Another Tuesday brings the next slate of compelling midterm primaries across the country.
Democrats look to expand the House map into Trump country with potentially strong recruits running in Arkansas, Kentucky and Texas. Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidates are racing to the right to embrace President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, while the state’s Democratic primary has drawn national attention and endorsements from the party’s major 2020 presidential prospects.
Here’s what you need to know:
Polls in Georgia close at 7 p.m. ET, and in Arkansas at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Polls in Kentucky are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time. Most of the state is in Eastern Time, but counties in the Central Time Zone close at 7 p.m. ET.
All polls in Texas close by 9 p.m. ET. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Most of the state is in Central, but El Paso is in the Mountain Time Zone.
Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary mirrors previous 2018 Republican statewide primaries, further showing President Donald Trump’s firm grip on the Republican Party. Georgia Democrats will choose between rising star Stacey Abrams, who could become the first female African-American governor, and state Sen. Stacey Evans.
CNN’s headline on Kentucky says it all: “Democratic House primary in Kentucky pits openly gay mayor against female fighter pilot”
In Texas, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee faces another test between its preferred candidate and a more progressive upstart.
Arkansas Democrats hope state Rep. Clarke Tucker emerges as the challenger to GOP Rep. French Hill, and can put Republicans on defense in a state that voted for Trump by over 25 points in 2016.
Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle hopes to earn a promotion to the state’s top political office. In the primary he faces Secretary of State Brian Kemp, among others, who made headlines when he released a TV ad that featured him pointing a shotgun at a boy presumably interested in dating his daughter. Any candidate needs to get 50% or more to earn the nomination, otherwise the top two will move on to a July 24 runoff.
On the Democratic side, former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams got a last-minute endorsement from Hillary Clinton, after racking up endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Abrams must defeat state Rep. Stacey Evans first, and would start out as an underdog against her eventual Republican opponent.
Georgia’s 6th District:
Lucy McBath, whose unarmed teenage son was gunned down in his car in 2012, is running in a crowded primary here. She will have to clear 50% to win the nomination Tuesday night, and would begin as a long shot against Rep. Karen Handel, who was elected to the seat last June in what eventually became the most expensive House race in history.
Kentucky’s 6th District:
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath compete in an atypical Democratic primary. The DCCC has not taken sides, and both candidates have similar stances on policy issues. Gray was the Democratic Senate nominee against Rand Paul in 2016 and lost by about 15 points. McGrath is running as an outsider, and she told CNN over the weekend: “It’s very clear that people are looking for more women. It’s very clear that people are really interested in candidates who aren’t necessarily — that didn’t grow up within the political party.” Whoever wins will take on GOP Rep. Andy Barr. CNN rates the race as Lean Republican.
Texas’ 7th District:
In March, the DCCC took the unusual step of dumping opposition research against progressive candidate Laura Moser in the hopes of taking down her candidacy. The move backfired, and Moser finished second in a seven-person race. Her opponent in Tuesday’s runoff is the more establishment Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who hopes to move on to the general election against GOP Rep. John Culberson. CNN currently rates the race as Lean Republican.
Arkansas’ 2nd District:
Democrats are looking to make inroads in the Clintons’ home state, and recruited state Rep. Clarke Tucker to take on two-term Rep. French Hill in this Little-Rock based district. Hill won his 2014 election with just 52% of the vote, so Tucker could make this a race. CNN also rates this seat as Lean Republican.