DemDaily: Tuesday’s Primaries: The Rundown

August 15, 2018

While last night's primaries in ConnecticutMinnesotaVermont and Wisconsin affirmed President Trump's appeal among GOP primary voters, the strong Democratic turnout underscored the energy and motivation of Democratic voters going into the general election.


Seats Up:  US Senate, US House (5D), Governor, State Executive Offices, State Senate (18D/18R) & House (79D/72R), Local Judges, School Board, State ballot measures.

Democratic incumbent Senator Chris Murphy, who was unopposed in the primary, will be challenged by businessman  Matthew Corey (R).

Democrats Turned Out in Superior Numbers (MSNBC)

The race to succeed retiring Governor Dan Malloy (D) is one of the country's top ten governors races to watch.  Of the state's past ten gubernatorial elections, three have resulted in the seat changing hands.

Businessman Ned Lamont handily won the Democratic primary to face Republican primary winner Bob Stefanowski, who emerged the victor from a competitive four-way primary with 29.3% of the vote.

Seats Up: US Senate, US House (5D/3R), Governor, State Execu tive Offices, State House (57D/75R), State Supreme & Appellate Court, Local Judges, Municipal, School Board

Two-term incumbent Democratic US Senator Amy Klobuchar will be challenged by State Representative Jeff Newberger in November.

With the decision of sitting Governor Mark Dayton (D) not to seek a third term in 2018, Minnesota became one of 16 open gubernatorial seats, out of a total of 36 up in 2018.

Dem nominee Tim Walz in tough battle for open Minnesota Governor's race (pic: Stephen Maturen/Getty)

Moderate Congressman Tim Walz won a five-way Democratic primary to face GOP primary victor Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner who previously ran unsuccessfully against Dayton in 2014.

Johnson, who was endorsed by Trump, defeated former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) 52.6% to 43.9%. Pawlenty, who previously critized Trump as "unhinged and unfit to be President," was favored going into the primary.

Congressional: In Minnesota's open First CD, held by Walz, Democrat Dan Feehan will run against Republican Jim Hagedorn, and in the equally competitive Eighth District, open following the departure of Congressman Rick Nolan (D), Joe Radinovich (D) will face Pete Stauber (R) in November.

In vulnerable Republican-held seats in the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts, Democrat Angie Craig will challenge incumbent Jason Lewis (R) and Dean Phillips (D) will try to unseat incumbent Erik Paulsen (R).

In the safely Democratic 5th CD being vacated by Congressman Keith Ellison to run for Attorney General, State Representative Ilhan Omar (D), the country's first Somali-American lawmaker, will go up against Republican Jennifer Zielinski.

Seats Up: US Senate, US House (1 Independent), Governor, State executive offices, State Senate (21D/7R/2 Vermont Progressive Party) & House (83D/53R/7VPP/7 Independent), Local Judges

Two-term incumbent and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be challenged by businessman and perennial candidate Brooke Paige.  As he has done previously elections, Sanders, who easily won the Democratic nomination, turned down the position to run as an Independent in the general election.

Christine Hallquist (D) is challenging Phil Scott (R) in Vermont gubernatorial race

In the contest to unseat incumbent Republican Governor Phil Scott, Democratics have nominated Christine Hallquist. The 62 year-old former chief executive at Vermont Electric Cooperative, who won with 48% of the vote, is a transgender woman -- one of at least 40 transgender candidates standing for election in 2018.

In Vermont's one, at-large Congressional District incumbent Democrat Peter Welch is also being challenged by Brooke Paige.

Candidates in Vermont can file to run in more than one primary contest at the same time. If they win multiple primary elections, they must choose one office for which to run in the general election. Candidates who withdraw their nomination must do so within 10 days of the primary election, after which the party may nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy on the general election ballot.

Seats Up: US Senate, US House (3D/5R), Governor, State Executive Offices, State Senate (20R/13D) & Assembly (64R/35D), Supreme & Appellate Court, Local Judges, Municipal, School Board, State Ballot

In the most expensive Senate primary of the cycle, party-backed State Senator Leah Vukmir defeated businessman Kevin Nicholson. The contest, which attracted $12+ million in outside money, means Vukmir will challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is one of ten Democratic incumbents seeking reelection in states President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Sitting Governor Scott Walker (R) is seeking election to a third term in 2018. Walker will face Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers (D), the winner of the Democratic primary.

SideNote: A week after the August 7th Kansas GOP primary for Governor, Trump-endorsed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was declared the winner, defeating incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer for his party's nomination. After final absentee and provisional ballots were counted, Kobach edged out Coyler by 345 votes of 313,000 cast.

See Primary Calendar: DemList: Pumping the Primaries 5/8/18

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Ballotpedia, CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian

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