Republican voters in Georgia ignored Donald Trump’s endorsements in congressional primary runoffs for safe GOP House seats on Tuesday night, but sided with the Senate candidate in Alabama who had his blessing over one of the former President’s earliest and most loyal supporters.
Tuesday’s elections also set the matchups for several key House races in Virginia and Georgia. And in Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser won her Democratic primary and is now poised to win a third term.
Here are four takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries and runoffs in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, DC:
Weeks after Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger cruised past Republican primary challengers backed by Trump, who is still fuming over their rejection of his lies about election fraud in 2020, Georgia GOP voters rejected two more candidates endorsed by the former President in congressional primary runoffs Tuesday, according to CNN projections.
Rich McCormick, an emergency room doctor and retired Marine, will win the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 6th District, defeating Trump-backed attorney Jake Evans in Tuesday’s runoff for the metro Atlanta district.
And Mike Collins, a businessman and the son of the late Rep. Mac Collins, defeated Vernon Jones, a former Democrat-turned-Republican who had the endorsement of Trump, in Georgia’s 10th District. Jones, a long-time Trump ally, had initially sought to run against Kemp in the gubernatorial primary. Trump engineered his departure from that race, clearing the way for former Sen. David Perdue to become Kemp’s Trump-backed challenger while the former President backed Jones in the House race he lost Tuesday. (Perdue lost his race to Kemp in May.)
Still, while Trump’s preferred candidates lost, his brand of politics won: McCormick ran as a MAGA-style conservative, and Collins embraced Trump’s election lies.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks had the support of much of Fox’s prime-time lineup, a raft of conservative activists, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, a slew of conservative House members and more in Alabama’s Republican primary runoff to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby.
But he’d lost Trump. The former President had endorsed Brooks, only to rescind it later and then ultimately back Britt in the runoff once it became clear she was the front-runner.
And on Tuesday, Britt – and Trump – prevailed, CNN projected.
Britt, a former chief of staff to Shelby who went on to lead the Business Council of Alabama, and Brooks, a six-term congressman and member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, had finished in the top two of the state’s May primary to advance to the runoff.
Brooks’ strong showing last month had been something of a surprise. Trump said the reason he’d rescinded his endorsement was because Brooks had urged Republican voters to move past the 2020 election to focus on 2022 and 2024 – a mortal sin to Trump, who continues to spread lies about past election fraud. But Trump also dumped Brooks while the congressman was lagging in the polls.
Now, Britt is the prohibitive favorite against Democrat Will Boyd in the November election in the deep-red state.
After winning the Democratic primary Tuesday, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser is now all but certain to become the first DC mayor to win a third term since Marion Barry did it in 1986. (Barry would ultimately serve four non-consecutive terms.)
Bowser defeated DC Councilmembers Robert White and Trayon White and 2018 mayoral candidate James Butler in a race that focused on violent crime. Bowser said she would increase the size of the DC police force. The nation’s capitol is heavily Democratic, so the party’s primary effectively determines the winner of the mayor’s race.
Tuesday’s elections also set the matchups for several competitive House races.
Virginia Republicans chose state Sen. Jen Kiggans to take on Democratic Rep. Rep. Elaine Luria in the Virginia Beach-based 2nd District, setting the matchup for what’s expected to be one of the nation’s most competitive House races, CNN projected. Kiggans, who has establishment support from the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy-aligned super PAC and New York Rep. Elise Stefanik’s political organization, as well as the National Rifle Association, was the favorite in Tuesday’s primary against far-right businessman Jarome Bell.
The Virginia GOP also selected Yesli Vega, a Prince William County supervisor and an auxiliary sheriff’s deputy who was supported by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in what was a wide-open primary for Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s 7th District seat in northern Virginia.
National Republicans’ hopes in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District, represented for three decades by Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop but seen as more competitive after last year’s redistricting, were on Jeremy Hunt, a 28-year-old graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and a Black candidate in the plurality Black and rural district. But CNN projected Tuesday that Hunt lost to Chris West, a 38-year-old attorney and former Georgia Air National Guard officer who is White.