DemDaily: Primary Colors

June 27, 2018

Tuesday's primaries produced big wins for progressive Democrats in their internal struggle for control of the direction of the party, while Republican primary voters sided with establishment candidates endorsed by Trump.

                                                           Image: Vox

The New York congressional primary delivered the biggest upset of the night with the defeat of 10-term incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in the 14th Congressional District (CD), and the victory of former NAACP President Ben Jealous in Maryland's Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Primaries were held in ColoradoMarylandOklahomaUtah and New York on June 26th, along with runoff elections in Mississippi and South Carolina.


Seats Up: US House (3D/4R), Governor, State Execu tive offices, State Senate & House, Supreme & Appellate Court, Local Judges, Municipal, State  Ballot, Recalls.

Highlights: In the open seat to succeed Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited, millionaire and 2nd CD Congressman Jared Polis (D) will face State Treasurer and George W. Bush cousin, Walker Stapleton (R).

If Polis triumphs in November, he will be the first openly gay governor in American history.

Democratic Nominees Ben Jealous (Governor) and Susie Turnbull (Lt. Gov). pic: NPR

Seats Up: US Senate, US House (7D/1R), Governor, State Executive offices, State  Senate & House, Supreme & Appellate Court, Local Judges, Municipal, School Board and State Ballot Measures.

Highlights: Former NAACP President Ben Jealous emerged the victor with 40% to primary opponent Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker's 29% and seven others to try to unseat popular Republican Governor Larry Hogan in the Fall.

The high-profile race was viewed as a referendum on factions within the national Democratic Party, with Baker the establishment, Clintonesque favorite, and Jealous, who had the support of national progressive organizations, labor and Bernie Sanders.

Former Maryland Democratic Party Chair and DNC Vice President Susie Turnbull is Jealous' running mate for Lieutenant Governor.

In the open seat vacated by John Delaney (D) in Maryland's 6th Congressional DistrictTotal Wine store tycoon David Trone will face Republican Amie Hoeber in the general.

In the Prince George's County Executive race, State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks won the nomination over former Congresswoman Donna Edwards and seven other candidates.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates primary victory, unseating incumbent Democrat Joseph Crowley in NY 14th CD (Bronx)

Related: DemDaily: Battling for the Rebound 6/21/18

Seats Up: US Senate, US House (17D/9R/1 Vacancy).  The primary for Governor, State Executive offices, State Senate & Assembly, Local Judges, Muncipal and School board will be held September 13, 2018.

Highlights: In the most astounding intra-party defeat of a senior House Member since Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in 2014, Democrats' fourth ranking Member, Joe Crowley, was unseated by 28 year-old, self-proclaimed Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Long considered to be in line for the House Speakership, Crowley, who outraised Oasio-Cortez by a 10-to-1 margin, was painted as out of touch with his increasingly minority-majority constituency.

Ocasio-Cortez' 58% to 42% victory in the 14th CD, was hailed as a victory for the Party's left-wing -- and a tribute to the support of Senator Bernie Sanders, for whom she worked as a campaign organizer in 2016.

If she wins the general election against Anthony Pappas, the Republican nominee, she will be the youngest woman to be elected to Congress.

"Women are at a time when they are feeling embolden, in that we know that justice and we know that representation is not going to be handed to us. We have to fight for it, we have to earn it, we have to fight for every single vote, every single scrap, and not only is that necessarily, but that women are ready to do that this year more than ever."   -- Primary Winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (CNN 6/27/18)

Progressives also faired well in New York's 24th District, where Dana Balter defeated the DCCC's hand-picked candidate, Juanita Perez Williams to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman John Katko, and In the competitive 19th CD where Rhinebeck attorney Antonio Delgado defeated six other Democrats for the nomination to challenge incumbent Republican John Faso.

In what was thought to be a heated race in the 11th District Republican primary, incumbent John Donovan soundly defeated challenger and former Congressman Michael Grimm 64% to 36%. Donovan, who replaced Grimm after the Staten Island Congressman was convicted of felony tax evasion, received the public endorsement of Trump, and will be challenged by Democrat Max Rose in November.

Related: DemDaily: New York State of Mind 5/30/18

Seats Up: US House (4R, 1 Vacancy), Governor, State Executive offices, State Senate & House, Supreme & Appellate Court, Local Judges, Municipal, School Board, State Ballot Measures.

Highlights: The contest to replace incumbent Republican Governor Mary Fallin, who is term-limited, will be between Democrat and former state attorney general Drew Edmondson, and the winner of the August 28th runoff between former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, and self-funding businessman Kevin Stitt.

Seats Up: US Senate, US House (4R), State Executive offices, State Senate & House, Supreme & Appellate Court, Local Judges,School Board, State Ballot Measures.

Highlights: Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney easily swept his primary contest to move on to face Salt Lake County Council member Jenny Wilson in the race to replace retiring US Senator Orrin Hatch.


In the Democratic primary runoff, State House Minority Leader David Baria beat out businessman Howard Sherman 58.7% to 41.3%, for the right to face incumbent US Senator Roger Wicker (R) in November.

Incumbent Republican Governor Henry McMaster, appointed in 2017 following then-Governor Nikki Haley's elevation to UN Ambassador, won Tuesday's run-off against businessman John Warren. McMaster was an early Trump supporter, a positive for Republican primary voters, who responded to an online and in-person push from the President and Vice President Pence in the week leading up to Tuesday's run-off election.

Related:  DemDaily: Democratic Women Rock The Primaries 6/13/18

Next Primaries: August 2nd in Tennessee and August 4th in the Virgin Islands.

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott


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Sources: Ballotpedia, Politico, FiveThirtyEight, NBC, CNN, WTOP, Washington Post

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