Key results from Tuesday’s primaries and runoffs

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas hold elections

Georgia Rep. Rick W. Allen, left, speaks with Herschel Walker in Glennville, Ga., in April. Walker won the GOP Senate nomination in Tuesday's primary, while Allen was unopposed in the 12th District Republican primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Georgia Rep. Rick W. Allen, left, speaks with Herschel Walker in Glennville, Ga., in April. Walker won the GOP Senate nomination in Tuesday's primary, while Allen was unopposed in the 12th District Republican primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted May 24, 2022 at 8:21pm, Updated May 25, 2022 at 6:11am

Georgia voters chose nominees Tuesday for one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, while Alabama held primaries for an open Senate seat and the House seat of one of the Senate contenders.

In Arkansas, an incumbent Republican senator faced a well-funded challenger, while House runoffs were taking place in Texas and a special primary for a deceased House member’s seat was happening in Minnesota.

Here’s how the notable Senate and House races turned out, based on race calls by The Associated Press.

Georgia

Walker to face Warnock for Senate: Former NFL player Herschel Walker, who ran with former President Donald Trump’s encouragement and support, won the GOP nomination in Georgia to challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in November. Warnock is running for a complete term after winning a 2021 special election runoff. Walker had 74 percent of the vote in a six-candidate field when The Associated Press called the race at 7:56 p.m. Eastern. Walker’s win came despite bruising attacks on his history of alleged abusive treatment toward women and questionable business decisions. Warnock defeated activist Tamara Johnson-Shealey in the Democratic primary. He had 97 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race at 7:41 p.m. President Joe Biden won the state by less than 1 point in the 2020 elections, and Warnock is one of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents in November. The contest is rated a Toss-up by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

McBath ousts Bourdeaux in 7th District Democratic primary: Rep. Lucy McBath’s move to fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux’s 7th District in suburban Atlanta paid off. McBath switched districts after her own neighboring 6th District was redrawn to favor Republicans. McBath had 63 percent of the vote to Bourdeaux’s 31 percent when the AP called the race at 10 p.m. State Rep. Donna McLeod got 6 percent. The newly drawn 7th District would have voted for Biden by 26 points in the 2020 election, and the race in November for the seat is rated Solid Democratic by Inside Elections. Both McBath and Bourdeaux flipped their current districts in 2018 and 2020, respectively, with the support of House progressives. But McBath, a gun control advocate whose son was murdered at a gas station in 2012, is now seen as the more progressive of the two.

Greene cruises in 14th District GOP primary: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a lightning rod who has attracted criticism — and contributions of nearly $9.3 million — for her norm-defying behavior in Washington, easily defeated five challengers in a primary that tested the limits of what GOP voters would accept. Greene had 70 percent of the vote to conservative businesswoman Jennifer Strahan’s 15 percent when the AP called the race at 9:04 p.m. Greene was stripped of her committee assignments in 2021 because of her refusal to denounce past incendiary comments, including support for the QAnon conspiracy theory and calls for violence against Democratic lawmakers. Trump renewed his endorsement of Greene on Tuesday, reissuing a statement first sent out via email on April 6 that called the freshman lawmaker a “warrior in Congress” who has “ALWAYS” been with him. Army veteran Marcus Flowers, who raised nearly $8.2 million, had 75 percent in the three-way Democratic primary when the AP called that race at 10:51 p.m. Eastern. The district would have voted for Trump by 37 points in 2020 under its current lines, and the race is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections. 

Scott easily survives primary challenge in 13th District: House Agriculture Chairman David Scott, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Democrats, fended off a primary from his left to win the nomination for an 11th term. Scott had 66 percent of the vote, while three challengers shared the res. The Associated Press called the race at 1:38 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday. 

McCormick, Evans, headed to runoff in 6th District: Emergency room physician Rich McCormick and Jake Evans, the Trump-endorsed former chairman of the state ethics commission, are headed to a June 21 runoff in the redrawn Atlanta-area 6th District after neither got the majority in the Republican primary. McCormick, a retired Marine helicopter pilot who was the 2020 GOP nominee in the neighboring 7th District, had 43 percent to Evans’ 23 percent in the five-candidate field when the AP called the race. The seat is currently held by McBath, who chose to run in the 7th District. Trump would have carried the new 6th District by 15 points in 2020 and the race in November for the seat is rated Likely Republican by Inside Elections. 

Collins, Jones headed to runoff in 10th District GOP primary: Former Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones, who got Trump’s endorsement after he dropped out of the gubernatorial race, is headed to a runoff against trucking company owner Mike Collins in the 10th District after neither got a majority of the vote in the GOP primary. Collins finished first in the eight-candidate primary with 26 percent, followed by Jones 22 percent. Collins, the son of former Rep. Mac Collins who came close to winning the seat in 2014, ran a pro-Trump campaign, while Jones has had to defend his Republican credentials after a long history as a Democrat. Trump would have won the district 61-38 percent under the new map and the race in November is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections. Rep. Jody Hice gave up the seat to launch an unsuccessful Trump-backed bid to unseat Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Arkansas

Boozman fends off billionaire-funded primary challenge: GOP Sen. John Boozman beat back a challenge from former NFL player Jake Bequette, who had the support of a super PAC bankrolled by conservative mega-donor Richard Uihlein. Boozman had 58 percent of the vote to Bequette’s 22 percent in the four-candidate primary when the AP called the race at 10:07 p.m. Eastern time. The three-way Democratic primary had not been called, but Trump won the state with 62 percent of the vote in 2020 and Inside Elections rates the November race as Solid Republican.

Alabama

Britt, Brooks head to a runoff in Senate primary: Katie Britt, a former top aide to retiring Sen. Richard C. Shelby, won the most votes in the GOP primary Tuesday to replace her former boss in the Senate. But she did not get a majority, so she and Rep. Mo Brooks will face off on June 21 for the nomination, which is essentially the ticket to victory in Alabama. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican in November. Britt had 45 percent of the vote to Brooks’ 29 percent when the AP called the race. Mike Durant, an Army veteran and business executive who mostly self-funded his campaign, was third in the six-candidate field with 23 percent, with an estimated 91 percent of the vote counted. Trump initially endorsed Brooks, but revoked it and did not pick a new favorite. Shelby’s leadership PAC, Defend America PAC, donated to Britt’s campaign and also gave $2.5 million to a group called Alabama Christian Conservatives, which has spent about that amount supporting Britt, and  $200,000 to Secure our Freedom Action Fund, a super PAC that disclosed spending almost $200,000 in support of Britt, FEC disclosures show. Senate Leadership Fund, which is aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also gave $3 million to a group that donated about that amount to Alabama Christian Conservatives. The Club for Growth spent nearly $4.5 million on ads attacking Britt and supporting Brooks. The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Will Boyd, the party’s 2018 lieutenant governor candidate. If she wins in November, Britt would be the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama, though the state had two women senators who were appointed to the chamber.

Strong, Wardynski set for 5th District GOP runoff: Dale Strong, a volunteer firefighter who chairs the Madison County Commission, will face a June 21 runoff for the 5th District GOP nomination against Casey Wardynski, a former assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and Reserve affairs and one-time superintendent of the Huntsville school district. GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, the incumbent, ran for the Senate nomination. Strong had 45 percent of the vote to Wardynski’s 23 percent, with four other candidates sharing the rest. House Freedom Action, a super PAC whose contributors include mega-donor Richard Uihlein, invested $280,000 in attacks against Strong in an attempt to boost Wardynski. The winner of the GOP primary faces Democratic nominee Kathy Warner-Stanton, a former federal employee [or Democrat Charlie Thompson, a business owner,] in November in a race that Inside Elections rates as Solid Republican.

Texas

Cuellar declares victory in runoff with Cisneros: Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar held a narrow lead over progressive immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros, but the 28th District Democratic primary runoff had not been called. With an estimated 98 percent of the vote in at 3:38 a.m. Cuellar had 50.2 percent to Cisneros’ 49.8 percent. Cuellar’s campaign said on Twitter: “The votes are in, the margin will hold. We have won by 177 votes.” As the Democrat in the House who has most consistently opposed abortion rights, Cuellar’s race attracted national attention in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Cuellar, who has held his seat since 2005, argued that his positions, including votes against abortion rights, reflect a better understanding of his Latino-majority district along the Mexico border. House Democratic leaders supported him, and continued to face criticism for that. “If Cuellar wins, leadership’s decision to go to the mat for a pro-NRA incumbent will be the reason why,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted.  The race in November is rated Likely Democratic by Inside Elections, but Republicans see it as a pick-up opportunity. Republican Cassy Garcia, a former aide to Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, won the GOP runoff for the nomination 57 percent to 43 percent Tuesday.

Jasmine Crockett wins 30th District Democratic runoff: Attorney Jasmine Crockett won the runoff Democratic primary to replace retiring Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in the Dallas-area 30th District. Crockett led state Rep. Jane Hope Hamilton, the state director for Biden’s 2020 campaign, 60.5 percent to 39.5 percent when the AP called the race at 10:11 Eastern time. Crockett attracted national attention and eventually Johnson’s endorsement when she served as spokesperson for the state House Democratic caucus as it fought a GOP bill last summer to impose new voting restrictions. She also had backing from national progressive groups, including Our Revolution, a group that was spun out of the 2016 presidential campaign of Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Republican runoff was won by James Rodgers. The district would have voted for Biden by 57 points in 2020, and the race in November is rated Solid Democratic by Inside Elections.

Ramirez-Vallejo race not called in 15th District: Lawyer and Army veteran Rubin Ramirez led activist Michelle Vallejo but had not been declared the winner in the Democratic primary runoff for the 15th District, a race seen as a competition between the two wings of the Democratic Party. Ramirez had 51 percent to Vallejo’s 49 percent at 3:31 a.m. Eastern time. Ramirez had the backing of current 15th District Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who is running in the more safely Democratic 34th District. He was also supported by the moderate Blue Dog Coalition and the national groups VoteVets and 314 Action, which support veterans and candidates with science backgrounds. Vallejo had support from progressive groups and lawmakers in Congress, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the Congressional Progressive Caucus and EMILY’s List, which backs Democratic women who support abortion rights. The winner will face GOP nominee Monica De La Cruz, a Trump-endorsed insurance agency owner, in November. The south central district would have narrowly voted for Trump over Biden under the new maps, making it the most competitive in the state after redistricting. The race in November is rated a Toss-up by Inside Elections.

Minnesota

Ettinger awaits GOP opponent in special election: Jeffrey Ettinger, a former Hormel Foods chief executive, won the Democratic nomination in Minnesota’s 1st District to finish the term of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn, but the Republican race for the nomination was too close to call. Former Agriculture Department official Brad Finstad held a narrow 38 percent to 37 percent lead over state Rep. Jeremy Munson in the 10-candidate field when the AP estimated 99 percent of the vote was counted at 3:22 a.m. Jennifer Carnahan, Hagedorn’s widow and a former state Republican chair, was third with 8 percent. Finstad benefited from three super PACs — American Dream Federal Action, Americans for Prosperity Action and Defending Main Street — that spent a combined $1.5 million to support him. Defending Main Street spent an additional $148,000 opposing Munson. A separate super PAC, Protect Freedom PAC, which has ties to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, spent $1.3 million to support Munson, while House Freedom Action spent $7,300 to support him and $124,000 to oppose Finstad in the final days of the campaign. The special election to finish the term of Hagedorn, who died in February, will be Aug. 9. That’s the same day Minnesota has primaries for a two-year term representing the district starting in January. Inside Elections rates that race as Solid Republican.