Voters fueled by SCOTUS decisions take to the polls Tuesday

Elections 2022

(NewsNation) — Two major SCOTUS decisions this past week are fueling debates across the country on abortion and gun rights, influencing voters to cast their votes this November. Before then, voters in Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma and Utah will take to the polls Tuesday for their states’ primary elections.

Tensions are high heading into Tuesday’s elections. A U.S. Senate candidate in Colorado is a rarity in the Republican Party as a supporter of abortion rights.

And in Illinois, a U.S. Representative spoke at a rally Saturday night with former President Donald Trump, calling the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe V. Wade a “victory for white life.”

Mississippi and South Carolina are also holding runoff elections Tuesday.

Here’s a look at the elections in each state:

Colorado

Joe O’Dea stood before hundreds of social conservatives and uttered words they were unaccustomed to hearing from a Republican candidate, let alone someone running for the U.S. Senate: “I know my position on abortion isn’t the same as all of yours.”

O’Dea is running for his party’s nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a state that’s grown increasingly liberal.

On other issues, O’Dea sounds like a typical conservative. He wants to cut back government regulation and expand oil and gas production. But his support for abortion rights in most cases stands out in a party for which opposition to abortion has become a bedrock principle.

O’Dea’s chief rival in Tuesday’s primary is state Rep. Ron Hanks, who opposes abortion in all circumstances.

Illinois

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller is raising eyebrows with her comment at a rally with Trump. The Illinois Republican called the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade a “victory for white life.” The comment drew cheers from the crowd Saturday night in Mendon, Illinois

Miller spokesman Isaiah Wartman told The Associated Press that the congresswoman misspoke and had intended to say the decision was a victory for the “right to life.”

Miller is running for reelection in the state’s newly redrawn 15th Congressional District against GOP Rep. Rodney Davis with the former president’s blessing.

The race to be Illinois’ next governor is a battle among billionaires, including two whose names won’t appear on Tuesday’s primary ballot. Republican candidates Darren Bailey and Richard Irvin each have a benefactor with a different vision for the party.

Businessmen Ken Griffin and Richard Uihlein have combined to pour more than $60 million into the race. Griffin backs Irvin, a former prosecutor and first Black mayor of Chicago’s largest suburb. Uihlein supports Bailey, a farmer and state lawmaker who fought pandemic measures such as mask mandates.

Billionaire Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association have spent millions trying to ensure Irvin isn’t the GOP nominee. Bailey is the opponent Pritzker would rather face in November.

Mississippi

Congressional primary runoffs with incumbents are rare in Mississippi. This year, two of the state’s Republican representatives are fighting to keep their jobs in runoffs against challengers from their own party.

U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo is seeking a seventh term. He’s considered vulnerable after being accused in a 2021 congressional ethics report of abusing his office by misspending campaign funds.

U.S. Rep. Michael Guest is seeking a third term. He voted to create an independent commission to investigate the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and was forced into a runoff amid criticism that he was disloyal to Trump.

Both Palazzo and Guest failed to cross the 50% threshold to win outright in their June 7 primaries. On Tuesday, Palazzo will go up against Mike Ezell, the sheriff of a coastal county, while Guest will face Michael Cassidy, a former Navy fighter pilot.

Mississippi’s other two congressmen, Democrat Bennie Thompson and Republican Trent Kelly, easily won their primaries this month.

Oklahoma

Voters in Oklahoma will head to the polls to decide two Senate primaries, a gubernatorial primary and local House primaries.

Incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt will face his challengers Joel Kinstel, Moira McCabe and Mark Sherwood in the GOP primary for governor, KOCO News reported.

Ten GOP candidates are running to replace U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who announced he is going to resign next year. Inhofe would only complete two of his elected six-year term, according to NBC News.

South Carolina

South Carolina’s primaries end Tuesday with only two statewide runoffs, one for each party.

Republicans will choose their candidate for the open Education Superintendent office. Meanwhile, Democrats will choose their nominee to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Tim Scott as he seeks a second full term.

There also are six state House runoffs, and only one involves incumbents. Democratic U.S. Reps. Roger Kirby and Cezar McKnight were drawn through redistricting into the same district that stretches across three counties but is centered in Williamsburg County.

Utah

In Utah, incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Lee will face two GOP challengers in the race for U.S. Senate: Republican candidates Becky Edwards and Ally Isom.

The winner for this upcoming primary will face Independent candidate Evan McMullin, who is backed by the Utah Democratic Party, Axios Salt Lake City reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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