MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The two Republican candidates in the US Senate primary runoff election in Alabama on Tuesday can each boast that they had Donald Trump’s approval at one point in the race.
Trump first backed U.S. Representative Mo Brooks in the spring of 2021. That approval lasted for nearly a year until Trump withdrew it when the conservative instigator languished in the polls. The former president took the time to issue a second endorsement and only supported Katie Britt in the race after she emerged as the top vote-catcher in the state’s May 24 primary.
In other races Tuesday, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser faces voters amid growing crime concerns. Georgia runoffs will resolve close contests in several congressional races and a nomination for secretary of state, while Virginia primaries will host competitive congressional races for the fall. Arkansas holds primary runoffs for several legislative races.
What to watch in Tuesday’s primaries:
The Senate second round will decide whether the GOP nominee will be vacated for the seat by 88-year-old Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who announced his retirement in February 2021 after serving six terms.
Two months later, Trump announced his endorsement of Brooks and rewarded the six-year-old congressman who had objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election and spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally preceding the January 6 U.S. uprising. Capitol.
But Trump soured Brooks as the primary campaign progressed, becoming unhappy with his performance in the race and some of his comments that urged the party to move forward with the former president’s fixation on his 2020 election defeat. Last March, he withdrew his endorsement. in.
Britt, the former chief of staff to Shelby and former leader of a state-owned business group, won the most votes in last month’s primary, taking nearly 45% of the vote, compared to Brooks’s 29%. Britt needed more than 50% of the vote to win and avoid a runoff.
Another top candidate, Mike Durant, best known as the helicopter pilot held captive in Somalia during the 1993 battle, described in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down”, finished in third place and failed to advance. to the second round.
Brooks was backed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, both of whom campaigned with him. Britt will enter the second round on Tuesday with a fundraising advantage and a shiny new endorsement from Trump, which came a few weeks after the primaries.
The former president, who has a mixed success story supporting winning candidates in this year’s midterm elections, awaited his approval to avoid the embarrassment of backing a losing candidate in a high-profile race.
The winner of the GOP race will face Democrat Will Boyd in November, though the Democrats have had limited success in the scarlet state over the past 20 years.
A Democratic contest for secretary of state heads Tuesday’s rounds in Georgia, while Republicans will secure three nominations to Congress.
State Representative Bee Nguyen, backed by Democratic governor candidate Stacey Abrams, tries to beat former State Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler in the Secretary of State race. The winner will face Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the fall.
In his May 24 primary, Raffensperger defeated a challenge from US Representative Jody Hice, who was backed by Trump. Trump made Raffensperger a top target for rejecting his efforts to “find” enough votes to undo Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
In the second round of Congress, Vernon Jones, a Trump-backed candidate and former Democrat, will face transportation company owner Mike Collins for the Republican nomination for the 10th seat in the Congressional District east of Atlanta. Collins was backed by Republican government leader Brian Kemp, who also won his primary from a Trump-backed challenger.
In the 6th district in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, emergency room physician Rich McCormick tries to stop Trump-backed attorney Jake Evans. That race revolved around accusations by one candidate that the other is insufficiently conservative.
The Republican winners in the 6th and 10th are big favorites in the November election over their Democratic opponents.
Republicans also have high hopes for taking out the 30-year-old Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop in Southwest Georgia’s 2nd District. The GOP chooses between former army officer Jeremy Hunt and real estate developer Chris West.
In Virginia, voters will choose Republican nominees to take on the incumbent US House Democrats in two of the country’s most competitive districts.
In the 2nd Coastal District, which includes the state’s most populous city, Virginia Beach, four military veterans compete for the GOP nomination. With a big lead in fundraising and the support of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing House Republicans, Senator Jen Kiggans is widely regarded as the frontrunner. The winner will face Democrat Elaine Luria, a retired naval commander and member of the Jan. 6 committee, in the general election.
In central Virginia’s 7th district, six candidates are competing against Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer.
Bowser, the two-year mayor of Washington, DC, tries to fend off challenges from a few councilors as the district struggles with rising crime rates and concerns about homelessness.
Bowser has had a tumultuous second term in which she repeatedly faced Trump and walked on a public tightrope between her own police station and a vocal coalition of activists led by Black Lives Matter. She campaigns for the need for proven leadership and her history as one of the faces of Washington’s ongoing quest for statehood.
Her main challengers are Robert White and Trayon White, who are not related. Both accuse Bowser of mishandling public safety issues amid rising violent crime rates and favoring developers as the rising cost of living drives black families out of town.
Democratic primary essentially decides mayoral race in deep blue Washington, DC
Robert White has a history of successful insurgent campaigns, evicting a long-standing incumbent in front of a major Council seat in 2016.
Trayon White openly evokes the ghost of the late DC Mayor Marion Barry, who is still a controversial but beloved figure among many Washingtonians. White was criticized in 2018 for claiming that the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking dynasty and frequent subject of anti-Semitic conspiracies, controlled weather conditions in Washington. He later said he didn’t realize his comment could be perceived as anti-Semitic.
Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Atlanta, Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, Ashraf Khalil in Washington, and Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.
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