Primary voters in four states headed to the polls Tuesday night to determine several contested races in key elections that might sway control of Congress in November.
Voters cast their ballots in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin, with most races called by late Tuesday. Additionally, some victors emerged from primary races that were left uncalled from last week, ousting one House Republican who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump last year.
FULL COVERAGE OF THE 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
Here are the biggest results from last night’s primary elections:
Trump-backed candidate wins another proxy war against Pence endorsee
Tim Michels won the Republican nomination for Wisconsin’s governor, setting the stage for what is expected to be one of the toughest elections this year with implications for how the 2024 presidential election will be carried out in the crucial swing state.
The Republican-controlled legislature has repeatedly tried to pass tighter election laws over the last few years that have been blocked by incumbent Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, prompting several GOP candidates to vie to oust him in November. The stakes are seen as particularly high because of Wisconsin’s status as a battleground state — one that helped secure President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.
The primary race marks another personal victory for Trump after the election was seen as the latest proxy war between him and former Vice President Mike Pence, who backed Michels’s challenger Rebecca Kleefisch.
Another pro-impeachment Republican bites the dust
Trump secured another personal win Tuesday night after Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president after the Jan. 6 riot, lost her seat to a Trump-endorsed Army veteran Joe Kent.
The 12-year incumbent conceded the race on Tuesday after vote-tabulating dragged on for a week, with Herrera Beutler finishing in third place. Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez clinched a spot on the November ballot by coming in first, while Kent advanced to second place after a week of counting the votes.
Herrera Beutler is the third House Republican to lose her reelection bid after impeaching Trump, joining the ranks of Reps. Peter Meijer (R-MI) and Tom Rice (R-SC).
‘Squad’ member narrowly survives reelection bid
All eyes were on Minnesota late Tuesday night as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) narrowly pulled off a victory against a tight contest from a centrist who challenged the progressive’s stance on defunding the police.
Omar faced a crowded field of Democratic challengers, with Don Samuels, who emerged as the most prominent opponent, nearly ousting the far-left candidate. Samuels conceded late Tuesday but warned that coming that close “means that we have our finger on the pulse of the exhausted majority.”
Winning the primary election was crucial for Omar because the Democratic nominee typically prevails in the general election in the solidly blue district.
Longtime GOP lawmaker in Wisconsin prevails against Trump-backed candidate
Despite victories elsewhere, Trump was not successful in all his bids to oust his critics from office. Wisconsin’s longtime Assembly Speaker Robin Vos survived his reelection bid after the former president endorsed challenger Adam Steen because of Vos’s refusal to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state.
Vos had hired a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice to look into the 2020 election and later revealed Trump asked him in July to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory. However, Vos maintained that decertification of the election results would be unconstitutional.
Steen was narrowly leading Voz early in the night, but the incumbent managed to pull ahead after 10 p.m. to claim the victory. Because there is no Democratic nominee, the 17-year incumbent is expected to retain his seat in power come November.
Vermont makes history with Democratic House candidate
Vermont is poised to make history by sending its first female lawmaker to Congress after state Sen. Becca Balint won the Democratic nomination for the state’s sole House seat on Tuesday.
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Incumbent Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) announced he would not seek reelection to the House and instead would run for Senate, leaving a rare vacancy that sparked a competitive primary.
Vermont is the only state that has never sent a woman to Congress, prompting backlash that the lack of female representation contradicts the deep-blue state’s reputation as a bastion of liberal politics. Balint is predicted to cruise to victory in November because the state typically elects Democrats for its House seat.