Primary Elections: Live Race Calls and Updates

Republican voters in Illinois nominated a conservative conservative gubernatorial for governor on Tuesday, ousting state senator Darren Bailey from a deadly and costly primary that saw the spending of three dueling billionaires – including the current governor Democrat, who has spent tens of millions of dollars meddling in the Republican contest.

Mr. Bailey defeated Mayor Richard C. Irvin of Aurora, the moderate black mayor of the state’s second-largest city, in a race that captured the ongoing power struggle within the Republican Party. On one side were the old-guard fiscal conservatives who bankrolled Mr Irvin. On the other side was a rising wing of the GOP that wants to take a more combative approach to politics inspired by former President Donald J. Trump.

Kenneth Griffin, a Chicago-based Republican and hedge fund founder, invested $50 million in Mr. Irvin’s campaign in a bid to find a moderate Republican who could compete with Democrats in a blue state. But his preferred candidate has come under attack not only from Mr. Bailey and other Republicans, but also from the Democratic Governors Association and Gov. JB Pritzker, a fellow billionaire and Democrat. And Mr. Bailey had his own billionaire: Richard Uihlein, a leading right-wing financier.

Credit…Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times

The Illinois race is the costliest example yet of a high-risk 2022 Democratic strategy of pumping money into the Republican primaries to help the GOP’s most extreme hopeful candidates. that the Democrats will face weaker opponents in the general election.

The interference between the parties highlighted a busy primary night that spanned more than half a dozen states and saw three House incumbents lose – two of whom were defeated by colleagues after been dragged into the same seat. It was an ideological purse of successes and defeats for both sides as election deniers suffered losses in the Republican primaries in Colorado, while a Trump-backed House candidate won a decisive victory. in a costly showdown with Republicans in Illinois.

In the evening’s contest, Democrats welcomed Mr. Bailey, the new Republican nominee for Illinois governor, in the general election by labeling the opponent they helped engineer as a “MAGA extremist”.

“Bailey is way too conservative for Illinois,” said Noam Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.

Mr Bailey called Chicago a ‘hole from hell’ in a primary debate, was once kicked out of a legislative session for refusing to wear a mask and said he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Mr. Trump endorsed it over the weekend.

Democrats also spent money shaping three Republican primaries in Colorado on Tuesday for Senate, Governor and House — and lost in all three.

Worried that an eroded national political climate could endanger an incumbent Democratic Senator, Michael Bennet, Democrats have spent a lot of money intervening in the Republican primary. They helped lift State Representative Ron Hanks, a far-right Republican who marched in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

But the effort fell through as a more moderate businessman, Joe O’Dea, won on Tuesday. His campaign celebrated by handing out fake newspapers to supporters at his victory party with the banner title “O’DEA BEAT SCHUMER.”

In his Denver victory speech, Mr O’Dea pledged to be “like a Joe Manchin Republican” and called the failed Democrat intervention “everything the American people hate in politics”.

“It’s pure cynicism and deception,” Mr O’Dea said.

Illinois and Colorado were two of seven states holding primaries or runoffs on Tuesday, the first races since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week and pushed abortion to the center of American political debate.

Credit…Desiree Rios/The New York Times

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul won the Democratic nomination for his first full term after taking over from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who resigned under pressure over sexual misconduct. In Oklahoma, voters picked two Republican runners-up to advance to the primary runoff for a rare open Senate seat. And in Mississippi, a House Republican was defeated in a runoff and another outlasted a right-wing challenger. There were also contests in Utah and South Carolina, including for the Senate.

Democrats had also tried to meddle in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Colorado, where an outside group spent money linking Greg Lopez, a former Parker mayor, to Mr Trump in a backdoor attempt to elevate him above Heidi Ganahl, a University of Colorado. regent.

But Ms Ganahl prevailed and will face Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat who became the first openly gay man elected to a governorship in 2018 and is seeking re-election.

Democrats had also spent in Colorado’s open eighth district to help another far-right candidate. The seat should be competitive in the fall.

In another closely watched race from Colorado, Tina Peters, a Mesa County clerk who has been charged with seven crimes related to allegations that she tampered with voting machines in an attempt to prove the 2020 presidential election was rigged, lost his bid for the Republican nomination to oversee elections for Secretary of State.

Ms Peters pleaded not guilty and the indictment made her something of a hero of the election denial movement encouraged by Mr Trump. But that wasn’t enough for him to defeat Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County employee.

On Tuesday, one voter, Sienna Wells, a 31-year-old software developer and registered freelancer who lives in Mesa County, voted in the Republican primary to oppose Ms Peters, calling her “delusional”.

“She says she wants free and fair elections and stuff like that, but if she goes in, she’ll be the one committing the fraud,” Ms Wells said. “It’s horrible.”

Credit…Daniel Brenner for The New York Times

In Illinois, aggressive remapping by Democrats in the decade-long redistricting process created half a dozen competitive House primaries, including two that pitted incumbents of the same party against each other. The races were the last battlegrounds for ideological factions in both parties.

In suburban Chicago, Rep. Sean Casten defeated Rep. Marie Newman after the two Democrats were dragged into the same district. Ms Newman had beaten a moderate Democratic incumbent to win her seat just two years ago. But she has since been investigated for promising an opponent a job to get him out of his run.

Mr. Casten’s victory came two weeks after he suffered a personal tragedy: the death of her 17-year-old daughter.

In a sprawling and twisted new district that surrounds Springfield, Illinois, two Republican incumbents, Representatives Rodney Davis and Mary Miller, were at odds. The competition involved over $11.5 million in outside expenses. Mr. Davis is an ally of Republican leaders and has benefited from PAC spending linked to Mr. Griffin, the Republican billionaire, and the crypto industry. Ms Miller was supported by spending from the Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group.

Credit…Rachel Mummey for The New York Times

Mrs. Miller won.

Her success was a win for Mr Trump, who endorsed her months ago in a contest that was seen as the biggest test of his personal influence on Tuesday. Ms Miller, who last year made an approving reference to Adolf Hitler at a rally in Washington, made headlines again last weekend at a rally with Mr Trump in Illinois. She hailed the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe as a “victory for white life.” An aide said she misread a prepared line on the ‘right to life’.

In Chicago, Rep. Danny K. Davis, an 80-year-old black Democratic veteran, defeated a strong primary challenge from Kina Collins, a 31-year-old gun safety activist, in one of the most solidly held seats. Democrats in the country. Ms Collins ran and lost in 2020 by a wide margin, but found more traction this year. President Biden had handed a belated endorsement to Mr. Davis.

In a neighboring seat, Jonathan Jackson, the son of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, was leading in the open and heavily Democratic First District. And in the neighboring Third District, State Rep. Delia Ramirez won a stormy primary in a win for progressives.

Credit…Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

In Mississippi, Rep. Michael Guest held off a primary challenge in the Third District from Michael Cassidy, a Navy veteran.

Mr. Guest had drawn attacks as one of three dozen Republicans who voted to authorize an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack, although such a commission was never formed. Instead, a Democratic-led House committee is investigating.

But after Mr Cassidy narrowly edged Mr Guest on the first ballot, a super PAC aligned with Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican Minority Leader, spent more than $500,000 attacking Mr Cassidy in the last two weeks before the second round.

In Mississippi’s Fourth District, Rep. Steven Palazzo was beaten Tuesday by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell. Mr Palazzo, a candidate for a seventh term, had only won 31% of the vote in the first round and was considered vulnerable after a congressional ethics investigation accused him in 2021 of mis-spent campaign funds and other transgressions.

In Oklahoma, the early resignation of Sen. James M. Inhofe, a Republican who will retire in January, created a rare vacant seat in the solidly Republican state and attracted an expansive primary field.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former Oklahoma House speaker TW Shannon advanced to the second round. Scott Pruitt, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was on course for a weak fifth place.

In Utah, Sen. Mike Lee, the Republican incumbent, defeated two main challengers. In a state that is a conservative stronghold, Democrats decided not to nominate a candidate and instead approved Evan McMullin, an independent who ran a long run for president in 2016 appealing to anti-Trump Republicans.

Ryan Billier contributed report.

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