Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Idaho, Oregon, Kentucky: NPR
May’s busy primary schedule continues Tuesday, with five states holding elections.
Primaries for open U.S. Senate seats in Pennsylvania and North Carolina headline Tuesday’s races. The two battleground states offer Democrats the chance to clinch a Senate seat as they try to maintain tight control of the chamber.
Idaho, Oregon and Kentucky also have notable contests. Here are 10 races to follow:
1. Pennsylvania Senate
Thanks to the retirement of Republican Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania has an open seat in the Senate for the first time in a dozen years. And this race has had more than its share of twists and turns – including two Donald Trump endorsements in the past nine months.
On the Republican side, after Trump’s preferred first choice was dropped amid domestic violence allegations, two new high profile candidates entered the primary: famed doctor Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick , who had served in the George W. Bush administration. and who is married to a former Trump adviser.
McCormick and Oz worked hard to win Trump’s approval. Oz won, giving his campaign a boost, but that didn’t stop McCormick from running ads featuring Trump praising the candidate. For months, polls have had both jockeys for the top spot in the race, with Oz holding a very small lead since getting the nod from Trump.
But now, in the final weeks of the race, another candidate has entered the front runners. Kathy Barnette — a Black GOP activist and author best known for her appearances as a commentator on Fox News — did so by proclaiming to be more MAGA than even Trump, and despite having only a fraction money to spend that the very wealthy McCormick and Oz have. Her rise has surprised political analysts, who suggest she could benefit from conservative dissatisfaction with Trump’s choice of Dr Oz.
For Democrats, the primary includes a showdown between Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a former small-town mayor who backed Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential race, and Rep. Conor Lamb. The 6-foot-9 Fetterman has the personality of a genuine anti-politician, while Lamb has a reputation as a moderate who can win votes in places where Democrats have struggled in recent elections.
State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, who is seeking to become the first LGBTQ candidate to be elected to a statewide office from Pennsylvania, is also in the running.
Despite expectations of close competition, polls have consistently given Fetterman a lead of more than 20 points, with Lamb well behind and Kenyatta even further behind. (Fetterman suffered a stroke in recent days, but said it would not derail his campaign.)
2. North Carolina Senate
That Senate seat is open thanks to another GOP retirement: Senator Richard Burr, who announced in 2016 that he would not seek another term. Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, briefly considered running for Senate in her home state, but decided against pursuing it. Nonetheless, the former president weighed in early, backing Rep. Ted Budd last June.
Aided by outside money, Budd edged out Pat McCrory, a former North Carolina governor who gained national notoriety when he signed the state’s “toilet bill” that targeted trans people. and required people to choose bathrooms based on the gender listed on their birth certificate. .
Whoever wins on the GOP side will likely go up against Cheri Beasley, who was the first black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
3. Governor of Pennsylvania
Days before the primary, Trump endorsed Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano as governor. Mastriano peddled Trump’s election lies and was present near the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (He says he left when the event turned violent.) Republicans were fractured, with many fearing Mastriano could not win statewide in November. Some other candidates in what started out as a crowded field dropped out and endorsed former Rep. Lou Barletta, but Mastriano’s lead in the polls and Trump’s endorsement put him as the likely winner on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the presumptive Democratic nominee is State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is already running against Mastriano’s extremist messages.
4. Governor of Idaho
In Idaho, Republican Governor Brad Little faces a challenge from his Trump-backed Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin. McGeachin is a former state legislator who struggled with Little over COVID-19 restrictions.
Little Poll and Fundraising Show on your mindbut the primary highlights McGeachin’s ties to the far right in one of the nation’s most conservative states.
5. North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District
GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn faces a crowded group of primary challengers in a district that is likely to remain red into November. Cawthorn, who has Trump’s backing, was involved in several scandals which have raised skepticism about whether he can keep his seat.
In North Carolina, a winner must cross a threshold of 30% to avoid a second round.
6. North Carolina’s 4th congressional district
There are several notable primaries on Tuesday that show divisions within the Democratic Party.
In North Carolina, the 4th District, which encompasses blue cities Durham and Chapel Hill, is open after longtime Rep. David Price announced his retirement.
And it became a Dear contest, with candidates like State Senator Valerie Foushee, who is more moderate, and Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, who received endorsements from Vermont Senator Sanders and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez.
Abortion became an issue after a Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe vs. Wade. Allam, who is 28, has been open about her own abortion story.
Ancient american idol star Clay Aiken is also in the running.
7. Oregon’s 6th congressional district
Nine Democratic candidates are in the primary race for a new Oregon district that has become the nation’s third most expensive Democratic House primary. Candidate Carrick Flynn has asked about the funding he receives from a political action committee backed by a cryptocurrency billionaire.
8. Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District
Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, who chairs the powerful House Budget Committee, steps down from his seat, leaving seven Republican candidates and two Democrats try to replace it. The neighborhood should safely remain blue.
9. Oregon’s 5th congressional district
Democratic Representative Kurt Schrader is facing a progressive challenge of Jamie McLeod-Skinner, in a district recently redesigned and seen as a potential pickup opportunity for Republicans. Schrader is backed by President Biden.
10. Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district
It could also be a tight race in November between whoever wins the Republican primary Tuesday night and outgoing Democratic Representative Susan Wild. Former Lehigh County Commissioner Lisa Scheller, who came close to winning in 2020 against Wild, appears to be in the lead but faces opposition from company owner Kevin Dellicker.