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Voters will choose a Republican nominee for Wisconsin governor on Tuesday. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed businessman Tim Michels, a self-described outsider who has put $12 million into his own campaign, against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who has support from former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-Gov. Scott Walker. Both candidates falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged, though Kleefisch has said decertifying the results is “not constitutional,” while Michels said “everything will be on the table.” The race to face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is another proxy war between Trump and Pence, one-time partners now pursuing different futures for the Republican Party.
The Republican matchup in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race in Tuesday's primary elections features competing candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump and his estranged vice president, Mike Pence. Democrats are picking a candidate to face two-term GOP Sen. Ron Johnson for control of the closely divided chamber. Meanwhile, voters in Vermont are picking a replacement for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, as the chamber’s longest-serving member retires. In Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar faces a primary challenger who helped defeat a voter referendum to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.
Republicans who are running to be secretary of state in Wisconsin and Minnesota in primaries Tuesday are repeating Donald Trump’s false claims about the last presidential election and they've suggested they want more authority over how elections are run, especially in Democratic-leaning counties. Wisconsin’s office of secretary of state has no role in elections, but that could change if Republicans are able to win the post this year and pass a law that would empower the office with far more responsibilities. In Minnesota, the leading GOP secretary of state candidate has called the 2020 election a “train wreck.” Connecticut and Vermont also are holding primaries for secretary of state on Tuesday.
Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint are the leading candidates in a Democratic U.S. House primary that could make either of them the first female member of the state's congressional delegation. Gray has the backing of the centrist lane of the party, with endorsements from two former governors and a campaign donation from retiring U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy. Balint has been endorsed by an all-star list of progressive leaders, including the state’s other U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders, and the founders of Vermont’s famously progressive ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s. The winner of Tuesday’s primary is expected to cruise to victory in November in deep-blue Vermont.
Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, advanced to the general election following days of vote counts in Washington state’s primary. But fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler saw her advantage against an opponent endorsed by Trump rapidly shrink to within recount territory. Both drew interparty challenges due to their vote to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Newhouse, the four-term incumbent in the 4th Congressional District in central Washington and Democrat Doug White were essentially tied, with each capturing about 25% of the vote on a crowded ballot. White also advanced to the fall ballot.
Republican state lawmakers this year have been losing in primaries at nearly twice the average rate of the past decade. An analysis of primaries held in 27 states shows that more than 7% of Republican lawmakers seeking reelection have been defeated. That's far more than the Democratic loss rate. In many cases, Republican incumbents have been losing to challengers portraying themselves as more conservative on issues such as voter fraud, transgender policies and school instruction. One of the next tests will be in Wisconsin, where Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is among several Republicans facing primary challengers.
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, who witnessed the Capitol riot days after taking office in 2021 and then cast one of the 10 Republican votes to impeach Donald Trump over the attack, has lost his reelection bid. Meijer was defeated in a primary Tuesday by Trump-endorsed John Gibbs, a businessman and missionary who served in the Trump administration. Two Republicans in Washington state who incurred Trump’s wrath by voting for impeachment also went before voters. Races involving Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse were too early to call by Wednesday morning. Trump vowed revenge against the 10 who crossed party lines on the impeachment vote, and he endorsed party challengers to them in the midterm elections.
Vote counting continues in the close race to determine the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona, with former television news anchor Kari Lake narrowly leading lawyer Karrin Taylor Robson. The race is seen as a barometer of Donald Trump’s enduring influence after establishment Republicans came out in force behind Robson. Lake is closely aligned with the former president, who could gain allies with influence over how elections are run as he considers a 2024 White House campaign. The winner will advance to the November general election to take on Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. And Trump-backed Mark Finchem won the GOP primary to be secretary of state, who oversees elections.
In one of the biggest days of this year's primary campaign season, red-state Kansas rejected a measure that would have made it easier to restrict abortion, and voters in Missouri repudiated a scandal-tarred former governor seeking a Senate seat. Meanwhile, a Republican congressman who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection lost to a Trump-backed opponent early Wednesday, while two other impeachment-supporting House Republicans awaited results in their primaries in Washington state. In Michigan, a political newcomer emerged from the state’s messy Republican gubernatorial primary, setting up a rare woman-vs.-woman general election matchup between conservative commentator Tudor Dixon and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. He will face Trudy Busch Valentine, a nurse and philanthropist who defeated Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and nine others in the Democratic primary. Republican leaders have long feared that a Greitens win would jeopardize a red state Senate seat in the November general election. Greitens resigned four years ago. His resignation followed a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped, and a risk of impeachment. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement last year that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job.