The biggest and most publicized primary action of the 2022 mid-term election year so far takes place Tuesday with contests in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho and Oregon.
Most of the attention is on the Republican primary for a US Senate seat in Pennsylvania, where Dr. Mehmet Oz battles conservative commentator Kathy Barnette and businessman David McCormick. Oz has the backing of former President Donald Trump, but Barnette has emerged in recent polls.
People are also keeping an eye on North Carolina. Scandal-plagued US Rep. Madison Cawthorn, RN.C., faces primary challengers who include state senator Chuck Edwards, who has the backing of prominent Republicans in the Tar Heel State.
Party feuds mark races in Idaho – the Republican governor faces the Republican lieutenant governor – and Oregon, where two well-funded Democrats face off for nomination in a newly created congressional district.
At least 21,000 mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania are unreadable and will take several days to process, officials in Lancaster County said.
That’s a significant amount in a state with a crowded field of contestants and the lower turnout that tends to accompany primary elections.
A printing error is the cause of the problem and seems to only be affecting ballots in Lancaster County, where voters are electing candidates to compete for governor, lieutenant governor and US Senate.
Out of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Lancaster County is the sixth most populous.
It will take election workers there days to redo the ballots that can’t be read by machines.
“Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” County Commissioner Josh Parsons said during a news conference. “But because of this, we’re not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us.”
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fettermana front runner for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate, will undergo a medical procedure to receive a pacemaker with a defibrillator.
The pacemaker will help to protect his heart and treat the atrial fibrillation that led to his stroke, his campaign said Tuesday.
It is a “standard procedure” used to regulate heart rate and rhythm, according to the campaign.
“He’s doing great and will have a full recovery,” his wife, Gisele Fettermansaid to USA TODAY Tuesday afternoon.
John Fetterman said in a statement Sunday he went to the hospital Friday, where he was treated for a stroke. He remains hospitalized at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, but said doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
Fetterman said his stroke was caused by a blood clot from his heart being in an irregular rhythm for too long.
The doctors quickly treated him and removed the clot, effectively reversing the stroke, he said. Fetterman added that he suffered no cognitive damage.
He cast his vote Tuesday from his hospital room using an emergency absentee ballot.
Celebrities? Outsiders?:Oz, Fetterman (and Trump) put fame to the test in Pennsylvania primary
The Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s open US Senate seat pits a pair of politicians building different kinds of support.
Pittsburgh-area Rep. Conor Lamb has built a wave of support among his party’s elected officials in Pennsylvania. The state’s Democratic Party backed him in the primary alongside throngs of elected Democrats.
But Lamb has trailed Lt. Gov. John Fetterman substantially in the public polling done on the race. A former steel town mayor, Fetterman unseated an incumbent in 2018 to become the state’s lieutenant governor.
Fetterman has largely eschewed endorsements from the state’s top Democrats while rising to the top of the polls. He has fended off attacks from Lamb and other candidates in the race that he is extreme.
The other candidates in the race all have polled in the single-digits.
– Rick Rouen
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s storied rise through politics may reach a new milestone today as he enters the Democratic Senate primary a heavy favorite. The 6 foot 9 inch Fetterman whose preference for collared work shirts over suits first drew national attention for his role as mayor of Braddock, a hollowed-out steel town he is credited with reviving. What to know about Fetterman.
Who is John Fetterman?:Pennsylvania’s unconventional lieutenant governor running for Senate
Voters have picked Democratic House Rep. Conor Lamb over a Republican opponent three times. Lamb flipped a Republican House seat blue in a 2018 special election. His experience of him in Congress and prior election victories in Pennsylvania have made him the preferred candidate of major organizations like the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Democratic Party. Still, Lamb has lagged in the polls behind Fetterman and will need to defy expectations to become his party’s nominee. What to know about Lamb.
CHOICE HIGHLIGHTS:Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, Madison Cawthorn in NC, plus Idaho and more
Cawthorn faces primary challenger backed by Tillis in crowded field
GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who has run afoul of his party’s leadership during his first term in Congress, now faces a jumbled primary field that includes a candidate with the backing of one of North Carolina’s top Republicans.
US Sen. Thom Tillis endorsed Cawthorn’s most well-funded primary opponent, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, in March. The endorsement came shortly after Cawthorn was scolded by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy over Cawthorn’s claim on a podcast that members of Congress were engaging in cocaine-fueled orgies.
At 26, Cawthorn is the youngest member of Congress. He has faced criticism for trying to bring a gun through airport security and for charges of driving with a revoked license.
– Rick Rouen
The candidates who emerge from North Carolina’s major party primaries for the US Senate will be on the frontline in the fight for control over the upper chamber.
Former President Donald Trump is backing Rep. Ted Budd, who has emerged ahead of former Gov. Pat McCrory, former Rep. Mark Walker and a host of other candidates in Republican primary polls.
The winner is likely to face former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, who is running in a large field of Democrats. Beasley has been amassing a war chest to help propel her in the primary and general elections.
Trump narrowly edged out President Joe Biden in North Carolina in the 2020 election. The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball both rate the seat as “leans Republican.”
KENTUCKY’S PRIMARY:What’s new and what to watch for in Kentucky’s 2022 primary election
Three states — Pennsylvania, Oregon and Idaho — will on Tuesday select their party’s candidates for governor.
In Pennsylvania, just one Democrat is seeking to take the spot of incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Leading the Republican primary is state Sen. Doug Mastriano, whose efforts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Trump and ties to QAnon have raised concerns both inside and outside the party. He currently leads the nine-person field by an average of 10 points, according to Real Clear Politics’ latest polling.
Oregon’s gubernatorial race is a crowded field. An astonishing 15 Democrats and 19 Republicans are running to replace incumbent Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who is term-limited. A gubernatorial race hasn’t been this unsettled since 2002, when three viable candidates each from both sides of the aisle battled it out in the two primaries, the Salem Statesman-Journal reported.
And in Idaho, a bitter civil war stirs between sitting Gov. Brad Little and sitting Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who will face off in the state’s Republican primary Tuesday. The governor and lieutenant governor of Idaho don’t run for office on a joint ticket, according to the Idaho Capital Sun. On the Democratic ballot is only Stephen Heidt, an English as a Second Language teacher at Idaho’s state prisons who filed his candidacy the day before the state deadline, the Idaho State Journal reported.
– She reads
In one of the most competitive Oregon gubernatorial primaries in decades, 34 candidates from both sides of the aisle will find out after Tuesday night who will move on to November’s general election with a chance to secure Oregon’s governorship.
A Republican hasn’t held the state’s top elected office in 35 years, but most of the 19 candidates have said this year could represent a perfect storm for the Oregon GOP. There are growing conspicuous problems in the state (such as homelessness) and rising daily expenses due to national inflation they can try to pin on Democrats, as well as the historical advantage the out-of-power party has during a midterm election and the unknown impact of nonaffiliated candidate, former Sen. Betsy Johnson.
State political analysts believe the top candidates in the race on the Republican side are: conservative writer Bridget Barton, former Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, tech CEO Jessica Gomez, Salem oncologist Dr. Bud Pierce, Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam and former Oregon Rep. Bob Tiernan.
On the Democratic side, former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read lead a field of 15 candidates. They both have been deeply engaged in Oregon politics for years, but say the problems the state faces now can be attributed to failures outside of their control.
They contain their particular backgrounds and understanding of how state government functions have prepared them to lead Oregon.
– Connor Radnovich, Salem Statesman-Journal
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism