Primary elections continued on Tuesday. In Vermont, Wisconsin and Minnesota, progressives, as incumbents and in open races, had a solid night, either sweeping the field before primary day or beating challengers.
Republicans in Wisconsin and Connecticut, the fourth state to hold primaries on Tuesday, split between establishment-backed candidates and Trump-boosted challengers to face Democratic incumbents for governor (Wisconsin) and US Senate (Connecticut). Still, just a day after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence, Trump’s influence over the party remained secure, with successful endorsements in both states, and a concession from a Republican in functions that voted to remove the then president.
Here are three winners and one loser from the day’s races.
Progressives swept to victory in their primaries in Vermont and Wisconsin; in Minnesota, Rep. Ilhan Omar, a member of the team, had a close primary, but only managed one victory. It was a surprising turn of events given the advantage usually enjoyed by the incumbents. In most cases, all the progressives who won their races did so in deep blue territory and are expected to continue to win their seats.
Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and a slate of other progressive leaders, defeated Lt. Gov. Molly Gray in the first open House race United States since 2006. Gray has drawn support from moderates, including former governors. Madeline Kunin and Howard Dean, as well as retiring Senator Patrick Leahy, and Balint played him as a “corporatist and a catastrophe for the left“. The seat is rated “solid Democrat” by the Cook Political Reportmeaning Balint will likely become the first woman and the first openly gay person to represent Vermont in Congress.
Rep. Peter Welch, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who also had Sanders’ support, left the field early in his bid to replace Leahy in the Senate after 15 years serving as Vermont’s sole member of the House. His Democratic opponents, Dr. Niki Thran and Isaac Evans-Franz, never came within striking distance. Also headed to November as a clear favorite and would be only the second Democrat elected to the United States Senate from Vermont. Leahy, the first, has served since 1975; the state’s other senator, Bernie Sanders, caucuses with the Democrats but is an independent.
In the Fifth District of Minnesota, which is also classified “solid democrat“, progressive Team member Rep. Ilhan Omar narrowly fended off a challenger from her right, Don Samuels, leading by just over 2 percentage points as of Tuesday night. He faced a similar challenge in 2020 and won a margin of almost 20 percentage points.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attends a July rally in support of abortion access at the US Capitol. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Samuels, a former member of the Minneapolis City Council, promised to be a more moderate representative and was big on public safety. He helped defeat a proposed ballot measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety after a city police officer killed George Floyd in May 2020. Omar, a proponent of the progressive movement for “defund the police”, he had supported the proposal. It’s clear that Samuels’ message resonated in the district, and his near victory will likely fuel future challenges for Omar.
Rep. Betty McCollum, who represents Minnesota’s neighboring 4th District, successfully defended her progressive record against Amane Badhasso, who came to the United States as a refugee from Ethiopia and sought to cast herself as a new generation of progressives . Also considered a safe Democratic seat.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes effectively won the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Ron Johnson before Election Day even began. The Democratic primary was initially crowded, but Barnes’ three main challengers: Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson , dropped out of the race weeks before the primary to rally behind him, hoping to do so. doing so would increase Democrats’ chances of winning what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Senate races in 2022. —Nicole Narea
Loser: Jaime Herrera Beutler
The Washington state Republican, one of 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, did not have her primary on Tuesday. But he conceded defeat Tuesday night after a Trump-backed challenger consolidated a slim lead in last week’s primary.
Herrera Beutler was beginning a sixth term in Congress when he voted to impeach Trump, prompting fury from the former president and a primary challenge from Joe Kent, a former Army Green Beret endorsed by Trump. He will now be the GOP nominee in the state’s Third Congressional District, north of Portland, Oregon.
With his primary loss, only one Republican who voted to impeach Trump appears likely to return to Congress, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington’s 4th Congressional District. Four decided not to run for re-election; four others, including Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer last Tuesday, lost their primaries. — Christian Paz
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) talks with Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) on the steps of the US Capitol in November 2021. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Winner: Donald Trump
Just one day after the FBI raided his Florida home, Donald Trump’s bets in a series of primary contests Tuesday night appear to have paid off. Unlike other primary days, the former president’s election wasn’t necessarily a clear winner; this time, Trump took some risks to seek grudges and boost candidates who more fully bought into his campaign lies.
His choice in the Republican primaries of Wisconsin for governor, the businessman and political outsider Tim Michels, was on track to defeat establishment-backed former Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. This victory follows a similar one for Trump in Arizona, where his gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, defeated Pence’s pick, Karrin Taylor Robson (as well as a Pence victory over Trump in Georgia in May).
At the state government level, Robin Vos, the powerful Republican speaker of the Wisconsin assembly and perennial antagonist of the state’s Democratic governor, came out ahead by less than 2 percentage points. Adam Steen, a Trump-endorsed challenger, on Tuesday night. Steen lost, but he did surprisingly well for a political newcomer with a small operation who Trump appeared to back off despite Vos not pushing harder to overturn the state’s 2020 election results. Trump-backed candidates in another Wisconsin state assembly race and a U.S. House race, Janel Brandtjen and Derrick Van Orden, respectively, filed unopposed.
In Connecticut’s Republican Senate race, Leora Levy, a Republican fundraiser whom Trump endorsed just last week, beat the party’s former state House leader Themis Klarides, who until recently was seen as the moderate favorite in the race. — CP
Winner: election lies
Herrera Beutler’s loss was one of several signs Tuesday night that the GOP has gone all in on Trump’s 2020 election lies.
In Wisconsin’s Republican gubernatorial primary, the Trump-backed winner, businessman Tim Michels, has said he he agrees with Trump that there was electoral fraud in 2020 and that, as governor, he would do it consider signing an invoice this would decertify the 2020 election results, although there is no legal mechanism to do so. He has also said he supports dismantling Wisconsin Election Commission, a bipartisan organization that presides over state elections. His rival, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, took similar stances.
Supporters of businessman Tim Michels await election night results in Waukesha, Wis. Scott Olson/Getty Images
In Connecticut, Dominic Rapini, the former chairman of the board from a group that has advanced claims of voter fraud, won the Republican nomination for secretary of state. He has said that his first act in office would be to do so remove the Connecticut election disinformation officer position, which will be hired this year monitor the Internet and defend against foreign and domestic interference in state elections.
Trump-backed Adam Steen, who ran on a platform of decertifying the 2020 election results in Wisconsin, quickly found himself within striking distance of incumbent Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who is part of the assembly since 2005. As of Tuesday night, Steen lost by less. of 2 percentage points, a much smaller margin than expected, taking into account his lack of a big campaign.
Other GOP candidates who prevailed Tuesday, including Levy in Connecticut, have made a broader gesture about the importance of “electoral integrity” in the wake of 2020 and accused Democrats of making elections less safe.
It wasn’t just Trump’s campaign lies that were successful on Tuesday, but also his penchant for downplaying Covid-19. Scott Jensen, a physician and former Minnesota state senator, won the Republican primary for governor after falsely claiming that the death toll from Covid-19 was inflated. He argued that they were “biased” because they had elderly people who would have died within a few years anyway, and has also criticized Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s vaccination mandates. —NN