Amid a week of nationwide protests, several states and the District of Columbia are holding primaries Tuesday featuring several competitive races for governor, US Senate, and congressional seats.
There are four competitive House races in Pennsylvania, a state that’s inextricably linked to Democrats’ chances of retaking the White House in 2020. In Iowa, there’s a Democratic Senate primary to decide who will challenge Republican Sen. Joni Ernst. That race will be closely watched race this fall, as Democrats see it as one that could help them retake control of the Senate.
In Montana, there are primaries for governor, US Senate, and the state’s lone congressional seat. Two longtime US representatives (one Democrat and one Republican) are retiring in Indiana, with each party eyeing a new chance to flip the seats. New Mexico has an open Senate seat with longtime Sen. Tom Udall set to retire; although that state is seen as fairly blue, Republicans are eyeing what could be a long-shot pickup opportunity. There’s also an open House seat in New Mexico given that Rep. Ben Ray Luján is running for US Senate.
And although Maryland is a heavily blue state, there are a couple of interesting Democratic primaries, including a crowded race to choose the replacement for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings — and a progressive challenge to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Although some states are still holding in-person voting, others have switched to mostly mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means results will likely be delayed in some states. Several Pennsylvania counties won’t announce their vote-by-mail tallies until Wednesday, and a new change in how Maryland reports votes could cause some delays in reporting for local elections, including the Baltimore mayor’s race.
Vox is covering the results live, with our partners at Decision Desk.
Indiana’s First and Fifth District primaries
In two congressional districts, both Democrats and Republicans hope to capitalize on the retirements of long-serving members of the House of Representatives to flip seats held for decades by the opposite party.
In the largely Democratic First Congressional District, which contains much of the Chicago exurbs in the northwest area of the state, 14 Democrats and six Republicans are running to replace retiring incumbent Peter Visclosky (D-IN), who has been in office since 1984. The state’s Fifth Congressional District features 15 Republicans and five Democrats competing for the seat left open by incumbent Republican Rep. Susan Brooks, who decided not to run for a fifth term.
Indiana Democratic House primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Indiana’s First Congressional District Democratic primary for Frank Mrvan and the Fifth Congressional Democratic primary for Christina Hale.
Indiana Republican House primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Indiana’s First Congressional District Republican primary for Mark Leyva and the Fifth Congressional Republican primary for Victoria Spartz.
For more on Indiana’s primary contests, read Vox’s roundup here.
Statewide, the main race to watch is the Democratic Senate primary, which will determine the candidate who’ll go up against Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, one of Democrats’ top targets this fall. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the upper chamber’s campaign arm, has already backed Theresa Greenfield, a Des Moines real estate executive, who’s also picked up support from Emily’s List. Her competitors include Navy veteran Mike Franken, attorney Kimberly Graham, and insurance broker Eddie Mauro.
The state’s four House seats are also slated to be competitive in November: Three are currently held by Democrats; the fourth is held by embattled Republican Steve King, who has been censured by his colleagues for making a series of racist comments and is now facing a serious Republican primary challenge from Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra.
In two House districts Democrats flipped in 2018, Republicans are duking it out to see who will go up against the Democratic incumbent Reps. Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer in competitive fall races. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) from Iowa’s Second Congressional District is retiring, leaving an open race in November.
Iowa Democratic Senate primary
Decision Desk has called this race for Theresa Greenfield.
Iowa Republican House primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Iowa’s First Congressional District Republican primary for Ashley Hinson; the Second Congressional District Republican primary for Mariannette Miller-Meeks; and the Third Congressional District Republican primary for David Young.
Iowa Fourth District Republican primary
Decision Desk HQ called the race for Randy Feenstra.
For more on Iowa’s primary contests, read Vox’s roundup here.
Maryland is a staunchly Democratic state as far as congressional races go (the state is run by moderate Republican Gov. Larry Hogan). The June 2 primaries there don’t include a lot of Republican action, but there are two interesting Democratic primaries in particular.
First up is the election in Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District, open after the death of House Oversight Committee chair and political giant Rep. Elijah Cummings. The winner of an April 28 special election to replace Cummings was former Baltimore City Council member Kweisi Mfume, who was sworn in as a US House member in May. For the regular primary, Mfume is back on the ballot, along with 18 other Democrats — including Cummings’s wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings.
Second, and less highly contested, is a progressive primary challenge in Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District, represented by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer’s main primary challenger is Mckayla Wilkes, who has been endorsed by progressive organizations including Democracy for America and Democratic Socialists of America. Other Democratic candidates running include Briana Urbina, William Devine III, and Vanessa Marie Hoffman.
Maryland Democratic House primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District Democratic primary for Steny Hoyer and the Seventh Congressional District for Kweisi Mfume.
Maryland Republican House primaries
Montana’s gubernatorial, Senate, and House primaries
Montana has three major, surprisingly competitive primaries on June 2. They come as the Republican Party works to take control of the governor’s mansion for the first time in 16 years and in a highly competitive Senate race that could increase Democrats’ likelihood of retaking the US Senate majority. At first glance, Montana might not seem competitive. After all, Donald Trump won the state by 20 percentage points in 2016. But it’s actually a fiercely independent state.
Montana’s current, well-liked Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is now running for US Senate. And Bullock’s entry into that race has turned what was previously an easy reelection for Republican Sen. Steve Daines into a competitive election.
Montana’s at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for governor, competing with the state’s Republican Attorney General Tim Fox in the Republican primary. Two Democrats well-known in the state, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and businesswoman Whitney Williams (part of a prominent Montana political family) are vying in the Democratic primary for governor. The race to fill Gianforte’s House seat is also competitive, featuring a crowded field of six Republicans in the GOP primary and a Democratic field that includes Gianforte’s Democratic rival in 2018, Kathleen Williams.
Montana Democratic primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Montana’s US Senate Democratic primary for Steve Bullock; Montana’s gubernatorial Democratic primary for Mike Cooney; and at-large congressional district Democratic primary for Kathleen Williams.
Montana Republican primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Montana’s US Senate Republican primary for Steve Daines; Montana’s gubernatorial Republican primary for Greg Gianforte; and at-large congressional district Republican primary for Matt Rosendale.
For more on Montana’s primary contests, read Vox’s roundup here.
New Mexico’s open Senate and House primaries
Although New Mexico has shifted blue in recent years, there are still competitive races that will be worth watching. First and foremost, there’s an open Senate seat given Sen. Tom Udall’s retirement. Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who serves in House leadership as the assistant House Democratic leader, is running unopposed on the Democratic side. Three Republicans, Elisa Martinez, Mark Ronchetti, and Gavin Clarkson, are vying to face off against Luján in a Senate race Cook Political Report rates Likely Democrat.
The state’s First and Second congressional districts each have Republican primaries to determine who will face off against Democratic incumbent Reps. Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small. Torres Small’s race, in particular, could be competitive; she flipped the seat blue in 2018 by narrowly defeating Republican Yvette Herrell, who is running again in 2020. And there are crowded Democratic and Republican primaries in the Third Congressional District, which is open with Luján’s departure.
New Mexico Republican primaries
Decision Desk HQ called New Mexico’s US Senate Republican primary for Mark Ronchetti; its First Congressional District Republican primary for Michelle Garcia Holmes; its Second Congressional District Republican primary for Yvette Herrell; and its Third Congressional District Republican primary for Alexis Johnson.
New Mexico’s Third Congressional District Democratic primary
Decision Desk HQ called New Mexico’s Third Congressional District Democratic primary for Teresa Leger Fernandez.
Pennsylvania’s First, Seventh, Eighth, and 10th District primaries
Pennsylvania has a few congressional primary races to keep an eye on Tuesday.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named the state’s First Congressional District as a target the party wants to flip. But that might not be easy. Sabato’s Crystal ball rates the seat Likely Republican, and in 2018, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) was reelected even as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic Sen. Bob Casey carried the district by double digits. “That type of crossover vote is impressive,” said Sabato’s J. Miles Coleman. Cook Political Report rates the district Leans Republican.
The Republican National Campaign Committee has targeted Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District as an opportunity to flip in November. Incumbent Rep. Susan Wild is a DCCC “front-line” member, and Cook Political Report rates the seat Leans Democratic. Republicans are also targeting Pennsylvania’s Eight Congressional District, and incumbent Democratic Rep. Mike Cartwright, who has held on to the seat even though Trump won the district in 2016. This district is home to Scranton, where Joe Biden was born.
In the 10th Congressional District, Coleman said Democrats have found their “best possible recruit” to take on incumbent Rep. Scott Perry in Eugene DePasquale. “This is a Trump +9 seat, but DePasquale, who is from York County, carried the district in 2016 — he was the only statewide Democratic candidate to do so,” Coleman explained. Gov. Wolf has endorsed DePasquale, but Democrat Tom Brier is running as well.
Pennsylvania Republican House primaries
Pennsylvania Democratic House primaries
Decision Desk HQ called Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District Democratic primary for Christina Finello and its 10th Congressional District Democratic primary for Eugene DePasquale.
For more on Pennsylvania’s primary contests, read Vox’s roundup here.
There are two Republican primaries in South Dakota: one for the US Senate race and one for the state’s at-large congressional district.
Incumbent Sen. Mike Rounds is getting a Republican challenger in South Dakota state Rep. Scyller Borglum, and Rep. Dusty Johnson is being challenged by former South Dakota state Rep. Elizabeth May.
Both challengers are Republican women; after the 2018 midterms showed Democratic women ran successful races, these primaries could serve as a test of the electability of their Republican counterparts. South Dakota already has a woman helming the state — Republican Gov. Kristi Noem.
South Dakota Republican primaries
Decision Desk HQ called South Dakota’s US Senate Republican primary for Mike Rounds and its at-large congressional district primary for Dusty Johnson.