clock menu more-arrow no yes

A quick guide to May 8 primaries in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, and North Carolina

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for primary elections in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Former CFPB head Richard Cordray is running against former Congress member Dennis Kucinich to be the Democratic nominee for Ohio governor, succeeding Governor John Kasich.
Former CFPB head Richard Cordray is running against former Rep. Dennis Kucinich to be the Democratic nominee for Ohio governor, succeeding John Kasich.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for primary elections in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia, and candidates for important Senate, House, and governor’s races will be decided.

In Ohio, both Democratic and Republican candidates are engaged in heated contests to determine their parties’ nominees to succeed Republican Gov. John Kasich. In West Virginia, dark-horse candidate Don Blankenship — a convicted former coal baron — has upended the Republican contest to go up against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November.

Polls close in Indiana at 6 pm local time (6 pm Eastern time for the parts of the state in that time zone, 7 pm Eastern for the western parts of the state on Central time), in North Carolina at 7:30 pm local time, in Ohio at 7:30 pm local time, and in West Virginia at 7:30 pm local time.

Here’s a quick guide to what’s at stake in every state.

Indiana

Polls close: 6 pm Central time and Eastern time, depending what part of the state voters are in | Live results

Three Republican candidates have spent millions of dollars running to unseat vulnerable Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana. Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer and business executive and former state lawmaker Mike Braun have gone as far as to invent Trump-inspired nicknames for one another, including “Lyin’ Todd,” “Missing Messer,” and “Tax Hike Mike.” There are also primary contests to determine Democratic and Republican candidates in Indiana’s Second Congressional District, Donnelly’s former district, and the Ninth District, which is one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s targets for the 2018 midterms.

North Carolina

Polls close: 7:30 pm Eastern time | Live results

North Carolina Democrats are weeding out candidates in hopes of flipping three Republican House seats come November. In the state’s Ninth District, former Marine Corps veteran and solar energy entrepreneur Dan McCready, who has been compared to Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb, is the leader in the Democratic primary, which also includes hospitality industry veteran Christian Cano. The contest has gotten pretty heated, with Cano calling McCready a “coward” and a “pussy.” The state’s Democratic Party demanded he apologize. He did.

Whoever wins that contest will likely face incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger, assuming he wins his primary race. Primaries in North Carolina’s Second and 13th congressional districts will be held as well. In the 13th District, Democratic favorite Kathy Manning is running on jobs and affordable health care.

Ohio

Polls close: 7:30 pm Eastern time | Live results

The race to succeed current Republican Gov. John Kasich is a hotly contested one, and there’s no clear favorite on either side. Richard Cordray, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is running against former Congress member and Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic spot. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is backing Cordray, and Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) Our Revolution is supporting Kucinich. On the Republican side, it’s state Attorney General Mike DeWine against Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.

Beyond the governor’s race, Republicans Rep. Jim Renacci and businessman Mike Gibbons are in a contest to figure out who will try to pick off Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in November. There are also multiple congressional primaries, including both Democrats and Republicans vying for retiring Rep. Pat Tiberi’s seat in Ohio’s 12th District.

West Virginia

Polls close: 7:30 pm Eastern time | Live results

Tuesday’s West Virginia primaries are, frankly, pretty weird. On the Senate side, you’ve got Don Blankenship, a criminally convicted former coal baron who put out an ad calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “Cocaine Mitch.” He’s running against fellow GOP contenders Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to be the Republican nominee to face Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. And even though Blankenship has styled himself as a Trump-like figure, Trump has rejected him.

There are also competitive primary contests on both sides for West Virginia’s Third District, which Jenkins is leaving to run for the Senate. State Sen. Richard Ojeda, whom Politico characterized as “JFK with tattoos and a bench press,” appears to be the favorite over state legislator Shirley Love for the Democrats. As for the Republicans, it’s a competitive race between former state Republican Party chair Conrad Lucas and state delegate Carol Miller.