On the same day a former aide to President Donald Trump’s chief of staff testified on Capitol Hill about how Trump wanted to join his supporters’ thongs on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Colorado Republicans could appoint a Holocaust denier 2020 elections to be their next Secretary of State.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who pleaded not guilty after being charged earlier this year with 10 counts related to allegations of tampering with voting machines, is seeking a confrontation with Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold in November.
The GOP primary in Colorado took on added significance with Tuesday’s stunning revelations in Washington. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the House Select Committee that the then-president was aware that many members of the crowd before the Capitol riot were heavily armed and then, after his speech that morning, rushed off. driving his limo after being told by the Secret Service that they would not be taking him to the Hill.
Peters’ victory in Colorado would add to the roster of Holocaust deniers who have already been nominated by Republicans to seek influential positions, both for state office and in Congress, this midterm season.
One of three GOP Congressional runoff elections pits challenger Michael Cassidy against Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest, who was attacked by his party in a vote to create an independent commission to investigate deadly violence of the Capitol.
In Oklahoma, evangelical pastor Jackson Lahmeyer criticized Republican Senator James Lankford for refusing to endorse Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. Colorado’s Republican Senate primary also includes a candidate, Rep. State Ron Hanks, who showed up at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and, despite saying he did not enter the building, continued to spread false claims and debunk theories of voter fraud.
The shadow of the Supreme Court’s decision last week overturning Roe v. Wade is also hovering over Tuesday’s election. Hanks’ opponent in the Colorado Senate primary, businessman Joe O’Dea, supports abortion rights under most circumstances. Hanks argued for a total ban on the proceedings. The winner of this race will face Democratic Senator Michael Bennet this fall.
Democrats across the country will also be watching turnout closely on Tuesday as they assess whether the decision has motivated a base that has been demoralized by the party’s performance during President Joe Biden’s tenure.
The Republican primaries have also drawn some backlash from Democratic groups, which have sought to elevate GOP candidates they believe will be less viable in the general election. In the Colorado Senate race, Democrats tried to boost Hanks, for example. In the gubernatorial race, they hope Greg Lopez, a former mayor of Parker, southeast of Denver, will claim the nomination over University of Colorado board member Heidi Ganahl. The winner will face Democratic Governor Jared Polis.
It’s a similar story in Illinois, where former Aurora mayor Richard Irvin, the first black candidate elected to office, is the establishment’s pick to take on Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker. But the frontrunner in the primary, now blessed with Trump’s endorsement, is State Sen. Darren Bailey – another candidate Democrats expect to be less competitive against the broader electorate in November.
Illinois is home to the largest and most competitive slate of congressional primaries.
Two of them are between incumbents who were dragged into the same seat during the state redistribution process. For Democrats, that means deciding whether to send Rep. Marie Newman or Rep. Sean Casten back to Washington, this time from the new 6th District. Newman has been criticized for the potentially damning conclusions of an ethics investigation. (She denied the allegations against her.) But the race is expected to be tight, largely because Casten’s current voters have mostly been drawn to a different district.
On the Republican side, Southern Illinois’ new 15th District is the site of another incumbent clash – Representatives Rodney Davis and Mary Miller. Davis is considered the more moderate pick of the two. Miller, a college freshman, is a flamethrower Trumpist who, in a speech alongside the former president over the weekend, called the Supreme Court’s Roe decision a ‘victory for white lives’ . (A spokesperson claimed she misspoke and meant “right to life.”)
Three other Democratic primaries, including two for open seats and another involving a longtime incumbent, are also vying for the headlines. In Chicago’s 7th congressional district, gun violence prevention activist Kina Collins, 31, is seeking to unseat Representative Danny Davis, 80. Collins, who lost badly in a challenge to Davis in 2020, has the support of progressive groups led by Justice Democrats — and the fundraising power that comes with it — this time around.
Progressives also hope to gain influence in the Democratic House caucus by winning the open seat in Illinois’ 3rd District, which includes areas previously represented by Representatives Chuy García, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Casten.
State Rep. Delia Ramirez has won the endorsement of some of the left’s top leaders, including García, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Campaign arms of the Working Families Party, Congressional Progressive Caucus, EMILY’s List and Indivisible have all spent significant sums supporting Ramirez.
His main rival in the four-way race is Chicago alderman Gil Villegas, who has been boosted by moderate-support outside groups, the Democratic Majority for Israel and mainstream PAC Democrats.
Chicago’s 8th District is offering another open-seat contest, where Jonathan Jackson, son of civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, is one of more than a dozen candidates vying to succeed incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush . Jackson is generally seen as the main contender and, like Ramirez, enjoys the support of García, Sanders and CPC – but faces strong competition from State Senator Jacqui Collins, who also enjoys progressive support, and the the race’s main moderate, Alderman Pat Dowell.
It’s also the first day in New York – the first of two, this one for the statewide contests, after a lengthy redistricting process pushed the congressional races to an end. august.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, a notable but unsurprising resolution after more than a year of nationwide speculation that he might attract a challenger from the left.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul will face voters for the first time at the top of the state rankings. She took over the job last year after Andrew Cuomo resigned. Hochul was flanked, left, by New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and, right, New York Rep. Tom Suozzi, but he is widely expected to win without too much drama.
At the end of the ballot, the result is less certain.
Hochul’s lieutenant governor, former Rep. Antonio Delgado, took office just over a month ago following the resignation of his first choice, Brian Benjamin, who resigned after being indicted federal corruption. (He has pleaded not guilty.) But in what has generally been a sleepy campaign with low turnout expected by all parties, Delgado is seen as vulnerable to a challenge from Ana María Archila, a longtime progressive organizer. recruited to run earlier this year by the Working Families Party after stepping down as co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy. Archila, though significantly outmatched by Delgado, has campaigned more actively and has deep ties between her base in New York and more progressive enclaves around the state after years of advocacy work.
The Republican gubernatorial primary also proved difficult to predict. New York Rep. Lee Zeldin has the lion’s share of support for the state’s GOP establishment, but has been locked in a tense and harrowing campaign featuring former Trump White House aide Andrew Giuliani , son of Trump ally and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani; businessman Harry Wilson; and former Westchester County manager Rob Astorino.
Republicans have three nominations to be determined in Mississippi after candidates in each race failed to secure a majority in their June 8 primaries.
In the 2nd District, Brian Flowers and Ronald Eller are vying for a chance to face Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee.
Rep. Steven Palazzo, facing a slew of ethical issues, including alleged misuse of campaign and congressional funds (he has denied any wrongdoing), and criticism over his use of proxy voting, ended atop a field of seven candidates earlier this month, but with only about 31% of the vote. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell came in second, hosting their run-off contest.
Guest, his 3rd District colleague, will have to catch Cassidy after finishing second in the first round of voting.