Tuesday night marked the last day of primary elections before the midterms in November. There were surprises throughout the night, including some elections that are still stuck in deadlocks.
This highly anticipated special election to replace Republican Representative Patrick Tiberi was too close to call, with Trump-endorsed Republican Troy Balderson leading at 50.2 percent and Democrat Danny O’Conner following at 49.3 percent. There are over 3,400 provisional ballots that still have to be counted over the next 10 days and the vote will be certified by Aug. 24. However, if the candidates are still within 0.5 percent of each other at that point, a recount will be mandatory. Basically, we could be waiting a while for the results of this race. Yet Trump has already taken credit for Balderson’s unofficial victory.
The Year of the Woman is upon us and two women have won in Michigan’s 11th District primary. Republican Lena Epstein and Democrat Haley Stevens will face off in November’s general election. Epstein is a self-funded business executive, while Stevens was endorsed by Hillary Clinton. Stevens beat out Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-endorsed candidate Fayrouz Saad and the well-financed Suneel Gupta, brother of CNN’s Sanjay Gupta. This race was both Epstein and Stevens’ first campaign for political office.
This primary race had such an extreme turnout that some of the precincts in Oakland County actually ran out of ballots before the polls closed. In the end, Republican Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer came out on top. Schuette is Michigan’s Attorney General and was backed by Trump, while Whitmer is a former state Senator.
This race was declared a toss-up after the district’s Republican Representative David Reichert retired. To add to the uncertainty of this race, Clinton won this Republican district in 2016. Washington has a top-two jungle primary system like California, and the Republican candidate Dino Rossi was predicted to make it into the top two, claiming the top spot. However, four Democrats were all fighting for the second spot. Democrat Kim Schrier currently follows him at 18.8 percent.
This race was compared to an earlier race in New York’s 14th District, where democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez beat incumbent Joseph Crowley, who had held the seat with a powerful grip. In Washington’s 9th District, Representative Adam Smith faced off against democratic socialist Sarah Smith. She welcomed the comparison but ultimately was defeated by Adam Smith. Republican Doug Basler follows Adam Smith with 26.6 percent of the vote.
In another red district, Republican Representative Lynn Jenkins is retiring and this race was declared a toss-up. The well-funded Democrat Paul Davis ran uncontested in the democratic primary. However, in the Republican primary, seven candidates were running including three state senators, a state representative, former state representative, a Council member and an Army veteran. In the end, Army veteran Steve Watkins won and will face Davis in November.
In this deep-red state, there was no question that Republican Kevin Yoder would win the Republican primary and he did with 68.1 percent of the votes. Yet on the Democrat’s side, the outcome wasn’t as clear. Brent Welder was projected to do well after he was endorsed by both Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez. However, in the end, former MMA fighter Sharice Davids, who was backed by Emily’s list, won with 37.3 percent of the vote.
This race was one of the most competitive Republican primaries of the year and ended in a deadlock. For the GOP, the incumbent Jeff Colyer was running for re-election but regardless of advice from top strategists, Trump endorsed his opponent, Kris Kobach. Kobach is a polarizing figure who was the face of Trump’s voter fraud commission. The race has yet to be called, with Kobach currently holding 40.6 percent of the votes and Colyer holding 40.5.