● Primary Night: Thursdays with Hagerty: Did Tuesday's primary action leave you wanting more immediately? If so, you're in luck, because Tennessee is about to bring us our once-in-a-cycle set of Thursday primaries. (The state has held elections on this unusual day of the week since 1796, and no one's really sure why.) And no matter what day we have elections, we have our preview of the races to watch.
The biggest contest will be the Republican primary for Senate, where we have a nasty and expensive contest between Bill Hagerty, who previously served as Donald Trump's ambassador to Japan, and orthopedic surgeon Manny Sethi. We also have a huge GOP contest in the 1st Congressional District, an East Tennessee seat that has been in Republican hands since 1881.
The polls close at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT, and we'll begin our liveblog then at Daily Kos Elections.
Please bookmark our litigation tracker for a complete summary of the latest developments in every lawsuit regarding changes to elections and voting procedures as a result of the coronavirus.
● Georgia: The Republican-run commission that governs Cobb County, a populous county in the Atlanta suburbs, has rejected a request by the county's Board of Elections that it appropriate $256,000 to send absentee ballot applications to all voters for the November general election. Though the board's request was unanimous, Republicans hold a 4-to-1 majority on the commission, and its chair removed the item from the board's agenda for its most recent meeting earlier this week.
● Nevada: The Trump campaign has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Nevada's new law that will have the state send out mail ballots to all voters for the November general election, claiming the measure violates the Constitution.
● North Carolina: U.S. District Judge William Osteen has declined to impose most of the requests made by voting rights advocates in a lawsuit challenging a number of North Carolina's election laws, concluding that plaintiffs had failed to meet the necessary legal burdens to obtain the relief they had sought. However, Osteen warned defendants that if they "believe these issues may now be discounted or disregarded for purposes of the impending election" as a result of his ruling, "they would be sorely mistaken."
The plaintiffs had asked that the court block enforcement of eight different state laws, chief among them the requirement that absentee voters have their ballots witnessed, as well as order state officials to take almost a dozen different steps to make voting easier, such as setting up ballot drop boxes.
Osteen rejected most of these requests, but he did grant one key piece of relief, ruling that officials had to give absentee voters the opportunity to "cure" any issues with their ballots that might otherwise cause them to be rejected, such as a signature mismatch or incorrect contact information for a witness. Plaintiffs told the court that 15% of absentee ballots were rejected in the state's March primary and say that as many as 100,000 ballots that will be cast for the November general election might now be saved thanks to Osteen's decision.
● Senate: We have a trio of Senate polls:
- IA-Sen: Monmouth: Joni Ernst (R-inc): 48, Theresa Greenfield (D): 45 (48-45 Trump)
- KY-Sen: Bluegrass Data (D) for Ditch Mitch Fund (anti-McConnell): Mitch McConnell (R-inc): 49, Amy McGrath (D): 46 (52-45 Trump)
- MI-Sen: Hodas & Associates (R) for Restoration PAC (pro-James): Gary Peters (D-inc): 51, John James (R): 40 (53-41 Biden) (June: 49-37 Peters)
This is the first Iowa poll we’ve seen from a reliable firm since late June, when a GQR survey for Theresa Greenfield’s allies at End Citizens United had her ahead 49-47.
Ditch Mitch Fund’s memo says that an unreleased April poll had Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump ahead 40-38 and 55-34, respectively.
● MT-Sen: The Montana Conservation Voters, which is the state affiliate of the League of Conservation Voters, has launched a six-figure TV buy against Republican Sen. Steve Daines. The opening commercial goes after Daines for refusing to stand up to "anti-public lands zealot William Perry Pendley," who is Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management. The commercial declares that Pendley "even wants to take away your stream access."
● MO-Gov: Uniting Missouri PAC, which is Republican Gov. Mike Parson's allied super PAC, has launched a seven-figure TV buy in support of him. The opening commercial praises Parson as "tough on crime, strong on jobs."
● NC-Gov: Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is airing another ad highlighting Republican Dan Forest's reckless disregard for social distancing. The narrator declares that "since June, he's held at least 16 indoor events during the pandemic. Hundreds of people, with no masks, no social distancing, because what does Dan Forest think of masks?" The spot then plays a clip of a newscaster saying, "Dan Forest said masks do not work with viruses, and that's just not true."
● House: We have a trio of Democratic polls of GOP-held seats:
Last week, Republican Rep. David Schweikert agreed to pay a $50,000 fine, accept a formal reprimand, and admit to 11 different violations of congressional rules and campaign finance laws in a deal with the bipartisan House Ethics Committee to conclude its investigation of the congressman, a decision that was announced while the DCCC's survey was in the field. (The poll was conducted July 29- Aug. 1, and Schweikert's deal was made public on July 30.)
We haven't seen any other surveys testing Schweikert against Hiral Tipirneni, who won her Democratic primary on Tuesday against a few underfunded opponents. However, while this seat, which includes Scottsdale and North Phoenix, is ancestrally red territory, there's good reason to think that Joe Biden can do well here in the fall.
While Mitt Romney carried Arizona's 6th District—well-educated and relatively affluent turf in the Phoenix suburbs—by a hefty 60-39 margin, Donald Trump only won it 52-42, and Republican Martha McSally prevailed just 51-47 in her unsuccessful Senate bid in 2018. Since then, suburban seats like this have only become more and more hostile to the GOP.
We've seen one other poll from Kansas' 2nd, and unusually, it was an internal for Jake LaTurner that showed him doing worse than the DCCC's survey does. Last month, LaTurner released numbers from Battleground Connect that found him ahead of De La Isla just 42-41; that survey did not include presidential numbers for this 56-37 Trump seat.
LaTurner publicized that underwhelming showing to argue that he'd still be a far more electable GOP nominee than scandal-ridden incumbent Rep. Steve Watkins, who trailed De La Isla 50-37. Primary voters agreed, and they ejected Watkins on Tuesday: This DCCC poll was done in the days leading up to the nomination contest on July 29 and 30.
This is the first survey we've seen from North Carolina's 8th District, which was redrawn for this cycle along with the rest of the state's congressional map. The poll, which was shared with the National Journal, did not include presidential numbers for this seat, which backed Trump 53-44.
The contest between Republican Rep. Richard Hudson and Democrat Pat Timmons-Goodson for this district in the Fayetteville and Charlotte suburbs hasn't attracted too much attention yet, but Timmons-Goodson's fundraising notably picked up during the second quarter of 2020. Timmons-Goodson outraised Hudson $831,000 to $329,000, though the incumbent ended June with a $1.8 million to $619,000 cash-on-hand lead.
● FL-15: Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin's GOP primary campaign against scandal-plagued incumbent Ross Spano earned an endorsement on Wednesday from Rep. Matt Gaetz, a rabid Trump superfan who represents the 1st District in the Florida Panhandle well to the northwest of this central Florida seat. Gaetz is the first member of the delegation to call for the defeat of Spano, who has endorsements from four neighboring congressmen in the Aug. 18 primary.
● FL-19: Wealthy businessman Casey Askar is out with a commercial going after two of his opponents in the Aug. 18 Republican primary, state Reps. Byron Donalds and Dane Eagle, over their past arrests. The narrator declares that age 18, Askar "left home and joined the Marines," while Donalds was "arrested for drug possession" at 19 and Eagle was charged with a DUI at 31. The spot also shows mugshots of both of Askar's rivals as the narrator asks how either Donalds or Eagle could dare to attack him.
The ad comes around the same time that St. Pete Polls released a survey for Florida Politics that found Askar losing nearly half of his support since the firm's early July poll. Florida Politics writes that the plunge St. Pete Polls found came "after weeks of scrutiny" regarding Askar's military service.
● MA-01: Speaker Nancy Pelosi stars in a commercial for Rep. Richie Neal ahead of the Sept. 1 Democratic primary. Pelosi tells the audience, "When I needed someone to lead the fight against Donald Trump, I asked Richie Neal, because he doesn't back down from anyone." Pelosi goes on to praise the congressman for delivering over $1 billion in funds for the region and concludes, "If we're going to beat Trump, I need a leader like Richie in the fight."
● NH-01: Former Trump aide Matt Mowers uses the very first words of his opening ad to inform the audience that he's Donald Trump's endorsed candidate. Mowers then does his best impression of his old boss and says, "You and I respect law enforcement, but liberal [Democratic Rep.] Chris Pappas voted with Nancy Pelosi to allow criminals to sue our police." As WMUR explains, Pappas voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would "subject police officers and others in law enforcement to personal lawsuits while acting in the line of duty."
● NM-02: Republican Yvette Herrell earned an endorsement this week from former Democratic Rep. Harry Teague, who was elected to a previous version of this southern New Mexico seat in 2008 and lost it two years later. Teague has a long history in the local oil industry, and he argued that Herrell would be friendly towards "our important energy industry."
Freshman Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, though, quickly released a statement from the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association praising her work on energy issues. That group used to be led by Claire Chase, who lost a truly nasty primary to Herrell in June, but Chase told political writer Joe Monahan that she was supporting her old intra-party rival and encouraging people to donate to her.
● NY-12, NY-15: On Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections finally certified the results of the June 23 primary held six weeks earlier, prompting the Associated Press to issue calls the following day in the last two undecided House races.
In the 12th District, based on Manhattan's East Side, Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney held off attorney Suraj Patel 43-39, a much closer outcome than her 60-40 win over Patel two years earlier. Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, will be certain to win a 10th term in November given how blue this district is.
Just to the north in the open 15th District, located in the Bronx, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres handily defeated all comers, leading his nearest opponent, Assemblyman Michael Blake, 32-18. Most satisfyingly, City Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., notorious for his decades of anti-LGBTQ activism, finished a distant third with just 14% of the vote. Before the results were finalized but when it was clear he'd lost, Diaz announced his retirement from politics, so count Torres a winner twice over.
Like the 12th, the 15th is safely Democratic turf. In fact, according to the results of the 2016 presidential election, it's literally the bluest district in the nation, meaning Torres will soon be headed to Congress. The two seats also share an unlikely border: While the Harlem-based 13th District largely sits between them, they in fact meet in the middle of the Bronx Kill, a narrow waterway that divides Randalls Island (which is considered part of the borough of Manhattan) and the South Bronx.
● PA-17: Republican Sean Parnell uses his opening TV spot to talk about his military service and love of hockey.
Parnell faces Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb in a suburban Pittsburgh seat that backed Donald Trump 49-47 in 2016 but supported the Keystone State's two most prominent Democrats, Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey, by margins of 59-39 and 58-41 in 2018. Parnell did outraise Lamb $717,000 to $441,000 in the second quarter, while Lamb ended June with a $1.3 million to $868,000 cash-on-hand lead.
● TN-01: The Republican firm Spry Strategies has released a new poll of Thursday’s crowded GOP primary for WJHL. The results are below, with Spry’s late June numbers in parentheses:
- State Sen. Rusty Crowe: 16 (14)
- Pharmacist Diana Harshbarger: 16 (22)
- Physician Josh Gapp: 12 (6)
- State Rep. Timothy Hill: 10 (11)
- Former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden: 9 (6)
- Former Kingsport Mayor John Clark: 9 (5)
- State Rep. David Hawk: 6 (6)
The rest of the field took a combined 8%.
Election Results Recaps
● AZ Corporation Commission: While the secretary of state's website has not yet posted the number of write-in votes from Tuesday's primary, the Arizona Capitol Times reports that Republican Jim O'Connor has secured more than enough support to advance to the general election.
Reporter Dillon Rosenblatt writes that O'Connor has received at least 20,000 write-ins, which is considerably more than the almost 6,700 that he needed to make the November ballot. O'Connor had to wage a write-in campaign after four of the GOP's six candidates failed to turn in enough valid signatures earlier this year.
Republicans currently hold a 4-1 majority on the Corporation Commission, which is tasked with regulating utilities throughout the state and has been nicknamed Arizona's "fourth branch of government" due to the distinct role the state constitution lays out for it. Team Red is defending all three of the seats up this year, though (the other two will be on the ballot next in 2022), so Democrats need to flip two of them to take control.
Three Democrats and three Republicans will face off on the November statewide ballot. (Had O'Connor fallen short in his write-in campaign, only two Republicans would have been represented in the fall.) Voters may select up to three candidates, and the three contenders with the most support will win seats.
● Maricopa County, AZ Attorney: With 320,000 votes counted in the Democratic primary, Julie Gunnigle, who served as a prosecutor in Illinois, led former public defender Will Knight by a wide 60-22 margin. Most local media outlets have not called this race and Knight does not appear to have conceded, but it would be a big surprise if the race shifted enough to cost Gunnigle the lead. The winner will take on Republican incumbent Adel Allister, who was appointed to this post last year, in the November general election to become the top prosecutor in America's fourth-largest county.
● Pima County, AZ Attorney: Defense attorney Laura Conover won the Democratic primary to succeed retiring incumbent Barbara LaWall, a Democrat who has served as the top prosecutor in Arizona's second-largest county for 24 years. Conover beat county prosecutor Jonathan Mosher, who had LaWall's endorsement, 57-37. No other candidates are running in the general election for this Democratic-leaning county, which is home to Tucson and some of its suburbs.
During the campaign, Conover highlighted how she had not served as a prosecutor before. She told The Appeal that this "is my strength, not my weakness," and argued that the office "need[s] a person from outside to shift that culture." Both Conover and Mosher said they would use this post to push for criminal justice reforms.
● KS-Sen: After he sabotaged them in 2018's gubernatorial contest, Kansas Republicans managed to avoid nominating the nightmare named Kris Kobach for this fall's open-seat race for governor. Rep. Roger Marshall handily held off Kobach 40-26 on Tuesday night, while self-funding businessman Bob Hamilton finished a distant third with 19% of the vote.
Operatives in both parties believed Kobach could win the primary, and Democrats spent large sums to aid him in the hopes that he'd be a much easier target in the general election for their candidate, state Sen. Barbara Bollier. Republicans countered with millions in TV ads of their own boosting Marshall, convinced he was the far better choice.
The evidence either way is limited and mixed. An early June survey from Democratic pollster Civiqs conducted on behalf of Daily Kos found almost no difference between the two GOP options: Marshall led Bollier 42-41, while Bollier edged Kobach 42-41. However, an NRSC poll from mid-May—released with the very specific goal of undermining Kobach—put Marshall up by a wide 46-35 margin but only gave Kobach a 44-43 advantage.
Kansas holds the longest streak in the nation of electing only Republicans to the Senate: The last time Democrats won here came during FDR's 1932 landslide. However, Kansas is one of the better-educated states in the country, and Bollier, who served in office as a Republican until leaving the party two years ago, can readily describe herself as a moderate. The GOP is naturally favored here, but the Sunflower State could yet hold some surprises. We rate this race Likely Republican.
● KS-01: Former Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann easily beat Finney County Commissioner Bill Clifford 54-33 in the GOP primary for Kansas' 1st Congressional District, which Rep. Roger Marshall left open to run for Senate. Mann will be a lock in November to win the dark red "Big First," so nicknamed because it covers more than half the state. The district has been a launching pad for many Senate careers, including for both of the state's current senators as well as Bob Dole, because it's home to so many Republican voters—an extremely useful base for a statewide primary.
Mann himself sought this seat a decade ago but took a distant third in the 2010 primary with 21% of the vote. The winner that year, Tim Huelskamp, went on to lose renomination to Marshall in 2016.
● KS-02: State Treasurer Jake LaTurner brought freshman Rep. Steve Watkins' brief congressional career to a swift end with a 49-34 win in the Republican primary in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, aided, of course, by Watkins' recent indictment on voter fraud charges. He'll now face Democrat Michelle De La Isla, the mayor of Topeka. While this district usually leans well to the right, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly carried it 51-41 in 2018, and Watkins almost fumbled it away, hanging on by less than a point. We rate this race Likely Republican.
For a full recap of Watkins' sordid and tumultuous tenure, please enjoy Jeff Singer's write-through.
● KS-03: Former Kansas GOP chair Amanda Adkins held off Down Syndrome advocate Sara Hart Weir 31-23 for the right to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids in Kansas's 3rd Congressional District. It'll be a very challenging race, though: This well-educated district in the Kansas City suburbs was once Republican turf but has moved sharply to the left in recent years, with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly winning in a 56-37 blowout two years ago. The powerhouse Davids (a former MMA fighter) has also outraised Adkins by a huge margin. We rate this race Lean Democratic.
● MI-03: Army veteran Peter Meijer crushed state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis 50-26 in the GOP primary to succeed Republican-turned-independent-turned-Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash, who is retiring after a tempestuous congressional career representing Michigan's 3rd Congressional District. He'll now face Democratic attorney Hillary Scholten in this Grand Rapids-based district that favored Donald Trump 52-42 four years ago. We rate this race Likely Republican.
● MI-06: State Rep. Jon Hoadley squeaked out a victory in the Democratic primary after an unexpectedly close battle with little-known teacher Jen Richardson, who had barely raised any money. Hoadley trailed much of the night but a late batch of ballots from his home turf of Kalamazoo put him over the top 52-48. Meanwhile, longtime Republican Rep. Fred Upton turned in an uninspiring 63-37 win over real estate broker Elena Oelke, who didn't report raising a penny during her entire campaign. Upton is the favorite in this southwestern Michigan district that went for Trump 51-43. We rate this race Likely Republican.
● MI-08: Former ICE official Paul Junge defeated a field of underfunded rivals in the Republican primary to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin, but by a surprisingly underwhelming margin. Junge hauled in $275,000 through mid-July and self-funded an additional $528,000 compared to the $37,000 that car salesman Mike Detmer scraped together, but Junge only beat him 35-29.
This Lansing-area seat moved from 51-48 Romney to 51-44 Trump, but Democrat Slotkin flipped it 51-47 in a very expensive 2018 race. Slotkin is an incredibly strong fundraiser, but despite the lopsided money race, both parties have been acting like they expect it to be in play and have reserved millions that could be used for this race. Daily Kos Elections rates this as Lean Democratic.
● MI-10: Wealthy businesswoman Lisa McClain self-funded her way to a 42-36 victory over state Rep. Shane Hernandez, a favorite of the anti-tax extremists at the Club for Growth, in the Republican primary for Michigan's 10th District. This dark red seat, based in the state's "Thumb," is open because GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell is retiring after just two terms. McClain will be a lock in November.
● MI-11: The Associated Press has not yet called the Republican primary to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens, though one candidate currently enjoys a wide lead. With 80,000 votes in, attorney Eric Esshaki leads businesswoman Carmelita Greco 31-23; former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, who won the 2012 GOP nomination in an utter fluke (remember Thad McCotter?) and then badly lost it two years later, is in third with 22%.
This suburban Detroit seat backed Donald Trump 50-45, but Republicans haven't shown much interest yet in targeting Stevens. Daily Kos Elections rates the general election as Likely Democratic.
● MI-13: Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib defeated Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones in a 66-34 blowout in the Democratic primary for Michigan's 13th District, a huge turnaround from her narrow 31-30 win over Jones two years ago. Tlaib will be assured of winning a second term in the fall in this safely blue district in Detroit.
● MI State House: Karen Whitsett, a pro-Trump incumbent, defeated Detroit Action housing organizer Roslyn Ogburn 45-31 in the four-way Democratic primary for House District 9. This seat, which is located in Detroit, backed Hillary Clinton 94-4.
Despite Donald Trump's terrible performance with her constituents, Whitsett made a name for herself in April when she appeared at the White House and praised the GOP leader. Whitsett said that she had taken hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that scientists have warned is ineffective and potentially deadly when used to treat the coronavirus, after she tested positive for COVID-19. Whitsett, though, credited Trump's irresponsible promotion of hydroxychloroquine with saving her life, saying, "I do thank him for that."
The 13th Congressional District Democratic Party soon announced plans to censure Whitsett for having "repeatedly and publicly praised the president's delayed and misguided COVID-19 response efforts in contradiction with the scientifically based and action-oriented response" and for "endangering the health, safety and welfare of her constituents, the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan." Trump responded to the story with a tweet urging Whitsett to join the GOP, but she said she'd remain a Democrat.
However, Whitsett did filed a lawsuit accusing the party, which went ahead with its sanction, and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of allegedly infringing on her free speech rights, though she soon dropped it. Despite all of this, Whitsett prevailed with a plurality in a crowded primary.
● Oakland County, MI Executive: Appointed incumbent Dave Coulter, who last year became the first Democrat to hold this office since it was created in 1974, has won his Democratic primary for a full term by beating County Treasurer Andy Meisner 54-46. On the Republican side former state Sen. Mike Kowall defeated attorney Jeffrey Nutt 75-25.
While Republicans have long controlled the government in this large suburban Detroit county, Kowall may have a tough time retaking this office in the fall. Oakland County backed Hillary Clinton 51-43, and Donald Trump's continued plunge in the suburbs is unlikely to help his party locally. Coulter has also outraised Kowall $446,000 to $39,000 through July 19.
● Wayne County, MI Prosecutor: Incumbent Kym Worthy defeated defense attorney Victoria Burton-Harris, who was challenging her from the left, by a 63-37 margin in the Democratic primary to serve as the top prosecutor in Michigan's largest county. Worthy, who has held this post since 2004, faces no Republican opposition in the fall in this heavily Democratic area, which is home to Detroit and several nearby communities.
● MO-01: In one of the biggest upsets of the year, nurse and activist Cori Bush unseated veteran Rep. Lacy Clay in Missouri's 1st Congressional District, winning the Democratic nomination 49-46. Bush is now all but guaranteed of victory in November in this safely blue seat in St. Louis, which the Clay family has represented continuously for half a century. For a full run-through of this monumental shocker, please read Jeff Singer's detailed recap.
● MO Ballot: Healthcare reformers won a major victory on Tuesday night with the passage of Amendment 2, which will expand Medicaid to 230,000 Missouri residents.
The measure passed 53-47 over widespread hostility from Republicans, who for years had refused to expand the program legislatively. Opponents had sued to try to stop the amendment from appearing on the ballot, but after those attempts failed, supporters accused Republican Gov. Mike Parson of moving the election from November to August in the hopes that lower summertime turnout would tank the effort.
Importantly, the initiative amends the state constitution, meaning that Republicans will not be able to roll back the expansion as they would have had organizers opted for a traditional ballot measure. As a result, all adults aged 19 to 65 with an income below $17,608 for an individual or $36,156 for a four-person household will now be eligible for health coverage under Medicaid. This also marks the fifth time that a red state has expanded Medicaid at the ballot box, following successful campaigns in Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Utah.
● St. Louis City, MO Circuit Attorney: Incumbent Kim Gardner defeated former assistant prosecutor Mary Pat Carl 61-39 to win the Democratic primary to serve as this heavily blue city's chief prosecutor.
Gardner's 2016 victory made her the first Black woman to hold this post, and she pledged to use it to pursue criminal justice reforms. During her time in office, Gardner has often clashed with police unions and the Republican-controlled state government. This year, Republican state senators even introduced a bill that would transfer several of Gardner's powers to the state attorney general, who happens to be Republican Eric Schmitt, but there has been no action since March.
Carl, who lost the 2016 primary to Gardner, said that she'd be far less controversial and more effective as a prosecutor, but that argument didn't resonate with the electorate on Tuesday.
● St. Louis County, MO Executive: Appointed incumbent Sam Page won the Democratic primary for the final two years of disgraced former Executive Steve Stenger's term by beating businessman Mark Mantovani, who narrowly lost to Stenger in 2018, 38-30. Page should have no trouble in the general election in this heavily Democratic county.
● WA-Gov: Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee will face Loren Culp, the police chief of the small community of Republic, in November in this reliably Democratic state. Inslee took first place in the top-two primary with 52%, while Culp defeated former Bothell Mayor and fellow Republican Joshua Freed 17-7 for the second spot in the general election.
Inslee was already the heavy favorite to claim a third term, and he should have no trouble against Culp. Culp made a name for himself in 2018 when he announced that he wouldn't enforce Initiative 1639, a gun safety ballot measure that had just passed 59-41. Culp's stance drew a very favorable response from far-right rocker Ted Nugent, who posted a typo-ridden "Chief Loren Culp is an Anerican freedom warrior. Godbless the freedom warriors" message to his Facebook page.
Culp has continued to court the Trump base since then, and he's shown no intention of changing now that he's won the general election. On election night, Culp said he opposed Inslee's measures to stop the coronavirus pandemic, including mask mandates. Daily Kos Elections rates this as Safe Democratic.
● WA-10: A trio of Democrats lead the nearest Republican in the top-two primary to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Denny Heck, though it remains to be seen which candidates will be on the November ballot. With 103,000 votes in, former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland in first with 21%, while state Rep. Beth Doglio has a narrow 14-13 edge over former state Rep. Kristine Reeves for the second general election spot. Republican Rian Ingrim is just behind in fourth place with 11%; the AP has not yet made any calls here.
Any of these three Democratic women would make history. Either Reeves or Strickland would be the first African American to represent Washington in Congress, while Dogilo, who is bisexual, would be the state's first LGBTQ member. Reeves would also be the first Latina to represent the state as a Democrat, while Strickland, whose father is Black and whose mother was born in Korea, would be the country's first Korean American congresswoman.
● WA-LG: Democratic Rep. Denny Heck has advanced to the November general election to succeed retiring Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, and it looks likely that his opponent will be state Sen. Marko Liias, a fellow Democrat who has Habib's endorsement. With 1.2 million votes in, Heck leads the top-two primary with 28%, while Liias leads Republican Ann Sattler 17-12 for second. The AP has called the first general election spot for Heck, but the contest for second slot has not yet been resolved.