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What to watch in Tuesday’s Arizona primaries and more


Voters in five states head to the primaries on Tuesday to decide the races that will shape the Republican Party and perhaps America’s democratic future in November and beyond, with former President Donald J. Trump playing a key role in marquee races in Arizona, Michigan and Washington.

Few states have been more rocked by Mr. Trump’s baseless allegations of election rigging than Arizona and Michigan. On Tuesday, Republican voters in those states will choose flag bearers for the gubernatorial races in November, and in Arizona they will also nominate a candidate for secretary of state, the position that oversees elections.

Also on the ballot will be the Republican nominations for the Senate races in Arizona, Missouri and Washington. Republican voters will also decide the fate of three of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Here are the main races to watch:

The former president turned on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey after Mr. Ducey certified Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s narrow victory in the state and refused to echo Mr. Trump on a stolen election. The race to succeed Mr. Ducey has been dominated by this question.

Mr Trump’s favorite candidate, former news anchor Kari Lake, has repeated outlandish lies about the 2020 election and embraced provocations like vowing to bomb smuggling tunnels on the southern border. His main opponent, Karrin Taylor Robson, a property developer backed by Mr Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence, is running on conservative themes but not election denial.

On the Democratic side, Katie Hobbs, secretary of state for Arizona, is favored to win the nomination, staging what is expected to be a tight, high-stakes contest this fall.

Mr Trump features again in the Republican primary to face Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat, in November, a key front in the battle for control of a now evenly split Senate. The former president’s endorsement of political newcomer Blake Masters has helped propel the quirky tech executive to the helm, but state Attorney General Mark Brnovich could benefit from the deluge of tech announcements. attack targeting Mr. Masters from another Senate candidate, Solar Energy Executive Jim Lamon.

The race for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State features Mark Finchem, a state representative and broad-based conspiracy theorist who marched on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

The race to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt, the retiring Missouri Republican, should have been a boon for Show Me State Republicans, who now dominate the office statewide. But Eric Greitens’ attempt at a political comeback has complicated things. In 2018, Mr Greitens resigned as governor in disgrace amid an investigation into fundraising irregularities and an allegation by his former hairdresser that he lured her to his home, him reportedly stripped her of her clothes, taped her to the exercise equipment, photographed her, threatened to make the photos public if she spoke and then forced her to perform oral sex.

Taking a page from Mr Trump, Mr Greitens dismissed the allegations as being concocted by his political enemies – Democrats and “Republicans in name only” – as he plotted a comeback by running for the Senate. Prominent Republicans in Missouri and Washington, D.C., split their endorsements between state Attorney General Eric Schmitt and conservative House member Vicky Hartzler, giving Mr. Greitens a path to the nomination – and to the Democrats a plausible blow to the seat.

In recent weeks, wealthy donors have poured money into an anti-Greitens super PAC, Show Me Values, which has bluffed Mr Greitens with his ex-wife’s domestic violence accusations against her and one of their young sons. The group’s supporters were convinced that another candidate would win.

Despite Donald Trump Jr.’s support for Mr. Greitens, his father, the former president, never won an endorsement.

Missouri Democrats will struggle to grab the seat even if Mr. Greitens wins. And a new complication threatened Democratic unity: The party had largely backed Lucas Kunce, a telegenic former Marine, but his coronation was cut short by the belated rise of Trudy Busch Valentine, the spendthrift heiress to the Anheuser fortune. – Busch.

From top to bottom of the state’s primary tickets, Michiganders who deny President Biden’s clear 2.8 percentage point victory in their state are vying to defeat politicians from both parties who accept the results.

Ryan Kelley, who was arrested last month by the FBI for his actions on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, is running to unseat Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, although in the latest poll he trails conservative media personality Tudor Dixon – whose views on the 2020 election have wavered – and self-funded businessman Kevin Rinke.

Ms Dixon won Mr Trump’s endorsement on Friday, but it was unclear whether her supporters in the state would rally behind her after months of waging war with Ms Dixon’s main backer, Betsy DeVos, and his relatives, Michigan’s most influential Republican family.

In the Western Michigan House seat centered in Grand Rapids, Trump-backed Holocaust denier John Gibbs is trying to eliminate Rep. Peter Meijer, a freshman Republican who not only accepts the election results but also voted to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the attack on the Capitol.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran an ad in the final days of the campaign lifting Mr. Gibbs, a potentially much weaker candidate in November than Mr. Meijer, by highlighting his conservative credentials for Republican primary voters, a move that has infuriated some Democrats.

In the eastern Michigan suburb of Detroit, the redistricting pitted two incumbent House Democrats, Andy Levin and Haley Stevens, against each other. That race has turned into a battle royale between progressive groups supporting Mr. Levin and pro-Israel groups bent on punishing him for what they see as bias toward the Palestinians.

Three of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump will face their day of reckoning on Tuesday. Their fate will speak volumes about Mr. Trump’s power with primary voters. Besides Mr. Meijer, Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, both of Washington, are being challenged by Republicans backed by Mr. Trump as part of his revenge tour.

Mr Newhouse has largely kept his head down since voting for impeachment, but he too has a Trump-backed challenger, Loren Culp, a retired law enforcement officer who was the Republicans’ nominee in Governor of Washington in 2020.

Of the 10 impeachments so far, four have retired; one, Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina, lost his primary; and one, Rep. David Valadao of California, survived his primary. After Tuesday, only one more awaits a primary: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, whose tough fight will be decided Aug. 16.

Kansas voters will be the first since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade to decide for themselves whether to protect reproductive rights or leave the issue of abortion to state legislators.

Tuesday’s ballot will include an amendment to the state constitution that would remove an existing guarantee of reproductive rights and allow the Legislature to pass laws restricting abortion.

Returns to Kansas will be watched closely, not only by abortion-rights supporters and Democrats for signs of the issue’s power in the midterm elections, but also by Republican lawmakers in states around the world. Kansas and beyond, who felt empowered by the Supreme Court’s decision. but don’t know how far they should go to ban abortion in their states.

The power of the incumbent is proven time and time again, but with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, President Biden’s approval ratings well below 40% and the redistricting of Congress taking its toll, holding elective office is not a guarantee to keep it.

In Kansas, Laura Kelly, a Democratic governor in a dark red state, has an approval rating of 56%, 23 percentage points higher than Mr. Biden, but her relative success may not allow her to save the race against his expected Republican challenger, the lawyer. General Derek Schmidt.

In suburban Kansas City, Kansas, Rep. Sharice Davids — a gay mixed martial arts veteran and one of the first two Native American women in the House — was hailed as a trailblazer after her victory in 2018. But the redistricting redesigned his seat from a slight Democratic lean to a slight Republican edge.

If Amanda Adkins, a businesswoman and former congressional aide, wins the Republican primary on Tuesday, November’s race will be a rematch of their 2020 contest, which Ms. Davids won easily. But this time, the circumstances will be more difficult for the holder.

If the political environment deteriorates further for Democrats, another incumbent in a Tuesday primary, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, could appear on both parties’ radar screens.

In the nonpartisan Washington primary, Ms Murray is expected to cruise, as is party establishment-backed Republican Tiffany Smiley. A nurse and motivational speaker, Ms. Smiley will draw on a biography that includes her husband’s blinding by a suicide bomber in Iraq, a tragedy that led her to the cause of veterans. But her main point is that 30 years after Ms Murray won her first Senate seat as a ‘tennis shoe mom’, it’s time for ‘a new mom in town’.

nytimes

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