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One Big Race to Watch: Trump's Pick in Kansas

Kris Kobach is trying to unseat a sitting GOP governor, with the president's backing
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2018 9:00 AM CDT
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaks in Mission, Kansas, after President Trump officially endorsed him for Kansas governor on Aug. 6.   (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)

(Newser) – Voters in five states go to the polls on Tuesday, and analysts will again be looking for clues on what the results might mean for the November midterms. Some highlights:

  • Kansas: The GOP primary for the governor's seat might be the highest-profile contest of the night because of President Trump. On Monday, Trump backed conservative Secretary of State Kris Kobach over the sitting Republican incumbent, Jeff Colyer, notes the AP. One fear for Republicans is that if Kobach wins, he'd be vulnerable to Democrats in November.
  • Ohio: This is a special election, not a primary, to fill the seat of retired GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi. The seat has long been held by Republicans, but Democrat Danny O'Connor is in a surprisingly close race against the GOP's Troy Balderson. A GOP loss would be a "psychological blow" to the party, per CNN, but no matter what happens, the two candidates will be squaring off again in November. Trump tweeted on behalf of Balderson on Tuesday.

  • Michigan: An open governor's seat is at stake, and if Abdul El-Sayed wins the Democratic primary and again in November, he would become the nation's first Muslim governor. Bernie Sanders is a big supporter, notes CNN. Elsewhere, Fayrouz Saad is one of the Democrats vying for the seat of retiring Rep. Dave Trott, and she has the chance to become the first Muslim woman in Congress, per the AP.
  • Missouri: The Senate race here is getting big attention, because it's seen as one of the GOP's best chances to unseat a Democratic incumbent, in this case Claire McCaskill. State Attorney General Josh Hawley is expected to win the GOP nomination Tuesday night.
  • Washington state: Various congressional primaries are on the ballot, and one interesting facet is that Washington uses what the AP calls a "jungle primary" system in which all candidates regardless of party are listed on the same ballot. The top two advance. One big race is for the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Dave Reichert near Seattle.
(Read more elections stories.)

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