In Missouri, scandal-ridden former Governor Eric Greitens is attempting a political comeback. In Michigan, a packed field of Republican gubernatorial candidates includes a man accused of the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. In Arizona, a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement is running for the US House of Representatives.
Those are some of the most notable contests in Tuesday’s primary elections that will take place in six states.
Arizona, narrowly won by Democrat Joe Biden in 2020, is a prime target for former President Donald Trump, who tried in vain to overturn his defeat. He has endorsed a list of candidates from top to bottom on the ballot who have promoted his false claims of a stolen election.
Trump has also focused on the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him about the insurrection of January 6. Three of them are on the ballot Tuesday in Washington state and Michigan, as are two members of the “Squad,” Democratic Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Meanwhile, Kansas voters could clear the way for the Republican-controlled Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion if it approves a proposed state constitutional change. It is the first referendum on abortion policy by a state since the The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Ohio is also holding a primary for state legislative races on Tuesday, three months after their statewide and congressional races, a divided system that resulted from legal wrangling over redistricting.
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All of the Trump-endorsed candidates in Arizona have one thing in common: They have loudly spread misinformation about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, despite election officials and Trump’s own attorney general saying there is no credible evidence. that the contest was contaminated.
In the gubernatorial race, Trump has endorsed former TV news anchor kari lakewho has said he would not have certified the results of the 2020 Arizona election. Lake faces businesswoman karrin taylor robsonwhich has the backing of former Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing Governor Doug Ducey.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a strong supporter of the 2020 election, is the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination for governor.
In the Republican primaries for the US Senate, Trump has backed tech investors teachers blake as the candidate to take on Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly in the fall. Masters, whose campaign has been financed by billionaire Peter Thiel, has called for legal immigration to be curtailed and championed the unfounded “great replacement” conspiracy theory, alleging that Democrats are trying to “replace Americans who were born here.” “.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich, another Senate candidate, has been overwhelmed by lackluster fundraising and strong criticism from Trump, who says Brnovich did little to further his claims of voter fraud. Another great candidate jim lamondthe founder of a solar energy company, he has touted his experience as a military veteran and entrepreneur.
The Republican primary for secretary of state includes Trump-backed lawmaker Mark Finchem, a state representative who worked to overturn Trump’s defeat in 2020; State Representative Shawnna Bolick, who introduced a bill to allow lawmakers to ignore election results and choose their own presidential electors; and state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who has long pushed to reform election laws. The Republican establishment has rallied around ad executive Beau Lane in the race.
Ron Watkins, who has ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory, is considered a long shot in his run for the House. Watkins, a Republican, served as longtime administrator of the online message boards that became the home of the anonymous “Q.” The conspiracy theory centers on the unfounded belief that Trump waged a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and that a group of satanic and cannibalistic child molesters secretly run the world.
In the State Legislature, Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowerswho testified at a hearing Jan. 6 about Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election, is facing a Trump-backed candidate in his bid to run for state Senate.
The Republican gubernatorial primary was wild from the start, with five candidates removed from the ballot for not submitting enough valid nominating signatures.
Several of the remaining candidates have baggage that could hurt in a general election against Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Real estate agent Ryan Kelley has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges after authorities said he rallied Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol. Businessman Kevin Rinke was sued in the 1990s for sexual harassment and racial discrimination, accusations he claimed were lies. Chiropractor Garrett Soldano was selling supplements that he falsely claimed treated COVID-19. businesswoman tudor dixonwho has been endorsed by Trump, has previously acted in low-budget horror movies, one of which featured a zombie biting off a man’s genitals.
All the candidates falsely say there was fraud in the 2020 election, with Dixon, Kelley and Soldano saying Trump stole the election from them.
Republican Rep. Peter Meijer hopes to keep his seat after voting to impeach Trump. The former president has endorsed businessman and missionary John Gibbswho worked in the Trump administration under Housing Secretary Ben Carson.
Greitens’s political career seemed to end when resigned as governor in 2018, following his admission of an extramarital affair and allegations of blackmail and campaign finance violations. On Tuesday, the former Navy SEAL officer has a chance to redeem himself in his Republican primary for the seat held by Republican US Senator Roy Blunt retires.
Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and US Rep. Vicky Hartzler are the leading candidates in a packed 21-person Republican field that includes US Rep. Billy Long and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney who along with his wife pointed guns at racial injustice protesters who ventured onto their private street.
Trump has not endorsed the race, although he ruled out Hartzler.
The GOP winner in Missouri, a solidly Republican state, will be the favorite in November. But Republican leaders have long worried that Greitens – his ex-wife has also accused him of abuseAccusations that Greitens has called “baseless,” could win the primary but lose the general election.
On the Democratic side, the nomination appears to be at stake between lucas kuncea Navy veteran and self-proclaimed populist, and trudy busch valentinean heiress to the Busch beer fortune who has largely self-funded her campaign.
Two Republican members of the Washington state House who voted to impeach Trump are facing primary candidates backed by him.
Deputy Jaime Herrera Beutlerwho has been in Congress since 2011, has said he voted for impeachment because he had “an obligation under the Constitution.” Trump has endorsed joe kenta former Green Beret and conservative cable show regular who echoes the former president’s complaints about the outcome of the 2020 election.
Representative Dan Newhouse, a congressman since 2015, said he voted to impeach Trump for inciting and refusing to immediately stop the Jan. 6 insurrection. Among his rivals is loren culpa Trump-backed former small-town police chief who refused to concede the 2020 gubernatorial race to Democrat Jay Inslee.
In Washington, the top two vote-getters in each race, regardless of party, move into November.
Voters will decide whether to approve a change to the state constitution that could allow the Legislature to restrict or ban abortion despite a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling that access to abortion is a fundamental right. It is the first referendum on abortion by a state since the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
In state races, Republican Chris Kobach is running for attorney general while attempting a political comeback after losses in the U.S. gubernatorial and Senate races in previous years. Kobach, the state’s former secretary of state, served as deputy chair of a short-lived Trump commission on voter fraud after the 2016 election.
Associated Press reporters Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix; Sara Burnett in Chicago; Jim Salter in O’Fallon, Missouri; Chris Grygiel in Seattle; and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; contributed to this report.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
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