The most high-profile contest is the Republican Senate runoff in Alabama, where the candidate Trump endorsed a year after he called her "not in any way qualified" is going up against the candidate Trump labeled "woke" when he unendorsed him in March. The former contender—and now frontrunner—is former Business Council of Alabama head Katie Britt, who is going into the runoff with a wide lead in the polls against Rep. Mo Brooks.
Trump's picks, though, face dicier prospects in Georgia, where his slate fared poorly last month against Gov. Brian Kemp and other statewide elected officials. The most drama-filled confrontation is in the rural 10th District, where Trump's man, former state Rep. Vernon Jones, has been involved in an ugly, multi-front confrontation with trucking company owner Mike Collins. Kemp, for his part, endorsed Collins late in the contest, a move that turned this already intense runoff into a closely watched proxy war.
Over in the 6th in the Atlanta suburbs, meanwhile, Trump-backed candidate Jake Evans is trying to beat physician Rich McCormick after trailing him by a wide 43-23 margin in May. The Club for Growth, which has been on the outs with Trump for months, is supporting McCormick, who narrowly lost the prior version of the 7th District to Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in 2020. You can find more about these races, as well as several more key contests, in our comprehensive preview.
● AL-Sen: One last poll of Tuesday's Republican primary runoff finds Katie Boyd Britt handily turning aside Mo Brooks by a 50-30 margin, according to Auburn University at Montgomery. That's right in line with all the other polling we've seen this month.
● CO-Sen: The super PAC Democratic Colorado, which has been spending heavily to influence the GOP primary for Senate, just dropped another $850,000 on television and digital advertising into the race, but this time, the group is seeking to kneecap wealthy businessman Joe O'Dea rather than boost state Rep. Ron Hanks. The PAC's new TV ad slams O'Dea for supporting "Biden's $1.2 trillion spending bill" and for donating to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet—the man Republicans are trying to beat this year. In total, Democratic Colorado has spent just under $2.5 million in an effort to ensure the more extremist Hanks emerges as the GOP's nominee.
● NH-Sen: Candidate filing closed June 10 for New Hampshire's Sept. 13 primary, and the state has separate lists of Democratic and Republican candidates. Following the end of qualifying Friday in Florida, which we'll run down in an upcoming Digest, there are only three states left where major-party candidates can still get on the ballot this year: Rhode Island, Delaware, and Louisiana.
Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan faces a tough general election in a state that's prone to wild swings, but no one has emerged as the frontrunner in the 11-person GOP primary in the seven months since Gov. Chris Sununu decided to seek re-election rather than run for Senate. The only elected official in the contest is state Senate President Chuck Morse, who served as acting governor for two days in early 2017. Another notable name is former Londonderry town manager Kevin Smith, who badly lost the 2012 primary for governor.
The field also includes Donald Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general who lost the 2020 nomination for New Hampshire's other Senate seat 50-42 and has spent his new campaign accusing Sununu of being a "Chinese communist sympathizer" with a family business that "supports terrorism." Other contenders to watch are wealthy Bitcoin investor Bruce Fenton, who has pledged to self-fund $5 million, and author and investor Vikram Mansharamani.
● FL-Gov: The Florida branch of SEIU, which represents 80,000 members across the state, has endorsed Rep. Charlie Crist in the Democratic primary for governor, where he faces state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. In addition, SEIU also gave its backing to a number of Democratic House candidates who face contested primaries of their own:
- FL-10: activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost
- FL-20: Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
- FL-23: Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz
- FL-24: Rep. Frederica Wilson
- FL-27: state Sen. Annette Taddeo
● KY-Gov: Kentucky's gubernatorial primary is almost a year away, but Donald Trump has already announced which GOP hopeful he'd like to see take on Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear: state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who kicked off a long-expected bid last month. However, Cameron faces a number of high-profile rivals in his quest for the nomination, and more could join, including former Gov. Matt Bevin, whom Beshear defeated in a 2019 upset.
Trump's entrée into the race did inspire one candidate to bow out, but that's not necessarily good news for Cameron or the GOP. Attorney Eric Deters slammed Cameron as "Mitch McConnell's man" and said he'd instead run as an independent. Three years ago, a Libertarian candidate took 2% of the vote, considerably more than the 0.4% margin that Beshear won by, so Democrats would be delighted to see a third-party option pull votes from Republicans once again.
● MI-Gov: A mystery group called Michigan Families United has booked $600,000 in airtime time to boost conservative media personality Tudor Dixon, according to Politico, which is one of the largest outside interventions we've seen so far in the GOP's absolute shitshow of a primary. MFU's TV spot describes Dixon as a "conservative businesswoman" who will "stand up to woke indoctrination of our kids"; it then features a clip of Dixon saying, "Our kids don't need sex and gender talk" and ends with Donald Trump declaring her "brilliant." (Trump has not actually endorsed in the race.)
Last month, the Detroit News ran a story about Dixon's career in D-list slasher flicks headlined, "Michigan governor hopeful Tudor Dixon eaten by zombies in gory horror film." One movie, titled "Buddy BeBop vs. the Living Dead," "featured two people having sex in a bathroom stall and a zombie biting a man's genitals."
● NH-Gov: Gov. Chris Sununu frustrated Republican Senate recruiters last year by choosing instead to run for re-election, but his immense popularity made seeking a fourth term the much easier option. The governor's only Democratic rival is state Sen. Tom Sherman. Sununu won his third term 65-33 in 2020 even as Joe Biden was carrying the state (neighboring Vermont and New Hampshire are the only states that still elect their governors to two-year terms), and an April University of New Hampshire poll showed him beating Sherman by a 55-29 spread.
● PA-Gov: State Attorney General Josh Shapiro crushed it on the fundraising front from May 3 to June 6, taking in $4.7 million versus just $162,000 for his Republican rival in the race for governor, far-right state Sen. Doug Mastriano—nearly a 30-1 advantage. That period included Pennsylvania's May 17 primary, where Shapiro was unopposed, allowing him to stockpile a massive $13.5 million for the general election. Mastriano, by contrast, has just a pittance in the bank—less than $400,000—despite the heavy press coverage occasioned by his insurgent victory in the GOP's nominating contest.
● AZ-01: Rep. David Schweikert has received Donald Trump's backing ahead of his August Republican primary showdown against Elijah Norton, a self-funder who is airing commercials highlighting the incumbent's past ethics problems.
● FL-13: The Club For Growth on Thursday endorsed 2020 GOP nominee Anna Paulina Luna's second campaign for this newly-gerrymandered seat.
● FL-15: Alan Cohn, a former TV reporter who was the previous Democratic nominee for the prior version of the 15th District, filed to run for this redrawn open seat just ahead of Friday's deadline. Cohn lost 55-45 two years ago to Republican Rep. Scott Franklin 55-45, who is now running for the new 18th.
● FL-28: Democrats landed a notable candidate on Friday just before filing closed when former state Rep. Robert Asencio launched a campaign against freshman Republican Rep. Carlos Giménez. Trump would have carried this exurban Miami seat 53-46, which makes it a tad redder than Giménez's existing 26th District.
Asencio, for his part, was elected in 2016 by defeating the infamous former Republican Rep. David Rivera by 53 votes. (You can read more about Rivera, who is once again running for the state House this year, in our Grab Bag section below.) Asencio, though, was unseated 51-49 two years later, and he badly lost a 2020 contest for a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission.
● MO-04: The influential anti-abortion group Missouri Right to Life has endorsed state Sen. Rick Brattin in the August Republican primary for this open seat.
● NH-01: Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas has 10 Republican opponents in an eastern New Hampshire constituency that would have supported Joe Biden 52-46 but has long been one of the swingiest seats in America. (The court-drawn congressional map made only tiny changes to both of the state's districts after Gov. Chris Sununu thwarted efforts by his fellow Republicans in the legislature to make the 1st considerably redder.)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is pulling for 2020 nominee Matt Mowers, who lost his first campaign 51-46, but he's not the only notable fundraiser here. Another contender to watch is former TV reporter Gail Huff Brown, whose husband, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, lost a close 2014 race to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen shortly after moving north to the Granite State. State Rep. Tim Baxter, a member of the legislature's giant 400-member lower chamber, and former White House staffer Karoline Leavitt have also been running since last year, while former Executive Councilor Russell Prescott launched a bid last month.
● NH-02: While Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster hasn't been seriously targeted since she decisively won re-election during the 2014 red wave, Republicans are hoping a favorable climate could threaten her in a district that Biden would have taken 54-45. Seven hopefuls are running, with Gov. Chris Sununu pulling for Keene Mayor George Hansel. The only other contender who has won elected office here is former Hillsborough County Treasurer Robert Burns, who took fourth in the 2018 primary.
● NY-01: EMILY's List has thrown its support behind Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, who doesn't face any serious opposition in the August Democratic primary for this GOP-held open seat.
● NY-10: New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera picked up a notable endorsement on Friday from Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who currently represents just under half of the open 10th District, as well as the backing of Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
Velazquez also took a shot at Rep. Mondaire Jones, a House colleague who is seeking this seat as well. "I'm sorry, why didn't he run in the district that is a 9-plus Biden district," referring to the new 17th District, which contains most of Jones' old district, including his home base of Rockland County, well to the north of the city. A spokesperson for Jones said the congressman "wanted to avoid a member-on-member primary with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney" and now lives in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens.
● OH-13: We have two competing polls from late May of this open seat in the southern suburbs of Akron and Cleveland, which would have supported Biden by a close 51-48, but they very much disagree who is ahead. The GOP firm Remington Research Group was in the field May 19-20 for US Term Limits (you can guess what tops their agenda), and it found Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert beating Democrat Emilia Sykes 46-37. Sykes, though, has publicized an internal from GQR conducted days later that showed her up 47-45.
● TN-05: Music video producer Robby Starbuck has filed paperwork with local election officials to run as a write-in candidate in the August Republican primary. Starbuck (whose legal last name is Newsom), recently lost a court battle to appear on the ballot after state Republican leaders booted him for failing to meet its opaque "bona fide" standard for primary candidates.
● Where Are They Now?: Former Rep. David Rivera, a Republican who has been accused of being part of a mind-boggling number of scandals, filed paperwork on Friday to wage another campaign to return to the state House, where he served until he was elected to his only term in Congress in 2010. Rivera will go up against five fellow Republicans in the August primary for the 119th House District in west Miami-Dade County, while Gabriel Gonzalez is the only Democrat campaigning for this constituency, which Trump would have carried 54-46.
Rivera was in the news in 2020 when the New York Times reported he was under FBI investigation over whether he'd failed to register as a foreign agent as he lobbied for Venezuela's socialist government. Last month, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking why Rivera still had not been charged, writing, "The American people deserve to know whether a former Republican member of Congress was secretly doing the bidding of a dictator responsible for committing crimes against humanity in Venezuela."