Midterm Updates | Raffensperger Beats Trump-Endorsed Hice

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ATLANTA — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who was a top target of former President Donald Trump, has won the Republican primary as he seeks reelection.

Raffensperger beat three challengers, including Trump-endorsed U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who had criticized his handling of the 2020 election.

Raffensperger was among Trump’s chief targets when the former president turned his wrath on top Georgia officials for not taking steps to overturn his narrow election loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the state. Trump insisted without proof that victory had been stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.

Hice embraced false claims about the 2020 election being stolen and objected to Georgia’s electoral votes being counted for Biden.

The other two candidates in the Republican primary were former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and former probate and magistrate judge T.J. Hudson.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

ATLANTA — Businessman Mike Collins and Vernon Jones, a former Democrat endorsed by Donald Trump, will compete in a runoff election to decide the Republican nominee for an open congressional seat in Georgia.

Collins and Jones were the top finishers out of eight Republican primary candidates running in the 10th District east of Atlanta. Both contenders fell short of winning a majority of the vote, forcing a runoff June 21.

Collins owns a trucking company and is the son of former U.S. Rep. Mac Collins, who died in 2018.

As a Democrat, Jones served in the Georgia legislature and as the elected CEO of Atlanta’s DeKalb County before switching parties last year and becoming an outspoken Trump supporter. Jones dropped out of the governor’s race to campaign for Congress at Trump’s behest. The former president had already endorsed a challenger to GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.

The GOP winner will run in November against the victor of a five-candidate Democratic primary.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — County official Dale Strong and former Huntsville school Superintendent Casey Wardynski have advanced to a runoff in the Republican primary for the congressional seat given up by U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama.

Both ran on issues that are reliably popular among Alabama Republicans: support for gun rights, opposition to abortion and support for former President Donald Trump and his policies.

Brooks gave up the position to run for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. The winner of the June 21 runoff will face the Democratic nominee in the reliably Republican district in November.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Kathy Warner-Stanton has won the Democratic nomination in north Alabama’s heavily Republican 5th Congressional District.

Warner-Stanton, who worked as a computer specialist for the federal government before moving to the private sector, defeated Charlie Strong. Warner-Stanton will meet the GOP nominee in the fall race to succeed U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who gave up the seat to run for Senate.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has turned back eight primary challengers to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination without a runoff in a race that pushed her far to the right.

Ivey, 77, is seeking her second full term and will meet whoever emerges from a Democratic primary of six poorly financed candidates in November.

Facing a challenge from candidates who portrayed themselves as more conservative, Ivey repeated former President Donald Trump’s false claims about election theft and pulled a pistol out of her purse in a TV commercial.

Ivey was catapulted to the state’s top office when Robert Bentley resigned in 2017. She easily won her full term in 2018.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate is going to a June runoff between Katie Britt and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks after neither candidate captured a majority of the vote.

The winner of the runoff will face the Democratic nominee in November to determine who will represent the reliably Republican district as the successor to retiring GOP Sen. Richard Shelby.

Britt is Shelby’s former chief of staff and the former leader of the Business Council of Alabama. Brooks is a six-term congressman from north Alabama. Former President Donald Trump initially endorsed Brooks in the race but withdrew that endorsement in March.

The two edged out Mike Durant, a businessman best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and captured in the events chronicled in “Black Hawk Down.”

Shelby, one of the Senate’s most senior members, announced last year that he would not seek reelection in 2022, igniting a messy GOP primary at a time when the national Republican Party is trying to chart a direction after Trump’s departure.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger has won a Democratic primary to finish the term of a Minnesota congressman who died in office.

Ettinger, a political newcomer who had far outraised several rivals, easily prevailed Tuesday in a field that included Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who was an ethics lawyer during President George W. Bush’s administration.

He’ll face the winner of the Republican primary in a special general election Aug. 9 to complete the term of Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February. The southern Minnesota district is mostly rural and agricultural, with the exception of the cities of Rochester and Mankato, and leans Republican.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who won the Republican primary for Arkansas governor, called the fatal shooting of 18 children at a Texas elementary school a “stark and humbling reminder of just how precious life is.”

Sanders, who has opposed gun control efforts, mentioned the shooting during her victory speech Tuesday night in Little Rock after winning the primary. Sanders is heavily favored in the general election in solidly red Arkansas.

“Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us are the ones we should be fighting for and protecting the most,” Sanders said. “I can assure you that in my administration, that’s exactly what we will do. We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they’re as safe as they are in the classroom, the workplace, the nursing home, because every stage of life has value.”


ATLANTA — Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock have opened their contest for Senate in Georgia with sharp attacks.

During a speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, Walker accused Warnock of being a rubber stamp for President Joe Biden who was responsible for inflation, crime and other problems in the country.

In a statement, Warnock Campaign Manager Quentin Fulks said Walker has a “pattern of lies, exaggerations and outright bizarre claims” that show he is not ready to serve Georgia in the Senate.

Warnock and Walker won their respective primaries handily on Tuesday, setting up what is expected to be a fierce general election contest that could decide which party controls the Senate.


ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp celebrated his primary victory without mentioning former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in the governor’s race.

“Conservatives across our state didn’t listen to the noise. They didn’t get distracted. They knew our record of fighting and winning for hard working Georgians,” Kemp told supporters at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.

He thanked Perdue for a nice phone call earlier in the evening and for his support. He then turned his attention to his upcoming rematch with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

He attacked Abrams’ “woke” agenda and said she’s not interested in Georgia and just wants to use the state as a steppingstone to the White House.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Sen. John Boozman has won the Republican primary in Arkansas, fending off efforts by challengers on the right after relying heavily on his endorsement from Donald Trump and the state’s top GOP figures.

Boozman defeated three rivals in Tuesday’s Republican primary. Three Democrats were seeking the party’s nomination for Boozman’s seat in Tuesday’s primary.

The soft-spoken two-term senator had Trump’s backing, which featured prominently in every ad and mailer, and had adopted a more combative style during his reelection bid. Boozman is in the line to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee if Republicans win control of the Senate and he had the backing of groups like the National Rifle Association.

But his challengers had tried to portray the incumbent lawmaker as not conservative enough. They included former NFL player Jake Bequette, who had the support of a super PAC that spent more than $1.5 million on ads supporting his bid and attacking Boozman.

Conservative activist Jan Morgan and pastor Heath Loftis also sought the nomination.


ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath has defeated fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in a Georgia primary race between two incumbents who became rising stars after flipping districts long held by Republicans.

McBath elected to run for Bourdeaux’s seat rather than stand for reelection in the neighboring 6th District, which she had represented for two terms. McBath left her former district after the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew it to be more conservative.

Bourdeaux, who was seeking a second term, said she was shocked by the challenge from a colleague she had called a “sister.” McBath said her decision was driven by her desire to keep advocating for gun safety in memory of her teenage son, who was fatally shot in 2012.

In the November election, McBath will face the winner of Republican primary between five candidates.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones has won the Democratic nomination for governor in Arkansas as he mounts an uphill bid for the extremely red state’s top office.

Jones defeated four rivals in Tuesday’s primary, winning the majority needed to claim the nomination without a runoff. He’ll face Republican Sarah Sanders and Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington in the November election.

Jones is among dozens of Black Democrats running for office in areas that former President Donald Trump won. Arkansas has never elected an African American to statewide or federal office before.

He launched his campaign last year with an online video last year that quickly went viral. In the video, Jones talked about his faith, love of science and his family’s history in the state.


ATLANTA — Former Sen. David Perdue said he called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to congratulate him on his victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Perdue had been recruited by Donald Trump to challenge Kemp, who had attracted the former president’s wrath for rejecting his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. But Perdue never gained much traction in the race and was easily beaten by the incumbent Tuesday.

Perdue said he would work to ensure Kemp beats Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in the November election, a rematch of their contest four years ago.

“Everything I said about Brian Kemp was true, but here’s the other thing I said was true: He’s a much better choice than Stacey Abrams. We are going to get behind our governor,” Perdue said.

“We are going to do everything we can to make damn sure Stacey Abrams doesn’t take over this state and let the woke mob take over our beloved children and grandchildren,” he said.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has won the Republican nomination for governor in Arkansas after a campaign where she focused primarily on national issues and criticizing President Joe Biden.

Sanders defeated former talk radio host and podcaster Doc Washburn, who mounted a longshot bid for the GOP nomination in Tuesday’s primary. Five Democrats were also seeking their party’s nomination for governor in Tuesday’s primary.

She’s running to succeed outgoing Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection and is considering a run for president in 2024.

Trump had publicly encouraged Sanders to run for governor when she announced in 2019 she was leaving the White House to return to her home state.


AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is again the GOP nominee for his job in a primary runoff victory over Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Bush is the only member of his famous family still in office, but the loss means he will now exit in January. That will leave the Bush dynasty out of elected office for only one of the few times in the last 40 years.

The coming end of the Bush era — at least for now — came at the hands of a two-term incumbent still dogged by a 2015 felony indictment and a separate FBI investigation into accusation of corruption. But importantly in Texas, Paxton had the backing of Donald Trump — the former president who has mocked and antagonized the Bush family on his way to taking their mantle as the GOP’s standard-bearer.

Paxton, who has denied wrongdoing, is now within reach of a third term in Texas, where a Democrat hasn’t won statewide office in nearly 30 years.


ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene defeated five fellow Republicans in a Georgia primary that tested conservative voters’ tolerance of the first-term congresswoman’s divisive politics.

Jennifer Strahan and other Republican challengers sought unsuccessfully to convince voters that Greene’s combative rhetoric and willingness to embrace baseless conspiracy theories did little to benefit her constituents.

Greene raised more than $9 million to defend her seat and spent more than $6.6 million in the primary fending off attacks from within her own party. She remained on the ballot after voters mounted a failed effort to disqualify her by claiming she encouraged the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and riots that disrupted Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.


ATLANTA — Georgia’s Republican attorney general has defeated a GOP primary challenger who entered the race with the backing of former President Donald Trump.

Unofficial election returns show Attorney General Chris Carr winning the Republican nomination over John Gordon, who largely campaigned on Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread election fraud.

Gordon said he wanted an investigation into the 2020 election and blamed Carr for not doing enough. Carr said flatly that Trump and Georgia’s two Republican senators lost that election and there was no need to investigate.

Appointed to the attorney general’s office by the governor in 2016, Carr is seeking his second full term. He counts his top achievements as prosecuting human trafficking, securing a $636 million opioid settlement, and defending the 2021 Georgia voting law.

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has defeated his Donald Trump-backed challenger David Perdue after a furious push by the former president to punish Kemp for not overturning the 2020 election results.

Kemp’s victory on Tuesday sets up another general election race against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who was unopposed in her primary. The November rematch of their 2018 contest is likely to be one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched.

Perdue was courted by Trump to enter the race as retribution for Kemp not going along with the former president’s effort to overturn his defeat in Georgia’s 2020 election. Perdue embraced Trump’s election lies, opening two debates between the candidates with the claim that the 2020 balloting was “rigged and stolen.” Election officials found no evidence of fraud after multiple reviews.

Kemp survived the challenge by using the power of his incumbency to push a raft of legislation through Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature. He signed measures that cut taxes, allowed people to carry concealed handguns without permits and helped ban transgender girls from high school sports.

The governor also tapped bountiful state coffers to give pay raises for public employees and announced two large electric vehicle factories.


ATLANTA — Football great Herschel Walker, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won Georgia’s GOP Senate primary.

Walker defeated five fellow Republicans, including Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and former Trump administration official and Navy veteran Latham Saddler.

Trump, a close friend of Walker’s, backed his run despite questions about Walker’s business dealings and history of violence against women. Walker has been open about his long struggle with mental illness and acknowledged violent urges.

He won the primary despite skipping debates with his Republican opponents and making some gaffes.


ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock won Georgia’s Democratic primary as he seeks to hold on to his Senate seat in the upcoming midterm elections.

Warnock defeated beauty industry professional Tamara Johnson-Shealey.

The junior senator and pastor is seeking a full, six-year term in the Senate after winning a special election in 2021 for the final two years of former Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term. Republicans believe Warnock is vulnerable and are targeting his seat in their efforts to regain a Senate majority.

Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. On Capitol Hill, he has attacked Republicans’ push for tighter voting rules as “Jim Crow in new clothes.”

In Georgia, he has stressed his work in bringing home funding for health care, national security research and other projects. He has also highlighted his efforts to try to cap the cost of insulin and temporarily suspend the federal gas tax.

ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams has won the Democratic nomination for Georgia governor after narrowly losing the 2018 race to current Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

Abrams became a star in the Democratic Party after her first gubernatorial election and ran unopposed in this year’s primary. She has become a leading advocate for voting rights and is credited with laying the organizational groundwork for Joe Biden to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia in 28 years.

Abrams is likely to face either Kemp or former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in a November contest that is gearing up to be one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched.

The centerpiece of Abrams’ platform is a call to expand Medicaid to all adults. But she is also highlighting her support for abortion rights and opposition to state laws abolishing the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.

Abrams has showed the ability to raise millions, but Republicans have raised the specter of her becoming governor to try to unify a party fractured by former President Donald Trump’s attempts to unseat Kemp.


ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, says she expects the personal attacks to continue as she moves toward the general election in November.

Abrams was asked at a news conference Tuesday in Atlanta about a comment the day before from Republican rival David Perdue, who said Abrams had been “demeaning her own race” with remarks she had made. She turned the conversation back to Perdue’s opponent, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who is leading in polls and fundraising.

On the eve of Tuesday’s primary, Perdue took a shot at Abrams’ remarks Saturday at a Democratic dinner. She had said, “I am tired of hearing about being the the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live,” and went on to explain that when Georgia has dismal rankings for mental health access and maternal mortality, “then you’re not the No. 1 place to live.”

“She is demeaning her own race when it comes to that,” Perdue said Monday in an interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks and former Trump adviser Peter Navarro.

Abrams said she expects Republicans to continue to attack her personally.

“I have listened to Republicans for the last six months attack me, but they’ve done nothing to attack the challenges facing Georgia,” Abrams said.


AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday’s primary runoff election in Texas will test how much weight the Bush family name still carries in America’s biggest red state in the race for attorney general.

But George P. Bush, who’s challenging embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton for the Republican nomination, says Tuesday’s vote isn’t about family dynasty.

Speaking in Austin after casting his ballot, Bush says the election is “about doing the right thing and supporting the right people for the right offices.”

Paxton is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation over accusations of corruption, and he’s still awaiting trial on securities fraud charges after being indicted in 2015.

Bush forced a runoff against Paxton during a crowded four-way primary election in March. But he still trailed Paxton by 20 points in the March election, underscoring Paxton’s continued political durability in Texas.

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