There were primaries for state and federal races across the country earlier this week. Here are some of the highlights:
- This will be the first election using the new ranked-choice voting system, which was approved by state voters in 2016. How this system works is explained here by the New York Times. Voters across the state opted to retain this system 54-46.
- Businessman Shawn Moody won the Republican nomination to succeed term-limited incumbent governor Paul LePage. He will run against the likely Democratic nominee, state attorney general Janet Mills. Votes from the Democratic primary are still being counted because of the ranked-choice system.
- State representative Jared Golden is holding a lead for his party’s nomination to compete against incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the state’s second congressional district. However, conservationist and businessman Lucas St. Clair has yet to concede the race because he is waiting for the final results to come in through the ranked-choice voting system.
- Clark County Commission chairman Steve Sisolak will face off against Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the governor’s race. Sisolak had backing from the Harry Reid machine, which remains a formidable force in state Democratic politics.
- Democrat Jacky Rosen (who represents Nevada’s third congressional district) will square off against incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller. Heller is considered one of the most endangered Republican incumbents in an electoral map that is heavily favored for the Senate GOP this year.
- Democratic state Senator Aaron Ford will run against Republican former state assembly member and assistant attorney general Wes Duncan in the race for state attorney general to succeed Adam Laxalt.
- Democratic philanthropist and education advocate Susie Lee will run against perennial Republican candidate Danny Tarkanian for the congressional seat being vacated by Jacky Rosen. Tarkanian had originally planned to mount a primary challenge against Dean Heller but was convinced to sit out the race and run for this seat instead.
- Republican Representative At-Large Kevin Cramer won the Republican nomination for the Senate race in November. He will be trying to oust incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp who received her party’s nomination unopposed. She will be running for reelection in one of the most conservative states in the country. (Historical trivia: Heitkamp was first elected to the seat in 2012 during the Obama reelection cycle and won by 3,000 votes, a margin of victory of roughly one percent.)
- Former North Dakota Republican Party chairman Kelly Armstrong won the Republican nomination for the state’s at-large congressional seat being vacated by Kevin Cramer. He will be running against Democratic former state senator Mac Schneider, who ran for his party’s nomination unopposed.
- Former governor and Congressman Mark Sanford lost the race for his party’s nomination to state representative Katie Arrington, who effectively made the primary a referendum on Sanford’s perceived disloyalty to President Donald Trump and received a last-minute endorsement from him, even though Sanford has a lifetime rating of almost 91 according to the American Conservative Union. Even though that has been a focus of a lot of the national coverage, that’s not the entire story behind his loss: he had $1.57 million in his campaign war chest before the primary, while she had less than $200,000. Arrington barely managed to avoid a runoff with Sanford by 366 votes. It was the first and only time Sanford lost a race in his 24-year political career.
- Incumbent governor Henry McMaster and businessman John Warren will face off for the Republican nomination for governor in a runoff election set for June 26.
- Former Trump Virginia campaign chairman Corey Stewart won the Republican nomination for the Senate race this fall. Stewart narrowly lost the Republican nomination for governor in 2017. He will square off against incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine, who ran for his party’s nomination unopposed.
- Incumbent Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock defeated a primary challenger 60-39. Democratic state senator Jennifer Wexton emerged from a field of six candidates to win her party’s nomination to take on Comstock, who is considered one of the most endangered Republican House incumbents this cycle. She represents a district in a state that has been trending Democratic during local, state, federal and presidential elections over the course of the last fifteen years.