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Key results from Colorado, New York, South Carolina and Utah races

‘Squad’ member Bowman and Trump-backed minister Burns among the losers

Rep. John Curtis, seen outside the Capitol June 14, has won the GOP primary for Senate in Utah.
Rep. John Curtis, seen outside the Capitol June 14, has won the GOP primary for Senate in Utah. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Voters in four states settled a series of battles Tuesday, ousting a firebrand Democratic incumbent, renominating a Republican firebrand, filling a vacant House seat and rejecting three candidates backed by former President Donald Trump.

Here’s a rundown of key races in Colorado, New York, South Carolina and Utah.

Colorado

Hurd to face Frisch: In a victory for the GOP establishment, attorney Jeff Hurd won the GOP primary in the 3rd District Tuesday.

At 10:11 p.m. Eastern time, when The Associated Press called the race, Hurd had 42 percent of the vote, well ahead of five competitors, including former state Rep. Ron Hanks, who has a history of embracing election denialism and ran second with 28 percent.

Hurd will face Democrat Adam Frisch in November for the open seat, which is currently held by Rep. Lauren Boebert, a controversial Republican who nearly lost to Frisch in 2022 and decided to run in the 4th District in the eastern half of the state. 

Hurd had the backing of several mainstream Colorado Republicans, including former Gov. Bill Owens. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House GOP leaders, has spent $400,000 opposing Hanks. Another conservative PAC, Americans for Prosperity Action, spent $368,000 backing Hurd.

But Republican outside groups weren’t the only ones investing in the GOP primary. Frisch ran ads encouraging GOP voters to reject Hurd, who many observers believe is the strongest Republican in the field, and a Democratic super PAC also attacked Hurd and promoted Hanks.  

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Lean Republican. But in 2022, it was the nation’s closest race, with Frisch, a former member of the Aspen City Council, coming within 546 votes of an upset win over Boebert.

Boebert renominated: Boebert’s decision to switch districts paid political dividends for her Tuesday, when she won a crowded Republican primary for an open seat in eastern Colorado.

Boebert, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House, had been running for a third term in the competitive 3rd District, which is centered on Colorado’s rural Western Slope. But facing challenges from Frisch and Hurd, Boebert abruptly switched districts late last year. She ran instead in the reliably redder 4th District seat that was opened by Republican Rep. Ken Buck’s resignation.

Republican to fill vacant seat: Republican Greg Lopez, a former mayor who twice sought the Republican nomination for governor, cruised to victory Tuesday in a special election in Colorado’s 4th District. He will replace Buck through January.

Lopez had 57 percent of the vote to Democrat Trisha Calvarese’s 36 percent when the AP called the race at 9:32 p.m. Eastern time. Two third-party candidates were also running.

A hard-line conservative, Lopez intends to join the Freedom Caucus and focus on issues related to immigration and the economy. 

Evans to face Caraveo: Republicans in Colorado’s newest congressional district selected state Rep. Gabe Evans on Tuesday as their pick to unseat Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo.

Evans, who beat fellow Republican Janak Joshi, had 78 percent of the vote at 9:23 p.m. Eastern time, when the AP called the race. 

The race against Caraveo, a freshman, in the 8th District is expected to be among the nation’s most competitive and is rated a Toss-up by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the district in 2020 by 4.4 percentage points.

Outside groups have already shown their interest in the race. Americans for Prosperity Action, a conservative super PAC, spent $330,000 in support of Evans.

Crank prevails in 5th District: Republican Jeff Crank, who formerly hosted a conservative talk show, beat a Trump-endorsed opponent Tuesday to win the GOP primary for an open seat in Colorado’s solid-red 5th District.

Crank had nearly 68 percent of the vote just after 10 p.m. Eastern time, when the AP called the race. He is heavily favored to win the general election contest, where he will face Democrat River Gassen, who teaches astronomy and solar energy at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who is not seeking reelection.

The contest between Crank and Dave Williams, the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, reflects some of the same rifts that have divided the GOP elsewhere, with Crank embracing the mantle of a traditional Republican who rejects election-related conspiracy theories and Williams running as a more confrontational candidate in the Trump mold.

Both had powerful supporters: Crank was endorsed by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., as well as Lamborn. Williams, a former state representative, had the support of Boebert, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and other GOP firebrands in Congress, as well as the former president.

Outside money flowed to the race: Groups spent $2.1 million opposing Williams and $593,000 supporting Crank. 

Earlier this month, Williams came under criticism from members of his own party after he signed an email sent by the Colorado Republican Party criticizing Pride Month. The state GOP also posted a call on social media to burn pride flags. 

The Colorado chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, which advocates on behalf of LGBTQ+ Republicans, issued a statement calling for Williams to resign as state GOP chairman.

New York

Avlon to take on LaLota: Democrats in New York’s 1st District picked John Avlon, a former CNN political analyst, over Nancy Goroff, a former chemistry professor, to challenge freshman GOP Rep. Nick LaLota.

Avlon was leading with nearly 71 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 9:50 p.m. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Lean Republican. 

Bowman ousted: New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a progressive who ousted a Democratic incumbent in 2020, lost his own primary race on Tuesday after a campaign that became the most expensive House primary in history, according to AdImpact. 

George Latimer, the Westchester County executive, was leading with nearly 55 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 9:38 p.m. 

The Democratic primary in New York’s 16th District became a proxy war for the party’s stance on the war in Gaza. Bowman was among the first members of Congress to call for a cease-fire and said Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, while Latimer represented a more moderate position. 

Tenney wins rematch: For the second election cycle in a row, Rep. Claudia Tenney defeated attorney Mario Fratto for the Republican nomination in New York’s 24th District, who argued she was not conservative enough.

Tenney had 65 percent of the vote to Fratto’s 35 percent when the AP called the race just before 10 p.m. In a three-way race in 2022, Tenney beat Fratto by nearly 14 percentage points. Fratto had self-funded much of his campaign, with donors only supplying $49,000 of the $508,000 he reported as total receipts through June 5. Tenney reported raising $2 million, and had $552,000 on hand on June 5.

Mannion to face Williams: State Sen. John Mannion defeated DeWitt town Councilor Sarah Klee Hood on Tuesday in the Democratic primary to take on GOP Rep. Brandon Williams in New York’s 22nd District. 

Mannion was leading with nearly 62 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 10:22 p.m.

Williams’ district is one of Democrats’ best pickup opportunities after New York finalized a new congressional map earlier this year. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Tilt Democratic.

South Carolina

Biggs wins runoff: Bolstered by super PACs that have targeted ultraconservative candidates, psychiatric nurse practitioner Sheri Biggs beat a Trump-endorsed pastor and motivational speaker in Tuesday’s Republican runoff in South Carolina’s 3rd District.

The PACs — Conservatives for American Excellence and American Leads Action — spent $430,000 supporting Biggs and opposing Burns.

At 9:14 p.m., when the AP called the race, Biggs had 51 percent of the vote. She beat Mark Burns, who was the top vote-getter in a crowded primary earlier this month.

Biggs, a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, faces Democrat Bryon Best in November. Biggs is heavily favored to win the seat in the solid-red district, which has been held since 2011 by retiring Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan.

Utah

Curtis gets Senate nomination: Republican Rep. John Curtis pushed back several GOP opponents Tuesday, including Trump-backed Trent Staggs, to secure the party’s nomination for Utah’s open Senate seat.

Curtis had 52 percent of the vote at 10:23 p.m. Eastern time, when the AP called the race. He faces Democratic nominee Caroline Gleich in November, but is heavily favored to succeed Sen. Mitt Romney, a pillar of the anti-Trump GOP establishment.

First elected to the House in a special election in 2017, Curtis, who was once a Democrat, is an advocate for green energy policy and a member of the Republican Main Street Caucus, a group of “pragmatic conservatives.” Like Romney, he’s a conservative whose personal style stands in contrast to former Trump’s more pugnacious brand of politics.

Staggs, the mayor of Riverton who had the support of the state Republican Party, highlighted his Trump connection and finished with 28 percent. Two other Republicans, former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and Jason Walton, CEO of a pest control company, also sought the seat.

Curtis was the beneficiary of more than $7.7 million in outside spending, and an additional $1.9 million was spent on ads critical of Staggs.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Solid Republican.

Maloy race not called: Rep. Celese Maloy was leading but her race against retired Army Col. Colby Jenkins in the 2nd District Republican primary had not been called when the AP halted counting votes early Wednesday.

Maloy, who won a special election last year to fill a seat vacated by a former boss, led Jenkins 52 percent to 48 percent with an estimated 84 percent of the vote counted at 1:23 a.m. Eastern time. Jenkins won the backing of Republicans at a state party convention in April, and had the support of Republican Sen. Mike Lee. He also benefited from at least $462,000 in outside spending.

Maloy was endorsed by her fellow Utah Republican Reps. Burgess Owens, Blake D. Moore and John Curtis. She was also endorsed by Trump, who called her “a great advocate for the wonderful people of Utah’s 2nd Congressional District!”

Kennedy nominated in 3rd District: State Sen. Mike Kennedy, a physician who also has a law degree, could soon add a new title to his name. Kennedy won a crowded Republican primary Tuesday for an open seat in Utah’s 3rd District.

Kennedy had 36 percent of the vote in a five-candidate field when the race was called at 11:14 p.m. Eastern time by the AP.

He defeated fellow Republicans J.R. Bird, the mayor of Roosevelt; political newcomer Case Lawrence, who founded a national chain of trampoline parks; Stewart Peay, an attorney and former Army captain who has Sen. Mitt Romney’s endorsement; and State Auditor John “Frugal” Dougall.

Several of the candidates invested their own money in the race, including Lawrence, who loaned his campaign nearly $3.1 million; Bird, who loaned his campaign $1 million; and Dougall, who loaned his campaign $250,000. 

The district is currently represented by Curtis, who won the nomination for the state’s open Senate seat.

Kennedy will face Democratic nominee Glenn Wright in November. The race is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.