With eight states holding primaries this week, let’s take a look at the winners of some key races as these candidates begin to prepare for the 2018 general election.
California: A number of key races occurred in California during this week’s primary. The high profile race for governor ended with Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome set to campaign against Republican John Cox. Newsome, the former Mayor of San Francisco, has been open about his support for a single-payer healthcare system akin to the one San Francisco implemented under his leadership. Cox, a lifelong businessman endorsed by President Donald Trump, feels that a plan like this would inflate California’s $180 billion budget by $400 billion.
In last week’s Roundup, California’s 48th, 39th, and 49th were discussed as having a chance at democrats being locked out of these districts in the general election, as the top two vote getters advance regardless of party affiliation. With the results from this week’s primary now in, each of these districts will have a republican and democrat compete for a seat in the House of Representatives.
In the 48th District, 15-term incumbent Dana Rohrabacher won 30.3% of the vote and will face second place finisher Democrat Harley Rouda, who earned 17% of the vote. However, Republicans were close to locking the Democrats out in November as Scott Baugh finished with 16% of the vote.
In the 39th District, Republican Young Kim edged out a first place slot in the primaries with 21.9% of the vote. Kim’s opponent will be Gil Cisneros, who exited Tuesday with 20.2% of the overall vote. Both candidates have different views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with Cisneros feeling the ACA works well internally and wanting to expand coverage and Kim feeling the ACA has major “flaws” and would like to see the law function as originally intended. Kim does not advocate for a complete repeal unless a better option is found.
In the final potential lockout District, Republican Diane Harkey, earned 25.2% of the overall vote and Democrat Mike Levine came away with 17.1% in California’s 49th District. Levine is a supporter of Healthcare for all and HR.676. This is a District Hillary Clinton won by 7.5% in 2016 so things should tighten up more by November.
California’s 10th District almost ended up with a surprise Democratic lockout as Republican Ted Howze finished in third place but only 1% behind second place finisher, Democrat Josh Harder. Harder will challenge incumbent Republican Representative Jeff Denham in the general election later this year. Denham recently received three awards from organizations in his District for his work with healthcare. He supports what he calls “common sense reform”.
Iowa: Many thought that the Democratic House race in Iowa’s third District would come down to a battle between Cindy Axne, a life long Iowan and small business owner, and former Bernie Sanders campaign aid Pete D’Alessandro. Iowans decidedly cast their vote for Axne, an advocate for fixing Obamacare, over D’Alessandro, who supported Medicare for all. Axne won 58% of the vote while D’Alessandro finished in third with only 16%. In November, Axne will face off against current representative Republican David Young.
Over in Iowa’s First District Democrat Abby Finkenauer won 67% of the vote in her primary. The 28 year old state representative will challenge current House member Rob Blum, a Freedom Caucus member, in the general election. This race should be one of the more interesting races as the first District is primarily a white District but is also urban, which gives the early advantage to neither candidate.
Montana: The Senate race in Montana concluded with Matt Rosendale winning the Republican Senate nomination. Rosendale, the current state auditor, will face longtime Democratic Senator John Tester in November. Tester will be on the defensive in a state President Donald Trump won by 20% in 2016. Rosendale has already begun to criticize Tester for his support of the ACA and possible expansion. Tester is currently the lead sponsor of a bill to protect consumers from surprised air ambulatory charges, a position NAHU supports.
New Jersey: New Jersey has not elected a Republican Senator in 46 years. That streak may come to an end in 2018 when incumbent Robert Menendez faces his Republican challenger Bob Huggins. This normally reliably blue state may flip on Menendez who recently had corruption charges against him dropped after a jury could not make a decision. Menendez only won 62% of the democratic vote which could lead to trouble in the general election. On the Republican side, Bob Huggins easily won his primary and recent polls found him trailing Menendez by only 4%.
House races in important New Jersey Districts were also decided on Tuesday. Democrats were thrilled to have a chance in this District after long term congressman Frank LoBiondo retired. Jeff Van Drew, a highly conservative Democrat, won the District and will face surprise Republican victor Seth Grossman later this year. Also in New Jersey, the 5th District will have the Democrats playing defense. Incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer pulled off an upset victory in 2016, winning the District by about 4%, in a district where Trump beat Clinton in the general election. He will face Council member John McCann in the general election.
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