What to Look for in the Alabama Senate Runoff, DC Mayor Race

Montgomery, Ala. (AP) — Two Republican candidates in Alabama’s US Senate primary runoff on Tuesday could claim that at one time they had the backing of Donald Trump in the race.

Trump first endorsed US Rep. Mo Brooks in the spring of 2021. That support lasted for about a year until Trump rescinded it as the conservative firebrand was decimated in the polls. The former president took his time to issue a second endorsement, endorsing Katie Britt in the race only after she emerged as the top vote-getter in the state’s May 24 primary.

In other races Tuesday, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser is facing voters amid growing concerns about crime. Runoff in Georgia would resolve several congressional races and close contests in a secretary of state nomination, while primaries in Virginia would set up competitive congressional contests for the fall. Arkansas has been holding the primary runoff for several legislative races.

What to watch in Tuesday’s primary:

alabama

The Senate runoff will decide the GOP nominee for the seat being vacated by 88-year-old Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who announced his retirement in February 2021 after serving six terms.

Two months later, Trump announced his support of Brooks, rewarding a six-term congressman who had objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election and a “Stop the Steel” rally ahead of the January 6 uprising in the US Capitol. I spoke.

But as the primary campaign progressed, Trump soured on Brooks, unhappy with his performance in the race and some of his comments urging the party to move beyond the former president’s fixation on his 2020 election defeat. He pulled his support last March.

Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff and former leader of a state business group, won the most votes in last month’s primary, receiving nearly 45% of the ballots compared to Brooks’ 29%. The Brit needed to earn more than 50% of the vote to win outright and avoid a runoff.

Another top candidate, Mike Durant, better known as a helicopter pilot who was taken prisoner in Somalia during the 1993 war, which was written about in the book and film “Black Hawk Down”, finished third and failed to proceed to the runoff.

Brooks is supported by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, both of whom campaigned with him. The Brit comes in Tuesday’s runoff with a fundraising benefit and a dazzling new endorsement from Trump, which came just weeks after the primary.

The former president, who has a mixed record of success in backing winning candidates in this year’s midterm elections, has offered an endorsement to help overcome the embarrassment of backing a losing candidate in a high-profile race. were waiting.

The winner of the GOP race in November will face Democrat Will Boyd, though Democrats have had limited success in the dark red state over the past 20 years.

Georgia

A Democratic contest for secretary of state headlines Tuesday’s runoff in Georgia, while Republicans will settle three congressional nominations.

State Representative B. Nguyen, backed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, is trying to defeat former state Representative Dee Dawkins-Hagler in the secretary of state race. The winner will face Republican Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger.

Riffensperger in his May 24 primary withstood a challenge from US Representative Jody Haise, which was endorsed by Trump. Trump made Riffensperger a top target for thwarting his efforts to “find” enough votes to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the state’s 2020 presidential election.

In a congressional runoff, Trump-backed candidate and former Democrat, Vernon Jones, is competing against trucking company owner Mike Collins for the Republican nomination for the 10th Congressional District seat east of Atlanta. Collins was endorsed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who also won his primary over a Trump-backed challenger.

In the Sixth District of Atlanta’s northern suburbs, emergency room physician Rich McCormick is trying to stop Trump-backed attorney Jake Evans. The race has revolved around each candidate’s allegations that the other is insufficiently conservative.

Republican winners in 6th and 10th are overwhelming favorites over their Democratic opponents in November’s election.

Republicans also have high hopes of defeating 30-year-old Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop in the Second District of southwest Georgia. The GOP is choosing between former Army officer Jeremy Hunt and real estate developer Chris West.

Virginia

In Virginia, voters will pick Republican candidates to take on Democratic US House office bearers in the country’s two most competitive districts.

In the Coastal 2 District, which includes the state’s most populous city, Virginia Beach, four military veterans are competing for the GOP nomination. With large fundraising leadership and the backing of Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC dedicated to electing House Republicans, State Sen. Jane Keegans is widely seen as the front-runner. In the general election, the winner will face Democrat Ellen Luria, a retired Navy commander and member of the January 6 committee.

In Central Virginia’s 7th District, six candidates are jockeying to take on Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer.

Washington DC

Bowser, a two-term mayor of Washington, DC, is trying to address challenges from a pair of council members as the district grapples with rising crime rates and homelessness concerns.

Bowser has had a second term that saw him repeatedly face off against Trump and a public truce between his own police department and a vocal coalition of activists led by Black Lives Matter. She is campaigning on the need for proven leadership and her history as one of the faces of the ongoing search for the state of Washington.

Her primary challengers are Robert White and Traian White, who are not related to each other. Both accused Bowser of mishandling public safety issues amid rising violent crime rates and favored developers as the rising cost of driving them out of town.

The Democratic primary essentially decides the mayoral race in Washington, D.C. in dark blue

Robert White has a history of successful rebel campaigns, including the ouster of an embattled incumbent in 2016 for a major council seat.

Traian White openly invokes the spirit of the late D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who remains a controversial but beloved figure among many Washingtonians. White was criticized in 2018 for saying the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking dynasty and often the subject of an anti-Semitic conspiracy, were controlling Washington’s weather conditions. He later said that he did not know that his remarks could be considered anti-Semitic.

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Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Atlanta, Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Ashraf Khalil in Washington and Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.

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