Trump endorsed two candidates in Georgia who will compete in runoff elections on Tuesday.
In the 6th Congressional District, Trump backed attorney Jake Evans, the son of his former ambassador to Luxembourg. Evans faces an uphill battle in the runoff after physician Rich McCormick led the primary in May. The seat was redistricted to be much more Republican, so whoever wins the runoff is on track to win in November.
In the 10th District, Trump backed former state Rep. Vernon Jones, who trailed trucking company owner Mike Collins in the primary. Jones is a former Democrat, who announced he was switching parties on Jan. 6. According to Fox News, Trump offered to endorse Jones if he dropped out of the gubernatorial primary.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, is running for reelection. If she wins, she would be only the second mayor of D.C. to be elected for a third term.
City council members Robert White and Trayon White are both primarying Bowser after serving the last six years on the council. Both are to the left of Bowser on policing, and crime and public safety have been dominant themes in the election.
Whoever wins the primary on Tuesday is on track to win in November given the Democratic tilt of the district
— Dylan Wells
AUSTIN, Texas — A recount in Texas affirmed Democrat U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar as the winner Tuesday of his primary race against progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros, who had trailed by fewer than 200 votes following a runoff in May.
Cuellar, a nine-term congressman, defeated Cisneros by 289 votes, according to results of the recount announced by by the Texas Democratic Party.
The Associated Press had not previously declared a winner in the race because it had been too close to call.
It is the second time that Cisneros, a 29-year-old immigration attorney who once interned for Cuellar, has lost a challenge to her former boss, whose moderate record along Texas’ heavily Hispanic southern border has aligned him at times with Republicans on issues including abortion and guns.
— Associated Press
Getting the Republican nomination for governor of Alabama proved a lot more expensive this year than years past.
The nine candidates seeking the GOP nomination for governor spent almost $26 million on the race this year, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. The amount was four times the $6 million dropped in the lead-up to the 2018 primary.
The bulk of the expenditures came from the top three candidates: Gov. Kay Ivey, who spent $9.1 million; former Slovenian ambassador Lynda Blanchard, who spent $10.1 million, and businessman Tim James, son of former Gov. Fob James, who spent $4.5 million. Ivey’s expenditures were more than double the $4.2 million she reported spending in the 2018 GOP primary.
-Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser