Posted by on June 21, 2022 3:34 pm
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Campaign Report — States turn attention to runoffs

A person waits in line to vote in the Georgia’s primary election on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta.

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, tracking all things related to the 2022 midterm elections. You can expect this newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to November’s election. 

 
Email us tips and feedback: Max Greenwood (mgreenwood@thehill.com), Julia Manchester (jmanchester@thehill.com), and Caroline Vakil (cvakil@thehill.com).  

Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, DC on the docket

Key runoffs in Alabama and Georgia, two crowded GOP primaries to take on vulnerable Virginia Democrats and a contested Washington, D.C., Democratic mayoral primary are all on the docket tonight. 

Perhaps the most closely-watched race will be Alabama’s Republican Senate primary runoff between Rep. Mo Brooks and a former aide to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Katie Britt

Brooks, a fiery backer of former President Trump, initially received Trump’s endorsement only to lose before the primary after suggesting people move on from the 2020 election. No candidate was able to secure half the vote in the primary, sending the top two to a runoff. Trump later weighed in and supported Britt.  

An Emerson College-The Hill poll released last week showed Britt 16 percentage points ahead of Brooks among very likely runoff voters. 

Meanwhile, in Georgia we’re keeping an eye on the state’s 6th Congressional District Republican primary runoff between Trump-backed attorney Jake Evans and emergency room doctor Rich McCormick. There’s also a runoff in the 10th Congressional District between trucking company owner Mike Collins, supported by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), and Trump-endorsed former state Rep. Vernon Jones.  

Both states are also holding primary runoffs for the role of the top elections official, a position that’s taken on new importance since 2020.  

Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen and former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler will go head-to-head today to earn the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R). 

The runoff comes on the same day as Raffensperger testifies at a public hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. In its fourth public hearing the panel is seeking to demonstrate the pressure campaign by Trump and his allies on state officials to overturn the last presidential election results. 

The Alabama Republican secretary of state primary between state Rep. Wes Allen and Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler is also one to watch. Zeigler is member of a group of secretary of state candidates who have questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is seeking to defend her seat in hopes of a third term. The city’s bright blue hue means the winner of today’s primary will almost certainly be the city’s next mayor. 

The Hill’s Cheyanne M. Daniels has a good writeup on Bowser and how her confrontations with Trump are giving her boost this cycle.  

And in Virginia, keep an eye on the Republican primaries to face Reps. Elane Luria and Abigail Spanberger in the 2nd and 7th congressional districts, respectively.

The two are considered among the most vulnerable House Democrats this November. 

The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Aaron Kalischer-Coggins went down to Virginia’s 7th District earlier this month for the first part of a video series on the race and chatted with the candidates vying to take on Spanberger in the fall.  

Check out the first part of the series here.  

TEXAS GOP’S PROPOSED PLATFORM SIGNALS RIGHTWARD SHIFT 

The Texas Republican Party’s proposed party platform is making headlines after the party adopted a resolution that rejected President Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.  

On top of that, the convention’s attendees voted on a platform that criticized homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”  

They also booed Sen. John Cornyn, who has represented the state in the upper chamber since 2003, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw. 

The news out of the convention has sparked outrage among Democrats and grumblings from national Republicans, who want to keep the focus on hot-button issues such as the economy. 

“Nationally, we know that anything that distracts from Biden’s continually dropping approval and rising inflation helps Democrats, who want to talk about anything other than these,” national Republican strategist Doug Heye told The Hill.  

“Looking backward doesn’t help tell voters what you want to do now and in the future,” he added. 

Read more from The Hill’s Julia Manchester.  

AD WATCH 

Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens sparked widespread outrage on Monday when his campaign released a new video urging his supporters to go “RINO hunting.” 

Greitens is seen holding a long shotgun for the duration of the video and is surrounded by men in U.S. armed forces camouflage uniforms. He also urged his supporters to join the “MAGA crew” and to get a “RINO hunting permit” after he rushed into an empty house while his crew tossed in a flash grenade. 

Republicans and Democrats have condemned the ad, arguing that it is inciting violence.  

Facebook removed the video, saying it violated “our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.”  

Twitter did not remove the video, but added a notice on the tweet that said: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about abusive behavior. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.” 

A spokesperson for Greiten’s campaign said, “If anyone doesn’t get the metaphor, they are either lying or dumb.” 

Meanwhile, in Michigan, the state’s Democratic Party has released a two-minute-long ad as part of its pitch to become the first primary state on Tuesday. 

The ad, which is a part of a multi-faceted paid digital effort, is narrated by former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas.  

“Michigan is America and the best place to pick a president,” Thomas says in the ad.  

The ad comes as Michigan kicks off its effort to become the first presidential primary state. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced 17 finalists to be among the first four or five, including Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and all four current early primary states. 

IN THEIR OPINION

Poll after poll shows the GOP is out of step with public opinionThe primaries show momentum is with Republicans

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Campaign page for the latest news and coverage. See you Thursday.

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