The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● NY-16: On Wednesday morning, educator Jamaal Bowman declared victory over longtime Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District, asserting that his advantage “would be nearly impossible” for Engel to overcome when absentee ballots are counted next week. With 44,000 votes tallied by the time we put the Digest to bed on Wednesday evening, Bowman held a wide 62-35 lead, though because of a coronavirus-fueled surge in mail voting, many votes remain to be counted. Engel has not conceded and called Bowman’s declaration "premature."
Meanwhile, in two neighboring districts, candidates backed by a wide swath of progressive organizations and leaders were also winning closely watched primaries for seats where incumbents are retiring. In the 15th District, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres was up 30-19 on Assemblyman Michael Blake, with notorious homophobic bigot Ruben Diaz Sr. in third with just 15% of the vote. And in the 17th, attorney Mondaire Jones was ahead of former prosecutor Adam Schleifer 45-21, with state Sen. David Carlucci, who for years helped Republicans control the state Senate, far back at 13.
If Bowman’s edge stands, it will complete a stunning upset in a race that crescendoed in the final weeks. While Engel, who chairs the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee, began as the heavy favorite, he was the subject of an unflattering—and widely shared—profile in the Atlantic in early May, which reported that he’d holed up in his D.C.-area home for the duration of the pandemic, not even returning to New York when the state's first coronavirus epicenter was identified in his district.
Things got worse weeks later when, on his first trip back to the district in months, Engel was caught on camera pleading for more time to speak at a press conference saying, “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn't care,” a gaffe that Bowman and his allies quickly framed as a commentary on the congressman’s feelings about his race and his constituents. The blunder caught national attention and helped turbocharge Bowman’s fundraising, allowing him to keep pace with Engel during the campaign’s stretch run.
Bowman’s own journey to this moment was a remarkable one. He was raised by a single mother and lived in public housing, crediting rent stabilization policies for allowing his family to leave. He became a teacher in the Bronx and went on to found a new public school there and serve as principal, helping kids from circumstances like his own.
Bowman ran as a vocal progressive, supporting Medicare for All and rejecting corporate PAC money. He’d also spoken and written poignantly about his repeated mistreatment as a Black man at the hands of police, including his arrest—in front of his young son—for “stealing” his own car. That experience aligned him well with the newly invigorated nationwide movement challenging police brutality and demanding criminal justice reform.
Engel’s district, which straddles the Bronx and Westchester, had also changed considerably since he was first elected in 1988. While Engel, who is Jewish, originally represented a district that was majority white, it’s now very diverse thanks to subsequent redistricting and demographic changes, with a population that’s 37% white, 31% Black, 25% Latino, and 6% Asian American. If Engel loses, he will be the second House Democrat to do so this year, following Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski's loss to a progressive challenger in March.
Please bookmark our litigation tracker for a complete compilation of the latest developments in every lawsuit regarding changes to election and voting procedures.
● Florida: A federal court has rejected a request for a preliminary order that Florida officials be required to count absentee ballots so long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received within 10 days; currently, ballots must be received by 7 PM local time on Election Day. The plaintiffs, which include the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, had also asked that the state be required to pay the postage on return envelopes for mail-in ballots, which the judge also rejected.
While the court declined the lawsuit's requests on a preliminary basis, the case is still set to head to trial on July 20, and plaintiffs could yet prevail. However, the judge repeatedly concluded in his ruling that they were "not likely to succeed" on their claims, though he emphasized that his decisions did not "foreclose a contrary ruling" at trial.
● Louisiana: A federal judge has rejected a pair of lawsuits that challenged Louisiana's requirements that voters present an excuse to request an absentee ballot and that they have a witness sign their ballot. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate they would suffer a concrete injury as a result of these laws.
● Minnesota: A federal judge has refused to sign off on a settlement between voting rights advocates and Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon waiving Minnesota's requirement that voters have their absentee ballots witnessed for the state's Aug. 11 primary, calling the agreement too broad. However, a state court approved a similar settlement last week, which remains binding on the state regardless of the federal ruling, and Simon has said he will adhere to it.
Plaintiffs are still pressing for the witness requirement to be waived for the November general election, a dispute that has not yet been resolved.
● Missouri: The Missouri Supreme Court has reinstated a lawsuit brought by the NAACP asking that all voters be allowed to vote absentee without having their ballots notarized in the state's Aug. 4 primary and the November general election. A lower court dismissed the plaintiffs' suit last month, but the Supreme Court ruled that the judge had erred and specifically chided him for addressing the merits of the case rather than confining his analysis to the narrow question of whether the plaintiffs had properly brought a legal claim before the court.
● AZ-Sen: The League of Conservation Voters is out with its first ad against Republican Sen. Martha McSally as part of its previously announced $1.5 million buy. The narrator declares that she "voted to gut clean air protections, leading to even more asthma, heart disease, and cancer."
● CO-Sen: Former Gov. John Hickenlooper's new commercial highlights how Gov. Jared Polis recently criticized former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff's negative ad against Hickenlooper. The narrator then notes that Hickenlooper has the endorsement of several prominent national Democrats in next week's primary.
● NC-Sen, NC-Gov: The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling's newest survey of its home state finds Democrat Cal Cunningham edging out GOP Sen. Thom Tillis 44-40, while Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper leads Republican Dan Forest 50-41; the sample also supports Joe Biden 48-46. At the beginning of this month, PPP found Cunningham and Cooper up 43-41 and 50-39, respectively.
● UT-Gov: Surveys have generally shown a tight June 30 Republican primary between former Gov. Jon Huntsman and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, but Utah Policy reports that it's Huntsman who has been spending considerably more money on TV ads since the late April convention. Huntsman outspent former state House Speaker Greg Hughes by a wide $387,000 to $250,000, while Cox was in third with $145,000; former state party chair Thomas Burr, who has consistently been in last place in the polls, deployed just $105,000.
However, Cox has been investing heavily in digital advertising during this time. Utah Policy writes that Cox deployed $293,000 on Facebook and YouTube, while Huntsman spent just a fifth of that.
● FL-19: Florida Politics reports that the anti-tax Club for Growth has booked $1 million in TV time to aid Republican state Rep. Byron Donalds in the crowded and expensive August primary for this safely red seat. The group's first ad, which Politico writes is running for $300,000, calls Donalds "a law and order believer who stands with our police."
● GA-07: Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux’s allies at EMILY’s List are out with a survey from Public Policy Polling that gives her a 42-39 lead over Republican Rich McCormick. The poll, which was in the field from June 19-20 and sampled 589 voters, also finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 50-44 in a historically red district that has been briskly moving to the left in recent years. This seat in Atlanta's northeastern suburbs went from 60-38 Romney to 51-45 Trump, and Democrat Stacey Abrams carried it 50-49 despite being hampered by the flawed 2018 election for governor.
Bourdeaux and McCormick each averted an August primary runoff by winning a majority of the vote in the June 9 primaries, but things remain ugly on the Republican side. State Sen. Renee Unterman, who lost to McCormick 55-17, used Tuesday's legislative debate on hate-crimes legislation to talk about the antisemitism she'd faced during her career in politics, and she singled out a December encounter with McCormick.
Unterman said that, during a Christmas parade they were both participating in, McCormick pressured her to wear a Christmas sweater. "What he was doing to me was not a hate crime, but it was belittling me because of my religion and my faith," Unterman said.
McCormick defended himself by telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that this had been a "friendly conversation," and that he was just challenging Unterman to wear an "ugly sweater." McCormick didn't try to be at all friendly, though, when he continued, "Let's not cheapen the debate on race by crying wolf like Renee regularly has done when things don't go her way." McCormick then actually concluded, "Some of my best support has been from the Jewish community to include Renee's former husband."
● NJ-02: Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that he was endorsing mental health advocate Amy Kennedy in the July 7 Democratic primary to take on Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew. Kennedy's main intra-party opponent is Brigid Callahan Harrison, who has the support of Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker.
● NJ-03: Former Burlington County Freeholder Kate Gibbs is out with a commercial ahead of the July 7 Republican primary where she defends herself from attacks launched by wealthy businessman David Richter.
Gibbs tells the audience, "I made some dumb decisions as a college kid, and I've owned up to them. But that immature girl isn't the one running for Congress today." Gibbs doesn't say what those "dumb decisions" were, but her spot includes a screenshot of a Richter web ad that went after Gibbs' past, including how she'd been arrested for shoplifting from Kohl's in 2006 when she was 20 (Gibbs ultimately pleaded guilty to a lesser charge).
Most of the rest of Gibbs' spot focuses on her conservative record in office, though she once again accuses Richter of being a "pro-Biden, pro-China elitist." Whoever wins next month will take on freshman Democratic Rep. Andy Kim in this swing seat.
● PA-10: Our first poll of this contest is a late May survey from GBAO for Democrat Eugene DePasquale, and it shows him trailing Republican Rep. Scott Perry 50-47.
The sample also finds Joe Biden up 48-47 in a seat that Donald Trump carried 52-43 four years ago, but where Democrats have done better in recent statewide elections. According to analyst J. Miles Coleman, DePasquale himself carried the seat during his 2016 re-election campaign; Bloomberg's Greg Giroux also reports that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf won the district 54-44 in 2018, while Sen. Bob Casey prevailed 50-48 here.
● TX-04: Aaron Harris, who serves as chief of staff to neighboring Rep. Lance Gooden, announced Wednesday that he would seek the GOP nomination to succeed John Ratcliffe. Because Ratcliffe won the primary before he resigned to join the Trump administration, the party's Congressional District Executive Committee will select a replacement nominee at an Aug. 8 meeting.
● TX-13: Lobbyist Josh Winegarner's new ad focuses on the allegations against former White House chief physician Ronny Jackson, who is his opponent in the July 14 Republican runoff, that derailed his nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018. The spot declares, "Ronny moved here to run for office after 23 of his own military colleagues told authorities he was the 'worst officer I ever served with,' 'abusive,' 'dishonest,' 'belittling,' 'flat out unethical.'" The rest of the commercial promotes Winegarner as a trustworthy local conservative.
● TX-24: Local school board member Candace Valenzuela picked up an endorsement from Georgia Rep. and civil rights icon John Lewis for the July 14 Democratic runoff.
● House: The Democratic group House Majority PAC announced Tuesday that it has reserved $2.9 million in TV time in the Houston, Texas, media market. The group has also booked an additional $550,000 in Phoenix, Arizona, which brings its total reservation there to $1.75 million.
Election Result Recaps
A large number of Tuesday's closely watched primaries remain unresolved, and in both Kentucky and New York, we can expect many of them to remain undecided for some time.
In Kentucky, most counties have only released partial results and many have not reported any numbers yet. That includes the largest, Jefferson, which said it will not publish any returns before Tuesday, while the second-largest county, Fayette, has counted only Election Day votes.
Meanwhile, under New York law, officials are barred from counting mail ballots until eight days after Election Day. In the past, this delay has been less of an issue because absentee voting was uncommon, since voters had to provide an excuse. However, the excuse requirement was waived because of the coronavirus pandemic this year, leading to a surge in mail voting.
For the same reason, any statistics in either state regarding the "percentage of precincts reporting" should be ignored entirely as these figures do not account for mail votes. Even in races where sources misleadingly say that 100% of precincts have reported, you can be certain that 100% of votes have not been counted.
With all that said, below is where things stand in each of Tuesday's uncalled races. All figures reflect where each race stood when we put the Digest to bed on Wednesday evening:
● KY-Sen: With 64,000 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath has a 44-38 lead on state Rep. Charles Booker. About 410,000 total votes were cast in the Democratic primary for Senate in 2016, though officials say they expect turnout this year to set new records. Booker and McGrath are competing for the right to take on Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in November.
● NY-01: With 14,500 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, wealthy businessman (and 2018 nominee) Perry Gershon leads chemistry professor Nancy Goroff 36-34, with Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming at 28. Democrats are hoping to unseat Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in this competitive but red-leaning seat.
● NY-02: With 15,500 votes tallied in the Republican primary, Andrew Garbarino leads fellow Assemblyman Mike LiPetri 62-38. The winner will face Babylon Town Councilor Jackie Gordon in the general election for this swingy seat that became open when Republican Rep. Peter King announced his retirement.
● NY-09: With 59,500 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, Rep. Yvette Clarke leads community organizer Adem Bunkeddeko 62-18. This is a safely blue seat.
● NY-10: With 31,000 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, Rep. Jerry Nadler leads former Andrew Cuomo adviser Lindsey Boylan 62-25. This is a safely blue seat.
● NY-12: With 39,500 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, Rep. Carolyn Maloney leads attorney Suraj Patel 42-40. This is a safely blue seat.
● NY-24: With 16,500 votes tallied in the Democratic primary, public policy professor (and 2018 nominee) Dana Balter leads Navy veteran Francis Conole 65-35. Democrats are hoping to unseat Republican Rep. John Katko, who is one of just three House Republicans defending a seat this fall that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
You can keep tabs on all of these races by bookmarking our continually updated cheat-sheet. Meanwhile, the following races have been called:
● KY-04: Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, an idiosyncratic ultraconservative who often votes against his party's leadership, pulled off an overwhelming win against attorney Todd McMurtry in this safely red northern Kentucky seat. With 19,000 votes counted, Massie leads McMurtry 88-12, and the Associated Press has called the race for the incumbent.
This contest attracted national attention at the end of March after Massie delayed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, prompting Donald Trump to respond with a string of tweets calling for the congressman to be thrown out of the Republican Party. While this initially looked like dire news for Massie, Trump never took any further action against the incumbent over the next few months.
If anything, the story may have helped Massie politically. The congressman quickly raised a large amount of money in the aftermath of Trump's tirade, while GOP establishment figures like Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney distanced themselves from McMurtry after tweets surfaced that showed him using bigoted language. Massie's allies at the anti-tax Club for Growth released a poll in late April that showed him pulverizing McMurtry, and that's just what happened on Tuesday.
● NC-11: In a big upset, businessman Madison Cawthorn decisively defeated real-estate agent Lynda Bennett, who had the endorsement of both Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, to win the Republican primary runoff to succeed Meadows in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District. With 46,000 votes in, Cawthorn leads Bennett 66-34 in a contest the Associated Press called on election night. This Appalachian North Carolina seat backed Trump 57-40, and Daily Kos Elections rates the general election as Safe Republican.
A good part of Cawthorn's electoral success may be due to his background. He was the subject of several nonpolitical local stories in the years since he survived a near-fatal 2014 car wreck that left him in a wheelchair. Cawthorn, who will turn 25 in August, also portrayed himself as a representative of an "emerging generation of Americans." He would be both the first-ever member of Congress to be born in the 1990s and the youngest member since Oklahoma Democratic Rep. Jed Johnson Jr. was elected to a single term in 1964 at age 24 and turned 25 six days before the new session began the following January.
Bennett, meanwhile, has been active in local Republican politics for a long time, and she'd made a good deal of enemies. In a story in the Smoky Mountain News that ran one day before the runoff, several Republicans told reporter Cory Vaillancourt that, while they respected Trump, they utterly disliked Bennett. One of them said, "I have watched her in person completely go off on fellow Republicans. I watched her stomp her feet, cross her arms, turn her back, and get in the face of the chair of the district."
Plenty of conservatives also expressed their anger when talking about the circumstances of Bennett's campaign. Meadows announced his departure in December one day before the filing deadline and after it was too late for anyone running for another office to switch to this race. But Bennett, who is a close friend of Meadows' wife, seemed to be the one person who was already prepared to run.
As Politico wrote, Bennett had registered a campaign website domain in late October, back when everyone assumed the congressman would run again. Politico also noted that the person who appeared to have reserved this for Bennett was Scott Meadows―who just happens to be Mark Meadows' brother. Two months later, Bennett also set up a Facebook campaign page five hours before Mark Meadows broke his own retirement news. Both Bennett and Meadows, who would resign months later to become Trump's chief of staff, denied that he'd timed his announcement to aid Bennett, but plenty of Republicans at home were skeptical.
Bennett's own words also may have played a role in her defeat. Bennett was recorded at a 2016 Haywood County GOP meeting appearing to trash Trump, declaring among other things, "I am a never Trump person. I don't want Trump. I am not for him, I am against him. Never Trump." Bennett would insist she'd only been roleplaying a Republican opposed to Trump, but that didn't deter Cawthorn's allies at Protect Freedom PAC from using the audio in a commercial against her. If you take nothing else from this contest, please remember this: Never play "Dungeons & Dragons: Donald Trump Edition."
P.S.: Bennett's defeat is the first time that a Trump-endorsed candidate lost a primary by double digits since 2017, when Alabama Sen. Luther Strange went down 55-45 against Roy Moore. Earlier this month, though, Trump-backed Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman lost the Republican nominating convention 58-42 to Bob Good.
● NY-14: Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won renomination in a landslide against former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a self-funder backed by the right-wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce. With 38,000 votes in, AOC leads 73-20 in a race the AP has called. This seat, which includes part of the Bronx and Queens, is safely blue.
● NY-27: The Associated Press has called both the special election for the final months of disgraced ex-Rep. Chris Jacobs term and the Republican primary for a full two-year term for state Sen. Chris Jacobs. With 80,000 votes in, Jacobs leads 2018 Democratic nominee Nate McMurray 69-30 in a seat that Trump carried 60-35. And with 58,500 votes tabulated, Jacobs, who had Trump's endorsement, is outpacing attorney Beth Parlato 71-16; McMurray won his primary with no opposition.
● VA-02: The Associated Press has projected a rematch between freshman Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria and former Republican Rep. Scott Taylor. With 48,000 votes tabulated in the GOP primary, Taylor leads Navy veteran Ben Loyola by a wide 48-29 margin.
This seat, which includes Virginia Beach, backed Donald Trump 49-45, but Luria unseated Taylor 51-49 two years later. While Taylor only narrowly lost last time, though, Luria looks like the favorite going into the general election. Luria so far has proven to be a considerably stronger fundraiser than Taylor, who spent months running a longshot Senate campaign before he switched races early this year.
An old scandal may also cause Taylor more problems. Taylor's staff was exposed during the 2018 campaign for forging signatures on behalf of Democrat-turned-independent Shaun Brown (who was booted off the ballot by a judge), and Democrats ran ads slamming Taylor's campaign for its skullduggery.
The story surfaced again in March when a former Taylor staffer pleaded guilty for her part in the scheme, and the local prosecutor said the "investigation is still ongoing" and that we're "likely to see more" indictments to come. Taylor himself has consistently denied any knowledge of the scheme, but his staff had previously claimed the congressman was indeed aware of their plans. Daily Kos Elections rates this contest as Lean Democratic.
● VA-05: In a surprise, physician Cameron Webb turned in a landslide victory in the four-way Democratic primary for this open south-central Virginia seat. With 56,000 votes in, Webb leads Marine veteran Claire Russo 66-18; the AP has also called this contest. If Webb wins this 53-42 Trump seat in November, he would be the first African American congressman from this area since John Mercer Langston's brief tenure ended in 1891.
There was no obvious frontrunner heading into Election Day, and while Webb very much looked like a viable candidate, few observers anticipated that he'd run so far ahead of the other candidates. It's possible that Webb's background as a Black physician helped him stand out during this moment in American history: The candidate himself said on election night, "We're facing a global health pandemic, crisis of racial injustice, and you layer on top of that inequities in education, health care, criminal justice, employment, people heard in our message something that spoke to them."
Webb will face Republican Bob Good, a self-described "bright red Biblical and constitutional conservative" who unseated Rep. Denver Riggleman at the party's nominating convention earlier this month. While Good is favored to hold this seat, things are very chaotic on the Republican side right now.
Good notably failed to turn in paperwork on June 9 he needs in order to appear on the November ballot, though the Board of Elections could grant him an extension at its July 7 meeting. Riggleman also has not ruled out challenging the results of the convention in court; the congressman has also refused to close the door on a third-party bid, though the deadline to run as an independent has passed.
Good may also have problems against Webb in November thanks to his hard-right views and underwhelming fundraising. Daily Kos Elections rates this contest as Likely Republican, but this is one to keep watching.
● NY State Assembly: Tuesday looks to have been a rough night for a number of New York Democrats with a history of supporting Republicans who'd either been seeking promotions or making comeback attempts. Most prominently, state Sen. David Carlucci and New York City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. are currently both in third place in their respective congressional campaigns. But two fellow travelers, former state Sens. Jesse Hamilton and Hiram Monserrate, are also falling short in their bids to regain elective office.
Hamilton was a member of the notorious Independent Democratic Conference, which for years handed power to Republicans in the state Senate, even when the GOP held a minority of seats. The junta's defection single-handedly prevented a huge range of progressive priorities from ever even getting a vote, sparking progressive anger that resulted in six of the IDC's eight members losing primaries to mainstream Democratic challengers two years ago. Hamilton was among those who got the boot, losing to now-Sen. Zellnor Myrie by a 54-46 margin.
An apparently clueless Hamilton belatedly decided to challenge Assemblywoman Diana Richardson in the 43rd District, located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. Hamilton didn't officially kick off his campaign until just a month before the primary and expressed bewilderment as to why voters had turned him out in the first place. "When I lost my race, I said, 'Wow, I did all I could do for the people. I don't know how I lost this race,'" he recently said. With more than 12,000 votes counted, he's losing this one, too: Richardson currently leads 72-28.
Monserrate might be even worse. In 2009, not long after Democrats reclaimed the state Senate for the first time in over 40 years, he and fellow Sen. Pedro Espada voted with the GOP to oust the Democratic majority leader and install Republican Dean Skelos in his stead. They were joined by Diaz and a fourth senator, Carl Kruger, in regularly making life hell for the Democratic caucus—a quartet Diaz dubbed the "Four Amigos." (Diaz would later take credit for inspiring the IDC to turn renegade.)
Espada and Monserrate eventually returned to the fold, but Monserrate's tenure didn't last much longer: Later that year, he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, and soon after he was expelled from the Senate—the first New York legislator to be ejected in almost 100 years. He then lost the special election to fill his own seat (running as an independent), as well as a primary for the Assembly, both in 2010. The month after his second loss, he was indicted on federal corruption charges and ultimately pleaded guilty, serving 21 months in prison.
Monserrate followed up his jail term with another unsuccessful campaign, this time for his old seat on the City Council in 2017, then launched a fourth straight comeback bid against Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry in the 35th District in western Queens—a different seat than the one he'd sought in 2010. Aubry, however, leads Monserrate 65-35 with 5,000 votes tallied.
The only member of either the IDC or the "Four Amigos" who will return to Albany next year will be state Sen. Diane Savino, who currently has a wide lead in her primary. But not only have the political fortunes of these other turncoats suffered badly, Espada, Kruger, and Skelos all joined Monserrate in serving time for corruption convictions. Of the old buddies, only Diaz never went to prison.
● Special Elections: We take a look at where things currently stand in Kentucky's special state Senate election, where many votes have yet to be tabulated. We also have a recap of Tuesday's special election in Mississippi.
KY-SD-26: As of Wednesday afternoon, Republican Bill Ferko was leading Democrat Karen Berg 79-21 in this suburban Louisville seat. There are multiple caveats to this, though, as these figures only reflect the roughly 5,200 votes tallied from the portion of the district that contains Oldham County. Additionally, there are an unknown number of mail ballots that still need to be counted, meaning even the number of votes we have from Oldham is incomplete. Finally, Jefferson County (home to Louisville) makes up a large portion of this district and it has not reported any results for any races that occurred Tuesday.
While the state of this race is currently muddled, the earliest returns have favored Ferko. There is reason to believe Berg can close the gap, though, when more results come in, particularly the ones from Jefferson County. According to analyst Drew Savicki, Republican Matt Bevin carried the Oldham part of this district 52-46 in the 2019 race for governor. Democrat Andy Beshear, on the other hand, posted a huge 61-38 win in the Jefferson portion, en route to carrying this district 54-45.
MS-HD-88: Businesswoman Robin Robinson defeated funeral director Mike Walker, a fellow conservative, 65-33 in this officially nonpartisan race. A third candidate, Jason Dykes, took 2% of the vote, but he had previously withdrawn from the race. Robinson will almost certainly join the GOP caucus when she becomes a member of the state House, which would return the GOP majority to 74-46 (with one independent member).