Voters on Tuesday were picking a Republican nominee to succeed retiring Sen. Richard C. Shelby in Alabama and set matchups for House seats in Alabama, Georgia and Virginia, including several that will be battlegrounds in November.
Here are the results from key races.
Britt coasts in runoff: Alabama Republican Katie Britt, a former staffer to Shelby, easily won a primary runoff Tuesday against Rep. Mo Brooks, making her the presumed successor to her onetime boss.
Britt had 66 percent to Brooks’ 34 percent as of 8:30 p.m. Central time when The Associated Press called the race with an estimated 25 percent of the vote counted.
The contest attracted more than $30 million from outside groups — more than $3.3 million of it during the runoff alone — and exposed fissures with the GOP, splitting sitting senators and roiling former President Donald Trump’s endorsement record after he first gave the nod to Brooks, then revoked it, then backed Britt in the runoff.
The Club for Growth backed Brooks, who represents the state’s 5th District, investing more than $4.4 million on ads over the course of the race attacking Britt and supporting Brooks.
A six-term House member, Brooks was an early favorite and quickly nabbed an endorsement from Trump last year. However, Trump revoked his blessing and on June 10 endorsed Britt, calling her a “fearless America First Warrior” in a statement. The falling out between Brooks and Trump stemmed from the congressman’s refusal to “rescind” the 2020 election, Brooks has said, adding that such a move would not have been legal.
Britt was the leading candidate out of the May 24 primary, while Brooks came in second.
Some outside groups supporting Britt got money from Shelby, who had millions in his campaign account and leadership PAC when he announced his retirement last year. Shelby was first elected to the House, as a Democrat, in 1978 and moved to the Senate in 1996. He switched parties in 1994 and has chaired, over the years, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, both prime fundraising perches.
Shelby’s leadership PAC, Defend America PAC, donated to Britt’s campaign and also gave at least $2.5 million to a group called Alabama Christian Conservatives, which spent about $3.6 million supporting Britt, Federal Election Commission 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 Value in Electing Women, or VIEW, PAC endorsed Britt and is running an online ad in support of her. The group’s executive director called her the future of the GOP.
“A lot of people tried to make it about her being Shelby’s person, but that motivated her even more to demonstrate she was her own person,” said VIEW PAC’s Julie Conway. “Katie was going to win this race on her own merit all along. President Trump’s endorsement was icing on the cake, but the cake was already made.”
Britt will face Democrat Will Boyd, the party’s 2018 lieutenant governor candidate, in November. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.
She would be the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama and, at age 40, one of the chamber’s younger members and one of very few with school-age children. Alabama has had two female senators who were appointed to the chamber. Britt is married to Wesley Britt, who played football at the University of Alabama and went on to play in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots.
Strong backed for Brooks seat: Dale Strong, a volunteer firefighter who chairs the Madison County Commission, won a primary runoff for Brooks’ old congressional seat in the deep-red 5th District. Strong had 63 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Casey Wardynski, who served as assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and as superintendent of the Huntsville school district, at 8:35 p.m. Central time when the AP called the race. Strong’s campaign hauled in nearly $1.3 million, including some $200,000 in candidate loans, and had $80,000 cash on hand as of June 1, according to FEC reports. Wardynski raised more than $700,000 and had a little more than $170,000 on hand as of June 1. House Freedom Action, a super PAC whose contributors include megadonor Richard Uihlein, invested at least $280,000 in attacks against Strong in an attempt to boost Wardynski, while a smaller Alabama super PAC called Defend Our Values spent $30,000 supporting Strong, FEC records show. America First Alabama PAC spent about $90,000 in outside expenditures to boost Wardynski during the runoff, disclosures show.
West wins 2nd District runoff: Attorney and Georgia Air National Guard officer Chris West won the runoff for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. Sanford D. Bishop in November.
West was leading Jermey Hunt, a former Army captain and Fox News contributor, 51 percent to 49 percent when the AP called the race at 11:06 p.m. West had finished 7 points behind Hunt in the six-candidate May primary, and overcame a fundraising disadvantage by attacking Hunt as a carpetbagger. Hunt left Yale Law School to enter the race and registered to vote in Muscogee County in February, according to local reports.
West was outspent by more than 3-1 in the campaign and did not appear to receive any outside support. Hunt, who was named to the “On the Radar” program by the National Republican Congressional committee, raised $606,000 through June 1 and benefited from another $620,000 combined spent since the primary by two outside groups, the American Values First PAC and American Patriots PAC.
Bishop, the incumbent, is a member of the DCCC’s Frontline incumbent protection program. The district became more Republican after redistricting, and the November race is rated Likely Democratic by Inside Elections.
Trump pick rejected in 10th District runoff: Trucking company owner Mike Collins beat a rival endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Vernon Jones, to win a runoff election for the GOP nomination in Georgia’s 10th District.
Collins, the son of former Rep. Mac Collins who came close to winning the seat in 2014, had 78 percent of the vote to 22 percent for Jones, a former Democratic state lawmaker, when the AP called the race at 7:53 p.m. with an estimated 28 percent counted.
Collins, who was the first-place finisher in the May primary, more than doubled Jones’ fundraising, allowing him to spend $517,000 on the race to Jones’ $397,000, disclosures through June 1 showed. He also had an endorsement from Gov. Brian Kemp, who lives in the district and just won his own primary against a Trump-endorsed opponent.
Trump’s Make America Great Again Again! PAC is the only outside group that reported spending during the runoff, providing $22,000 in support of Jones.
Both Collins and Jones attacked each other’s conservative credentials. Their campaigns also veered into personal attacks, with Collins sending out mailers calling Jones, who is Black, a “RADICALLY ANTI-WHITE RACIST,” and Jones filing a police report claiming Collins was inciting violence against him by handing out red rape whistles affixed with Jones’ name, a reference to Jones’ alleged history of misconduct toward women.
The 10th District is open after GOP Rep. Jody Hice decided to run for secretary of state, with Trump’s endorsement. He lost to incumbent Republican Brad Raffensperger in May. The November race is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections .
McCormick beats Evans in 6th: Emergency room physician Rich McCormick won the GOP primary runoff to succeed Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath in Georgia’s 6th District.
McCormick was leading Trump-endorsed former state Ethics Commission Chairman Jake Evans 71 percent to 29 percent when The Associated Press called the race at 8:24 p.m., with an estimated 32 percent of the vote counted.
McCormick, the 2020 GOP nominee for the neighboring 7th District and the first-place finisher in the May primary, portrayed himself as the more conservative option. He spent $2.9 million — more than double the amount spent by his opponent — and attacked Evans for what he termed a “woke manifesto,” a law review article published in 2015 in which Evans argued for reforms to account for racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The position aligns with arguments coming from the left in recent years.
After redistricting made the 6th District more friendly to Republicans, McBath ran in the neighboring 7th District, where she won the Democratic nomination in May. The 6th District race in November is rated Likely Republican by Inside Elections.
McCormick also benefited from more than $1.7 million spent by outside groups to support him and oppose Evans since the May primaries. About $1.2 million of that came from the conservative School Freedom Fund, a super PAC affiliated with the anti-tax Club for Growth that has been airing advertisements tying Evans to “Critical Race Theory radicals.” Evans got comparatively little outside support, totaling $377,000, with $25,000 from Trump’s Make America Great Again Again! PAC.
Kiggans to face Luria: State Sen. Jen Kiggans won the GOP primary for Virginia’s 2nd District and will challenge Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria in a November race rated a Toss-up by Inside Elections.
Kiggins led the four-candidate field with 57 percent when the AP called the race at 7:42 p.m. with an estimated 51 percent of the vote counted.
Retired Navy chief petty officer Jarome Bell had 27 percent, Air Force veteran Tommy Altman had 14 percent and and retired Navy captain Andy Baan took 3 percent.
Kiggans was considered the favorite for the primary, but now enters the general election trailing Luria in fundraising as of June 1. Kiggans raised $1.3 million and had $489,000 on hand, while Luria had $3.4 million. A nurse practitioner, Kiggins, like Luria, served in the Navy for 10 years. The Virginia Beach-area district is home to a naval station.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House Republicans, spent $450,000 supporting Kiggans, part of the more than $1 million outside groups spent to support her campaign. The NRCC named her to its “Young Guns” program for promising candidates who meet certain benchmarks.
Vega to face Spanberger: Yesli Vega, a law enforcement officer and member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, won the Republican nomination to face 7th District Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger in November. Inside Elections rates the November race as Tilt Democratic.
Vega had 29 percent in the six-candidate field when the AP called the race at 9:35 p.m. Retired Green Beret Derrick Anderson was second with 24 percent, followed by state Sen. Bryce Reeves, with 20 percent.
A super PAC with ties to the House Freedom Caucus supported Vega, and she campaigned Monday with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. She has touted her background as a Latina and daughter to Salvadoran immigrants. She raised $506,000 and had $118,000 on hand as of June 1, compared to the $4.3 million that Spanberger reported having in the bank.