7 races to watch Tuesday, from Alabama to Georgia and beyond
Three states are holding primary runoff elections on Tuesday, while voters in Washington, D.C., and Virginia will hold nominating contests that could have implications for well-known Democratic incumbents.
In Alabama, one of the states with a closely watched runoff election, Rep. Mo Brooks and former Senate aide Katie Britt will face off for the GOP Senate nomination, while voters in Georgia are set to deliver verdicts on a pair of House candidates endorsed by former President Trump.
So, there’s plenty to keep an eye on. Here are seven races to watch on Tuesday.
Alabama’s Republican Senate runoff
Brooks and Britt, a former aide to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), are set to face off on Tuesday in a head-to-head match-up that will decide the state’s GOP Senate nominee — and likely Shelby’s successor.
Brooks appeared to be the front-runner for the nomination after Trump endorsed him last year. But the Alabama congressman struggled for months to gain traction with voters, and Trump ultimately withdrew his support in March.
Brooks staged a late comeback in the race, beating out retired Army pilot Mike Durant for the second-place spot. Britt finished 15 points ahead of Brooks, but still fell short of the majority support she needed to clinch the nomination outright.
Trump ultimately endorsed Britt in the primary runoff, making her the favorite to win the GOP Senate nod.
Georgia’s Democratic secretary of state runoff
Georgia voters will choose between state Rep. Bee Nguyen and former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler on Tuesday in the runoff to decide who will take on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in November.
Nguyen finished nearly 26 points ahead of Dawkins-Haigler in the May 24 primary, but didn’t quite win enough of the vote to secure the nomination. She has the endorsement of Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Georgia, giving her a leg up over Dawkins-Haigler.
Raffensperger won renomination last month, overcoming a Trump-backed primary challenge from Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.). That nominating contest proved divisive, though, and if Republican voters don’t coalesce behind Raffensperger in November, it could give Democrats a potential path to victory.
Georgia’s 6th Congressional District Republican runoff
The primary runoff in Georgia’s 6th District, in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, will pit emergency room doctor Rich McCormick against attorney Jake Evans in a race that could test the strength of Trump’s endorsing power.
Evans has Trump’s endorsement in the race, but that hasn’t stopped McCormick from attacking him as insufficiently conservative. In fact, the two candidates have gone back and forth for weeks over their conservative credentials.
McCormick finished 20 points ahead of Evans in the June 24 primary, when the ballot was significantly more crowded. With just two candidates running on Tuesday, Evans has more than enough room to make up that deficit.
Georgia’s 10th Congressional District Republican runoff
The Republican primary runoff in Georgia’s 10th District has effectively emerged as a proxy war between GOP heavyweights. Trump has endorsed former state Rep. Vernon Jones in the race, while Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) threw his support behind trucking company owner Mike Collins last week.
Jones, a former Democrat, had previously challenged Kemp for the Republican gubernatorial nomination but dropped out of that contest after Trump promised to endorse him in the race for the 10th District. He finished just 4 points behind Collins in the primary last month.
The Tuesday runoff will put Trump’s endorsement against Kemp’s after the Georgia governor easily overcame a primary challenge from Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).
Washington, D.C., Democratic mayoral primary
Mayor Muriel Bowser is facing challenges from two D.C. Council members as she seeks renomination for a third term in office.
Bowser has sought to campaign as a proven leader and steady hand in the district’s government and has touted her advocacy for D.C. statehood. But she’s also faced attacks over rising crime in the city, as well as a worsening homelessness problem.
Her two main Democratic rivals are Robert White and Trayon White, who have criticized Bowser over her handling of public safety and rising housing costs in the city that have pushed Black residents out.
If Bowser pulls off a victory on Tuesday, it will set her up to be only the second D.C. mayor to serve more than two terms.
Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District Republican primary
Four Republicans are vying for the nomination to take on Rep. Elaine Luria (D) in Virginia’s coastal 2nd District, a race that is expected to be among the most competitive in the state this November.
Each of the candidates in the GOP primary have sought to highlight their military service, though one is seen as a clear front-runner, state Sen. Jen Kiggans. Kiggans has the support of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership, as well as a significant fundraising lead over her primary opponents.
Luria, who flipped a GOP-controlled House seat in 2018, is facing an uphill reelection battle this year. Not only is she running in a tough political environment for Democrats nationally, but the decennial redistricting process shifted her district toward Republicans. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates her race as a toss-up.
Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican primary
Much like in Virginia’s 2nd District, the GOP primary in the 7th District will see six Republicans fight for the nomination to take on another vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, in November.
Spanberger, who also won her seat in 2018 after ousting former Rep. Dave Brat (R), is running in a slightly more favorable district than Luria. The redistricting process turned it from a Republican-leaning district to one that tilts ever so slightly toward Democrats.
Still, with the national political environment working against Democrats, Spanberger is still expected to face a tough fight in November.
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