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Factbox-Key races in Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri and Washington midterm primary elections

Published 08/02/2022, 06:17 AM
Updated 08/03/2022, 04:32 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Arizona Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake speaks during former U.S. President Donald Trump's rally ahead of Arizona primary elections, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, U.S., July 22, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Noble/File Photo

(Reuters) -Voters in Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri and Washington have been choosing candidates for U.S. Congress, governor and other offices as former President Donald Trump's effort to maintain dominance over the Republican Party was tested anew.

Here are the key primary races to watch:

MICHIGAN'S 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Former Trump administration official John Gibbs defeated incumbent U.S. Representative Peter Meijer for the Republican nomination. Meijer was one of 10 House of Representative Republicans to vote for Trump's second impeachment.

Gibbs won with Trump's backing and will face Democrat Hillary Scholten in the November general election.

Meijer, a moderate, was seeking a second term in a district that Democrats see as a potential pickup. The campaign arm for House Democrats angered some supporters by running ads to promote Gibbs, who is seen as an easier target in November.

ARIZONA GOVERNOR

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who built a national profile by vociferously denying Trump's voter fraud allegations, easily defeated Marco Lopez, a former Obama administration official and former mayor of Nogales, in the Democratic primary race for governor.

On the Republican side, contenders include former news anchor Kari Lake, who is endorsed by Trump and has echoed his false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Her main rival is developer Karrin Taylor Robson, who is backed by several establishment Republicans including Trump's former vice president, Mike Pence, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

KANSAS ABORTION VOTE

Voters in Kansas went on record overwhelmingly supporting the state constitution's protection of abortion rights, according to projections by Edison Research.

The defeat of a proposed constitutional amendment declaring that there is no such right marked the first statewide electoral test of abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Had anti-abortion forces prevailed, the ballot question would have reversed a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling that established the right to abortion in Kansas.

MISSOURI U.S. SENATE

Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the state party's nomination to run for U.S. Senate, defeating Eric Greitens, the former governor who resigned in disgrace after sexual assault and campaign finance fraud scandals.

Schmitt's victory was a relief to many establishment Republicans who feared they might lose the seat if Greitens were nominated to replace retiring Republican Senator Roy Blunt.

U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler also had been vying for her party's nomination.

One day before the vote, Trump said in a statement that he supported "Eric," declining to say whether he was endorsing Greitens or Schmitt.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR

Tudor Dixon, a former steel industry businesswoman and conservative commentator who was endorsed by Trump and has echoed the ex-president's false election fraud allegations, prevailed over a field of Republican primary candidates for governor in Michigan, Edison Research projected.

Dixon will now take on Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose aggressive approach to closing down businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic has made her a top target for conservatives.

The chaotic Republican primary saw several candidates disqualified after a scandal involving falsified signatures on petitions to get on the ballot. In June, the FBI arrested candidate Ryan Kelley, a real estate broker, on misdemeanor charges stemming from the U.S. Capitol attack, though he continued to campaign.

KANSAS GOVERNOR

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who had Trump's endorsement, defeated an under-funded opponent in the Republican contest. He will challenge incumbent Democratic Governor Laura Kelly, who is among the most vulnerable Democratic governors, in November.

ARIZONA U.S. SENATE

Blake Masters, a former tech executive who has backed Trump's false fraud claims, secured the Republican nomination in the Senate race, the Associated Press said. He will face Senator Mark Kelly, seen as one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Masters has Trump's endorsement and the backing of tech billionaire Peter Thiel.

ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE

Trump-endorsed state Representative Mark Finchem, who was present at the Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol and has embraced Trump's stolen election claims, prevailed in the Republican primary. The Democratic contest pits former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes against state House of Representatives Minority Leader Reginald Bolding.

© Reuters. Voter mark their ballots during the primary election and abortion referendum at a Wyandotte County polling station in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S. August 2, 2022.  REUTERS/Eric Cox

WASHINGTON STATE'S 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump's impeachment in 2021, is facing a primary challenge from Joe Kent, a former Green Beret officer who has been endorsed by Trump. Herrera Beutler has held the seat since 2010.

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