Primary elections in four Southern states Tuesday reflect the nation’s greatest fault lines and again test former President Donald Trump’s GOP power.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., seeks to climb out from behind Trump’s shadow, after the former president revoked his endorsement for Brooks’ senatorial campaign following comments Brooks made about moving on from 2020.
In Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders — once Trump’s White House press secretary — is running to helm the state of Arkansas as governor, a role her father once held. Her opponent in the state’s Republican primary is former radio talk show host Francis “Doc” Washburn.
And several runoff races in Texas will showcase voters’ resolve on abortion rights and whether the influence of the Bush family still holds strong.
But politicians have Georgia on their mind, where incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is gunning for a second term against Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue, a race that spotlights the deepening cracks within the Republican Party.
Former President Donald Trump is fighting to defeat Kemp, who refused to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election resulting in favor of Trump. In turn, the former president endorsed Perdue and put up $500,000 to a super PAC aimed at preventing Kemp’s reelection. But former Vice President Mike Pence has aligned his interests with Kempdescribing him in a statement announcing they’d throw a rally together as “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.”
Georgia’s gubernatorial primaries will also highlight Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams’ efforts to mobilize voters and turn the peach state blue.
Plus, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., will face five opponents in her first reelection bid after a 14th Amendment challenge her eligibility as a candidate could have prevented her from running again at all.
On Politics newsletter: Politics. We distill it, explain it and bring it straight to your inbox
Donald Trump’s take on David Perdue’s potential loss: Not much comment
Donald Trump dealt with the prospect of an endorsed candidate’s loss the best way he knows how: By refusing to talk in detail about it.
Trump declined to discuss the probability that David Perdue will lose the Georgia gubernatorial primary to incumbent Republican Brian Kemp, preferring to discuss his more successful candidates during an interview Tuesday with Fox Business Network.
“We’ve won just about every race,” Trump said, citing endorsed Republican Senate nominees JD Vance in Ohio and Ted Budd in North Carolina in particular. He also cited Herschel Walker, who will likely win a Senate primary in Georgia on Tuesday.
“David Perdue’s a very good man,” Trump said. “And, as you know, Brian Kemp did a very poor job on election integrity… And we’ll see what that means to the voters.”
STOCKBRIDGE, GA – As voters head to the polls Tuesday, the race for one of Georgia’s Senate seats remains at the forefront of the state’s highly anticipated primary election.
In January 2021, Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock helped Democrats gain control of the US Senate after winning runoffs. But Warnock’s seat is on the ballot again this year because he was elected to fill the remaining two years of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson’ term.
In Henry County, Tinecia Cullen said she turned out to vote to cast a ballot for Warnock and help Democrats maintain control of the Senate.
“I think he’s helping,” Cullen said. “I feel like he really cares about what I really care about.”
Cullen said she identifies with Warnock’s background. She was born and raised in Atlanta and has been to the church where Warnock preaches.
“I worry about the laws that are going to be passed if we don’t have representation,” she said.
– Catherine Buchaniec, Medill News Service
Alabama voters go to the polls Tuesday to select nominees for a host of state and local offices, including governor, US Senate, attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the Public Service Commission. Primaries will also be held for US House seats, the State Board of Education, and the Alabama Legislature. There will also be local races around the state.
The US Senate race, to fill the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, is among the highest-profile races. US Rep. Mo Brooks got – and then lost – former President Donald Trump’s endorsement for that spot.
Polls will open until 7 pm A voter who is in line to vote when polls close will be able to cast a ballot.
A candidate will need 50% or more of the vote to avoid a runoff. If no single candidate in a race gets a majority, the top two vote-getters will advance to a June 21 runoff.
– Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser
When do the polls close?
First polls will close in Georgia at 7 pm the only state voting Tuesday in Eastern Time.
Texas polls close at 7 pm local time, with the state covering both Central and Mountain Time. Alabama polls also close at 7, and Arkansas ends voting at 7:30 pm, with both states in Central Time.
– Merdie Nzanga
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism