The two Republican candidates in the U.S. Senate primary runoff from Alabama on Tuesday can each boast of having at some point had Donald Trump’s endorsement in the race.
Trump first endorsed U.S. Representative Mo Brooks in the spring of 2021. That endorsement lasted nearly a year until Trump rescinded it as the conservative brandon languished in the polls. The former president took his time issuing a second endorsement, backing Katie Britt in the race only after she became the top voter in the state’s May 24 primary.
In other races Tuesday, in Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser faces voters amid growing concerns about crime. Runoffs in Georgia will resolve close contests in multiple congressional races and a nomination for secretary of state, while primaries in Virginia will hold competitive congressional contests for the fall. Arkansas is holding primary runoffs for several legislative races.
Things to watch for in Tuesday’s primaries:
The Senate runoff will decide the GOP nominee for the seat vacated by 88-year-old Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who announced his retirement in February 2021 after serving six terms.
Two months later, Trump announced his endorsement of Brooks, rewarding the six-term congressman who opposed certification of the 2020 presidential election and spoke at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally that preceded the January 6 uprising on the US Capitol.
But Trump soured on Brooks as the primary campaign progressed, becoming unhappy with his participation in the race and some of his comments urging the party to abandon the former president’s fixation on his electoral defeat of 2020. He withdrew his endorsement last March.
Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff and former head of a state enterprise group, won the most votes in last month’s primary, winning nearly 45% of the vote to Brooks’ 29% . Britt had to win over 50% of the vote to win and avoid a runoff.
Another top contender, Mike Durant, best known as the helicopter pilot who was held captive in Somalia during the 1993 battle chronicled in the book and movie ‘Black Hawk Down’, finished in third place. and failed to qualify for the second round.
Brooks was supported by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, both of whom campaigned with him. Britt enters Tuesday’s runoff with a fundraising advantage and a shiny new endorsement from Trump, which came weeks after the primary.
The former president, who has a mixed record of success backing winning candidates in this year’s midterm elections, waited to make an endorsement to help avoid the embarrassment of backing a losing candidate in a running race. high level.
The winner of the GOP race will face Democrat Will Boyd in November, though Democrats have found limited success in the dark red state over the past 20 years.
A Democratic contest for secretary of state headlines Tuesday’s playoffs in Georgia, while Republicans settle three congressional nominations.
State Representative Bee Nguyen, backed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, is trying to defeat former State Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler in the race for Secretary of State. The winner will face Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the fall.
Raffensperger rebuffed a challenge in his May 24 primary from U.S. Representative Jody Hice, which was endorsed by Trump. Trump has made Raffensperger a prime target for pushing back on his efforts to “find” enough votes to undo Joe Biden’s victory in the state’s 2020 presidential election.
In the Congressional runoff, Trump-backed candidate and former Democrat Vernon Jones competes with trucking company owner Mike Collins for the Republican nomination for the seat in East Washington’s 10th Congressional District. Atlanta. Collins was endorsed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who also won his primary against a Trump-backed challenger.
In Atlanta’s northern suburbs 6th Ward, ER doctor Rich McCormick tries to hold off on Trump-backed attorney Jake Evans. This race has revolved around each candidate’s accusations that the other is not conservative enough.
The Republican winners of 6th and 10th are the big favorites in the November elections against their Democratic opponents.
Republicans also have high hopes of bringing down 30-year-old Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop in Southwest Georgia’s 2nd District. The GOP chooses between former Army officer Jeremy Hunt and real estate developer Chris West.
In Virginia, voters will choose Republican candidates to face Democratic incumbents in the United States House in two of the most competitive districts in the country.
In the 2nd Coastal District, which includes the state’s most populous city, Virginia Beach, four military veterans are vying for the GOP nomination. With a big lead in fundraising and support from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing House Republicans, State Sen. Jen Kiggans is widely seen as the frontrunner. The winner will face Democrat Elaine Luria, a retired Navy commander and Jan. 6 committee member, in the general election.
In central Virginia’s 7th District, six candidates are jostling to take on Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer.
Bowser, the two-term mayor of Washington, DC, tries to fend off challenges from a pair of council members as the district grapples with rising crime rates and homelessness issues.
Bowser had a tumultuous second term that saw her repeatedly clash with Trump and walk a public tightrope between her own police department and a vocal coalition of activists led by Black Lives Matter. She campaigns on the need for proven leadership and her history as one of the faces of Washington’s continuing quest for statehood.
His main challengers are Robert White and Trayon White, who are unrelated to each other. The two accuse Bowser of favoring developers as the skyrocketing cost of living drives black families out of town and of mishandling public safety issues amid rising rates of violent crime, such as a Sunday night shooting that killed a 15-year-old boy and a policeman. and at least two other injured adults.
Democratic primary essentially decides mayoral race in deeply blue Washington, DC
Robert White has a history of successful insurgent campaigns, having unseated a entrenched incumbent for a Council seat in 2016.
Trayon White openly invokes the spirit of late DC Mayor Marion Barry, who remains a controversial but beloved figure among many Washingtonians. White came under fire in 2018 for claiming that the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking dynasty and frequent subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, controlled Washington’s weather. He later said he didn’t realize his comment could be construed as anti-Semitic.
UK Time News writers Jeff Amy in Atlanta, Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Va., Ashraf Khalil in Washington and Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.