What to watch in Tuesday’s primary elections


(NewsNation) — Four states will hold primary elections Tuesday, deciding candidates in key Senate and gubernatorial races this fall.

Here are the major races in each state.


  • Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch faces businessman Tim Michels for the Republican nomination for governor. Michels is endorsed by Donald Trump, mainly because of a photo posted in 2019 by Kleefisch showing her daughter with Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Hagedorn’s son. Trump opposes Hagedorn because of his vote to reject legal claims filed by Trump challenging the 2020 election results. The winner will face incumbent Tony Evers, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
  • Another race where Trump is a factor, state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, is facing a challenge from Adam Steen in the 63rd House District. Trump endorsed Steen after Vos declined to support Trump’s claims of election fraud.
  • The Democratic U.S. Senate primary was expected to be a marquee race, but several candidates dropped out in recent weeks to back Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.


  • A special election in the state’s 1st Congressional District will be looked at for clues about November. Republican Brand Finstand and Democrat Jeff Ettinger are vying for this U.S. House seat that was vacated after the death of Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn. The winner will serve the rest of Hagedorn’s term.
  • There is also a regular primary election in the 1st District, and the Republican side features a rematch from the special election primary. Finstand will face Jeremy Munson, who was defeated by about 400 votes in the special primary. Ettinger has no serious opposition on the Democratic side.


  • A field of Democrats are competing to replace Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is retiring. Peter Welch, the state’s lone U.S. House member, leads the pack among candidates in that race. Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Becca Balint, the president pro tempore of the State Senate, are seen as the front-runners on the Democratic side for Welch’s seat in the House.
  • Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, is expected to cruise to reelection.


  • Republican Bob Stefanowski is looking for a rematch against Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who narrowly defeated Stefanowski in 2018.
  • Three Republicans are competing for a place on the November ballot against Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who has represented the state since 2011.

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