May 24 primary election results

Politics

(NewsNation) — We’ve reached the final stretch for some key primary elections happening across the country.

Voters in Texas, Arkansas, Alabama and Minnesota will head to the polls for pivotal races this week, but a major focus has been on Georgia, where a key race could tip the balance of the Senate.

As another round of primaries gets underway, here is what to watch for on Tuesday:

GEORGIA

Some say all eyes will be watching Georgia this upcoming Tuesday, as Gov. Brian Kemp faces a challenge from former Sen. David Perdue in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

The race has become a battle of endorsements, with former Vice President Mike Pence and former President George W. Bush supporting Kemp while former President Donald Trump and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin backed Perdue.

Polls show a commanding lead for Kemp with the election turning into a referendum of the handling of the 2020 presidential race after Kemp certified the results in favor of Joe Biden, while Perdue called the election rigged and stolen.

Kemp has been increasingly confident the GOP will send him forward to a November rematch with Stacey Abrams, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Georgia has already recorded a record 600,000 early and absentee ballots cast.

ALABAMA

In Alabama, three Republicans are in a tight race for the nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks faces Katie Britt, the former leader of the Business Council of Alabama and Shelby’s former chief of staff, and businessman Mike Durant, best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and held captive in the events chronicled in “Black Hawk Down.”

Trump initially endorsed Brooks last year but withdrew the endorsement in March, slamming the Republican as “woke” and disloyal to him for doubting his claims about the 2020 presidential election.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the race for the party’s nominee in the Alabama Senate contest is likely headed to a runoff.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a final say on this Alabama race,” McDaniel said, adding that the candidates have to clinch 50 percent of the vote to win. “I don’t think any of the three candidates are going to get over 50 percent so we’re going to go to a runoff, and then we’ll figure out who the nominee is.”

ARKANSAS

In Arkansas, two-term U.S. Sen. John Boozman hopes to fend off a challenge from three Republican rivals in a race in which he’s had to rely on his endorsement from Trump.

The most well-known names among Boozman’s rivals include former NFL player Jake Bequette and Jan Morgan, a conservative activist and former TV reporter.

“I think it probably would be heated because, No. 1, the entire strategy for the two challengers has been to be negative, right, to tear him down, to try to claw their way into the runoff, so that’s what they’ve been successful doing,” Robert Coon, an Arkansas GOP strategist, said about the dynamic of a potential runoff.  

In the Arkansas gubernatorial race, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is a front-runner for the Republican nomination. She faces a long-shot primary challenge from former talk show radio host Doc Washburn.

Five Democrats are seeking the party’s nomination for governor, with nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones the front-runner.

The candidates are running to succeed Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection.

TEXAS

Texas held the first primary of 2022 back in March, but runoffs will finally settle two major races.

The two runoffs are drawing outsize attention: Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to hold off Land Commissioner George P. Bush, while Rep. Henry Cuellar is trying to fend off his progressive challenger in a rematch from 2020.

George P. Bush is the last of his family still in public office and finished 20 percentage points behind Paxton in a four-way primary. 

On the Democratic side, Cuellar’s bid for a 10th term has run head-on into a reenergized national battle over abortion rights. His position as one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress has become a central issue in his runoff against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney and abortion rights supporter.

MINNESOTA

A primary Tuesday in southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District is a first step for replacing Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February. 

Hagedorn’s widow, Jennifer Carnahan, declared her candidacy for the former congressman’s seat and has been making the most overt appeals to Trump’s supporters.

State Rep. Jeremy Munson, a founder of a hard-right faction that broke from the main Minnesota House GOP Caucus, has been endorsed by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Former state Rep. Brad Finstad has the backing of several Minnesota GOP officeholders. He has reminded voters he was Trump’s Minnesota director for USDA Rural Development.

On the Democratic side, the candidate endorsed at the party’s district convention earlier this month is former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger. His opponents include University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.

The Associated Press and the Hill contributed to this report.

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