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NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! As five states from the Midwest to the West coast have primaries on Tuesday, the former president Trump’s enormous influence over the Republican Party is once again on the line.
High profile gubernatorial, Senate, and House nomination contests are on the ballot in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington.
Additionally, a member of the so-called “Squad” of diverse, progressive House Democrats is facing a primary challenge, and three House Republicans who supported the then-impeachment president’s over the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 are fighting for their political lives against Trump-backed opponents.
In the first vote at the polls following the landmark Roe v. Wade decision’s overthrow by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court in June, Kansas voters will express their opinions on abortion.
At a gathering in Prescott Valley, Arizona on July 22, 2022 in favor of Arizona GOP candidates, former President Trump receives applause. August 2 is the primary election day in Arizona. (Image: Mario Tama via Getty Images)
Here are the things to watch.
On the eve of the state’s primary, Trump endorsed “ERIC” on Monday in Missouri’s high-profile and contentious GOP Senate nomination campaign.
After hinting for hours that he would be endorsing a candidate, Trump chose against endorsing either Eric Schmitt, the Missouri attorney general, or Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri.
Trump, on the other hand, backed both of them.
Since bringing many cases against President Biden’s administration, Schmitt, who won two statewide elections in Missouri for treasurer and then attorney general, has garnered media attention. The most recent polls in the race had him in the lead.
Former U.S. Navy SEAL Greitens, who resigned from office in 2018 amid a number of scandals, had been the early front-runner in the primary contest, but he has been defending himself against claims of abuse against him by his ex-wife and their kid for months. Greitens rejects the accusations.
Numerous Republicans worry that Greitens’ political history could endanger what should be a very secure GOP seat in November. This summer, an anti-Greitens super PAC spent more than $6 million to run advertisements against the former governor.
In the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, the two Erics, along with Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District in the mostly rural west-central region of the state, come out on top of a field of more than 20 Missouri Republicans vying for the party’s Senate nomination.
Rep. Billy Long of Missouri’s 7th Congressional District and Mark McCloskey, a St. Louis attorney who made national headlines in the summer of 2020 for barricading their home with weapons to stave off Black Lives Matter demonstrators, are two additional Republicans running for office.
The victor of the GOP primary on Tuesday will likely compete in November against either Lucas Kunce, a former U.S. Marine who is mounting an aggressive populist campaign and received Sen. Bernie Sanders’ support on Monday, or Trudy Busch Valentine, a philanthropist and heiress of the brewing dynasty. In a crowded field of 11 Democratic competitors, the two candidates are the current polling front-runners.
Missouri used to be a competitive state, but in recent years it has tended to lean Republican. The GOP Senate primary winner will be seen as the front-runner in November’s general election.
In the GOP contest to succeed Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, whose term is limited, Trump and Pence are at odds.
The former president is endorsing former TV news presenter Kari Lake, who vigorously supports Trump’s frequent and unsubstantiated allegations that his loss to President Biden in the 2020 election was the result of widespread voter fraud.
At a rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona on July 22, 2022 in support of Arizona GOP candidates, former President Trump hugs Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. (Image: Mario Tama via Getty Images)
Karrin Taylor Robson, a real estate entrepreneur and member of the Arizona Board of Regents, received the support of Pence and Ducey. A week and a half ago, Trump and Pence were both in Arizona on the same day, starring in opposing political rallies.
The two front-runners for the GOP nomination, Lake and Taylor Robson, will likely face off against Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the general election against the two major parties. Arizona was once considered a red state but has since turned into one of the most competitive states.
At his event, Trump showed his support for venture capitalist Blake Masters in the state’s GOP Senate race. Prescott Valley, Arizona is about 90 miles north of Phoenix. His former boss, tech tycoon Peter Thiel, has also endorsed and contributed significantly to Masters’ bid. Businessman Jim Lamon, who has invested millions of his own funds in the race, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mick McGuire, who until last year held the position of adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard, are among the other leading competitors.
The winner of the primary will compete against Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in the general election. The GOP considers Kelly to be one of the Democratic Senate incumbents who is fighting for reelection this year who is most vulnerable.
Tudor Dixon, a conservative pundit and former internet news caster who is running for governor of Michigan, received Trump’s endorsement on Friday after new polls showed her expanding lead in the race for the Republican nomination. Dixon headlined a primary-eve tele-rally.
On Friday, February 25, 2022, Republican candidate for governor of Michigan Tudor Dixon delivers a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, in the United States. (Bloomberg/Tristan Wheelock)
Businessman Kevin Rinke, a former owner of the Rinke Automotive Group, one of the country’s oldest car dealership groups, chiropractor Garrett Soldano, who assisted in leading a ballot initiative to repeal the law Whitmer used to issue COVID-19 restrictions, real estate broker Ryan Kelley, who was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and retired pastor Ralston Smith are a few of the other leading contenders in the race to unseat Democratic Gov. Gret
Early in June, the GOP primary field was reduced as a result of numerous candidates losing their places on the ballot due to purportedly forged signatures, including former Detroit police chief James Craig. Dixon profited from the field’s reduction as well as a significant amount of backing from the affluent DeVos family of Michigan, which includes former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The Democratic Governors Association is interfering, as it did earlier this year in GOP gubernatorial primaries in Maryland, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Put Michigan First, a DGA-affiliated Democratic organization that backs Whitmer, spent a lot of money on ads attacking her over police budget and saying her proposals would make the state “less safe” with “few cops on the street.”
The DGA is not the only pro-Democratic organization that has entered the Michigan GOP primary.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ reelection arm, spent six figures to support John Gibbs, the Trump-backed opponent who was running against GOP Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, one of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Trump.
Trump has targeted Meijer over his vote to impeach, an Iraq War veteran who was elected to Congress in 2020. The former president supported Gibbs, a former software engineer who worked as an acting assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Trump administration. Gibbs also backs Trump’s repeated, unsubstantiated allegations that “major voter fraud” caused the 2020 presidential election to be “rigged.”
Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, who is currently a Republican, is shown in
speaking at a rally on October 14, 2020 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File))
Meijer represents Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which is located on the western tip of the state’s lower peninsula and is considered to be a competitive seat going into the midterm elections in November by the DCCC. According to the most recent Fox News Power Rankings, the district leans Republican. In order to maintain their slim majority in the House after the midterm elections, House Democrats believe Meijer would fare better in the general election than Gibbs.
State of Washington
Meijer is not the only Republican House candidate running on Tuesday who supported Trump’s impeachment.
Reps. Jamie Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington State are up against a number of primary opponents, including those sponsored by Trump.
Last year, the former president supported Joe Kent, a veteran of the Army Special Forces, when he ran against Buetler in Washington’s third Congressional District, which is located in the state’s southwest. He supported Loren Culp, a former police chief, to unseat Newhouse in the 4th Congressional District, which encompasses a sizable portion of the state’s center.
The top two vote-getters in Washington’s “jungle primary,” which is open to candidates of all parties, advance to the general election.
Running for re-election this year are six of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for the violent assault on the Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters seeking to obstruct congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Rep. David Valadao of California was one of them, but Trump did not criticize him. As one of the top two finishers in California’s nonpartisan primary, Valadao in June gained a berth in the general election. Another Representative Tom Rice of South Carolina was defeated in his bid for re-election in the GOP primary in June by a rival who had received significant backing from Trump.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the most well-known member of the House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, will face a number of primary opponents on August 16 in Wyoming, including one who has Trump’s support.
As they consider a state constitutional amendment on abortion access, voters in Kansas will be the first since the landmark Supreme Court decision to express their opinions on an abortion ballot question. The referendum seeks to overturn a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court from three years prior that found that the state constitution protected abortion rights. If the proposal is approved, the state legislature would have more power to limit who has access to abortions.
Kansas is attracting national attention as a bellwether in the state level battles over legalized abortion since it is the first state to weigh in on the subject after the June high court decision.
what else did they watch
Since state representative Mark Finchem is one of the front-runners in the four-candidate field, Arizona’s GOP primary for secretary of state is receiving attention from throughout the country. The former president’s backer Finchem is a fervent advocate of Trump’s unproven allegations of 2020 election fraud. If Finchem wins the Republican nomination and the general election in November, he will take over as chief election officer in a state where Biden edged out Trump by a slim margin two years ago and which is anticipated to be a crucial battleground in the 2024 presidential race.
Reps. Andy Levin and Haley Stevens are running against each other in the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, which is located in the northwest suburbs of Detroit. Numerous outside donors have put millions of dollars into the contest, and Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, two progressive leaders, have favored Levin.
One of the newest members of the “Squad,” Democratic Rep. Cori Bush, is up for re-election in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, which is heavily centered on St. Louis. State Senator Steve Roberts, the front-runner, has consistently blasted Bush over her plans to cut police funding.
Politics writer Paul Steinhauser works out of New Hampshire.