DemDaily: Presidential and Primaries. Tuesday’s Election Results in AK, FL, WY

August 20, 2020

On Tuesday night, as Joe Biden was officially securing the Democratic nomination, the results of three state primaries were being reporting -- in Alaska, Florida and Wyoming.

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While the presidential primaries were completed with Connecticut's on August 11th, there are still a handful of regularly-scheduled primaries or runoffs for statewide, congressional and/or legislative races between now and the end of the year.

As with most elections now held predominantly by mail due the coronavirus pandemic, the final results will not be official until absentee ballots are counted, but the races have been called!

In the US Senate Democratic primary yesterday, Dr. Alan Gross, an orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman, won the nomination to take on freshman Republican US Senator Dan Sullivan, who was unopposed in the GOP primary.

With 93% of the vote reporting, Gross, the Party-endorsed favorite who raised $5.2 million, led with 74.2% over three primary opponents.

The Lincoln Project's Ad "Real" for Dem Al Gross (Click)

Gross is actually an Independent, but the Alaska Democratic Party changed its rules in 2016 to allow candidates who are not registered Democrats to seek its nomination.

Although "The Last Frontier State" has voted for the GOP nominee in every presidential election except for 1964, the LBJ landslide year, it boasts a highly individualistic culture and is the only state with one chamber, the Alaska House, that shares power between the two parties.

Trump won Alaska with close to 15% in 2016, but is currently leading Biden in polling by just 6%. If Trump loses Alaska, it could help carry Gross over the finish line.

The most recent Public Policy Poll, conducted July 7-8, 2020 prior to the primary, showed Gross at 34% and Sullivan at 39%.

Gross is also getting help from The Lincoln Project, a group of current and former Republican campaign operatives seeking to unseat Donald Trump and his most avid allies in the US Senate. In July, they spent over $1 million on a ten-day broadcast and digital ad buy.

Dem Alyse Galvin, competitive challenger in Alaska's At-Large seat

In Alaska's singular At-Large Congressional District, 38-year incumbent Republican Don Young, the longest-serving member of Congress, will be challenged again by businesswoman Alyse Galvin, who came within 7% of beating him in 2018.

In a July 7-8th, Public Policy Polling survey, Galvin lead Young 43% to 41%.

In the open Third Congressional District being vacated by retiring Republican Congressman Ted Yoho, former Yoho staffer Kat Cammack beat businessman Judson Sapp, 25.2% to 20%, followed by eight other candidates.

In the Democratic primary, Adam Christenson eked out a victory with 34.5% to Tom Wells' 33.2% and Philip Dodds' 32.3%.

The GOP flipped one of its own in Florida's 15th Congressional District, where freshman incumbent Ross Spano was defeated in the Republican primary by Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin, 51.2% to 48.8%. Spano is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee and the Justice Department for alleged campaign contribution violations.

Franklin will face investigative journalist Alan Cohn, who won the Democratic nomination over State Representative Adam Hattersley.

In the open 19th Congressional District in Southwest Florida, being vacated by the retirement of Republican Congressman Francis Rooney, State Representative Byron Donalds defeated State House Majority Leader Dane Eagle 22.6% to 21.9%, followed by businessman Casey Askar at 20% and six other contenders.

Dem Debbie Mucarsel-Powell a major GOP target

In the Democratic primary, businesswoman and university professor Cindy Banyai beat David Holden 57.6% to 42.4%.

In the competitive 26th Congressional District held by freshman Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez won the Republican primary with 59.9%.

Mucarsel-Powell, who unseated Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo by 2% in 2018, is a top target for the GOP in November.

With the retirement of four-term incumbent Republican Mike Enzi, Wyoming has an open US Senate seat.

For the first time in "The Equality State's" history, voters will be choosing between two female candidates, Democrat and University of Wyoming ecology professor Merav Ben-David, and former Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis.

In Wyoming's At-Large Congressional District, Democratic nominee and Native American Lynnette Grey Bull will challenge two-term incumbent Republican Liz Cheney.

Next Statewide Primary: September 1st in Massachusetts

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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