Welcome to this morning’s Decision Desk HQ Morning News Spotlight on Elections Daily as part of the Decision Desk HQ News Network.
- In the most expensive primary thus far through the 2022 election cycle, Southern Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey is heavily favored over Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and Venture Capitalist Jesse Sullivan. Donald Trump visited Illinois this weekend and offered his endorsement of Bailey, attempting to counteract Hedge Fund Manager Ken Griffin’s $50 million donation to Irvin. Trump is joined by Illinois Democratic Governor JB Pritzker in opposition to Richard Irvin, who donated $120 million to his own campaign and has spent most of it trying to push the more conservative Bailey past Irvin in the primary. Pritzker likes his chances to defeat Bailey, and thus far his strategy of meddling in the GOP Primary has worked wonders. At one point, Irvin appeared to be the favorite, but Pritzker hit him hard and eventually coaxed Trump to weigh in on the race to pad his endorsement record and solidify Bailey’s advantage.
- At the US House level, Illinois features two member-on-member house races after the state lost a congressional seat via redistricting and state legislators decided to draw a second majority Hispanic district. On the Democratic side, Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman will face off in IL-06. Casten has the backing of 16 U.S. House Reps mostly from the moderate wing of the Democratic party, while Newman has drawn support from progressives such as Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna, and Pramila Jayapal. Newman has lost support due to being embroiled in a late-breaking Ethics scandal, and Casten is considered the favorite. The Office of Congressional Ethics found “substantial reason to believe” Newman violated ethics laws and announced it would extend an investigation into claims that she bribed a competitor to not run in a race by promising him a well-paying staff position. Republicans will be eyeing this race if Newman wins, although the District voted for Biden by 11% in 2020, and is rated ‘Lean D’ by the Cook Political Report and ‘Likely D’ by both Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
- The second member-on-member race is on the GOP side between Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller in Illinois’ 15th district. Davis has received the endorsement of virtually everyone in the Republican party except for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who are both backing Miller. Davis voted for the Jan. 6 commission, the infrastructure bill, and declined to endorse Trump in 2016, which drew the ire of the former President. Miller is considered a slight favorite, despite being outspent and out-fundraised by Davis. The district is rated solidly Republican in November.
- There are two contested Republican senate primaries in Oklahoma. In the general primary, Incumbent James Lankford is facing a well-funded challenge from his right by Jackson Lahmeyer. Lahmeyer has branded himself as the “pure America First/MAGA candidate”, and has been endorsed by Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Mike Lindell, Wendy Rogers, and Rudy Guliani. Lankford is still considered the heavy favorite, but it’s worth keeping an eye on tonight. The second senate race in Oklahoma is a special election to replace Senator Jim Inhofe, who is retiring two years into his fifth term. There are eleven candidates in the field, but the main competition is between OK-02 Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former State Rep. T.W. Shannon. Mullin has polled well ahead of Shannon in limited polling, but has not received Donald Trump’s endorsement, despite voting against the certification of 2020 election results.
- Colorado features two low-profile congressional races that could be really interesting to watch. In CO-05 (Colorado Springs), Republican Incumbent Doug Lamborn is being opposed by State Rep. Dave Williams in one of the nastiest primary campaigns of the year. Lamborn ran an ad against Williams claiming he was fired by Trump’s campaign, and Williams promptly filed a criminal complaint with the DA’s office against Lamborn. According to Colorado state law, political candidates are prohibited from dispersing information to affect an election, which is what Williams alleges Lamborn is
doing. The complaint is currently “under review”. Furthermore, Lamborn is being primaried in the first place because the Congressional Ethics Committee says there is “substantial” reason to believe he misused his office’s resources for personal gain. Moving on to the new CO-08 (Colorado was one of six states that gained seats via reapportionment), the Republican primary features four candidates looking to take on Yadira Caraveao, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The district voted for Trump by 2% in 2016 and Biden by 5% in 2020. It’s considered a tossup by most election forecasters.
- In Utah, three Republican House members are being primaried to some degree over their support or lack thereof for Donald Trump. Incumbents Blake Moore (UT-01) and John Curtis (UT-03) voted to certify the 2020 presidential election results as well as the January 6th committee. Both Reps. are being challenged by pro-Trump supporters, but neither are expected to lose. Meanwhile, in UT-04, Congressman Burgess Owens is being primaried by Jake Hunsaker, who was
endorsed by Trump-critic Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Owens is also expected to prevail, but the various margins may be an interesting barometer of the feelings of Republicans in the state.
- Since New York’s house map was thrown out by the state’s highest court as being too favorable for Democrats, those races won’t be held until August. Tonight, primaries will be held only for statewide offices. The only semi-interesting race is the Republican primary for Governor. Congressman Lee Zedlin is the favorite over Rob Astorino, Andrew Guiliani (son of Rudy Giuliani), and Harry Wilson.
- In addition to all of these primaries, there are also runoff elections being held in South Carolina and Mississippi. The biggest race to watch is in Mississippi’s third district, where Republican Congressman Michael Guest faces off against Michael Cassidy. Cassidy received about 200 more votes than Guest in the first round.
|Tues June 28||Colorado Primary|
|New York Primary (US Senate, Statewide Offices, State Assembly)|
|OK US Senate Special Dem Primary|
|OK US Senate Special GOP Primary|
|South Carolina runoff|
|NE US House 1 Special General|
|Tues July 19||Maryland Primary|