Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and extra

Donald Trump’s vendetta against the Republicans who failed to help him overthrow the 2020 presidential election will face perhaps its greatest test Tuesday.

In the Georgia primary, Trump-backed candidates are challenging Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who are seeking re-election.

what you need to know

  • Donald Trump’s vendetta against the Republicans who failed to help him overthrow the 2020 presidential election will face perhaps its greatest test Tuesday
  • In the Georgia primary, Trump-backed candidates are challenging Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who are seeking re-election
  • In Alabama, voters are deciding who will replace longtime US Senator Richard Shelby, who is stepping down
  • Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota also have primary elections on Tuesday

Georgia is one of five states holding primary elections on Tuesday. Here’s a look at the top races in Peach State, as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota.


Trump has tried to smear Kemp since the Republican governor confirmed the results of the 2020 presidential election. The former president not only backed former US Senator David Perdue, he recruited him to run against Kemp.

Meanwhile, Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence – who, like Kemp, has found himself in Trump’s wrath for not trying to overthrow the election – has backed Kemp. This leads to an interesting proxy war between Trump and Pence. Pence could use the race to gauge whether he will challenge his former boss in 2024.

According to polls, Kemp has a good chance of breaking the 50 percent mark and avoiding a runoff. A Fox 5 Atlanta and InsiderAdvantage poll on Monday showed the incumbent has 52% support and a 14-point lead over Perdue. Three other Republicans are also seeking the nomination.

The Republican winner will face Democrat Stacey Abrams, a former House Minority Leader, in the general election. Abrams, who lost a close gubernatorial race to Kemp four years ago, is unchallenged for the Democratic nod. Abrams, a staunch supporter of voting rights, is credited with delivering the peach state to Joe Biden and building momentum for two Democrats from Georgia into the Senate in the 2020 election, the first time a Democrat has won the state since 1992 to send a drain in January 2021 wielding control of the Chamber.

In the race for secretary of state, Raffensperger is trying to survive challenges from three other Republicans, led by US Rep. Jody Hice.

While Trump made false allegations of voter fraud in the weeks following the election, Raffensperger vigorously backed down in media interviews, telling stories about threats he and his family had received from people motivated by Trump’s lies. Raffensperger was famously on the other end of a call with Trump in January 2021, in which the then-president urged him to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to win the state — a call currently being handled by the Fulton County District Attorney is examined.

Trump backed Hice in the race. Hice, who has served four terms in Congress, has encouraged Trump’s election lies and voted against confirming the vote.

There are also five Democrats running for Secretary of State.

In the race for the US Senate in Georgia, former NFL star Herschel Walker, a longtime friend of Trump, looks set to cruise through the GOP primary and face Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock in November.

Despite being accused of threatening his ex-wife’s death, exaggerating his business resume and lying about his education, Walker is still way ahead in the polls.

Warnock faces a challenger Tuesday – business owner and activist Tamara Johnson-Shealey.

In Georgia’s bright red 14th congressional district, controversial incumbent Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene faces several Republican challengers. The House of Representatives stripped Greene of her committee duties last year, and she has since been banned from Twitter for sharing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and came under fire for speaking at a conference organized by a white nationalist.

Greene’s biggest threat appears to be Jennifer Strahan, the owner of a health consulting firm whose campaign has received a cash injection from conservative PACs, including one from Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy.

In the 7th District, in the Atlanta area, two Democratic incumbents – Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bordeaux – face off. McBath switched districts after Georgia Republicans approved a new congressional map that made her current district harder to win.


In Alabama, voters are deciding who will replace longtime US Senator Richard Shelby, who is stepping down.

The polls show a tight three-way battle between former Business Council of Alabama President Katie Britt, US Rep. Mo Brooks and former Army helicopter pilot Michael Durant, whose capture in Somalia was chronicled in the 1993 film Black Hawk Down.

Trump withdrew his approval of Brooks after the congressman told a rally audience to “put[the 2020 election]behind,” though some observers believe Trump’s decision may have been prompted by Brooks’s then-slumping poll numbers. Brooks had helped push Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud by becoming the first member of Congress to say he would object to the results and by addressing the crowd of Trump supporters just before many of them died on March 6. January stormed the Capitol.

Brooks’ poll numbers have recovered since Trump ended his support for him. A poll by the Alabama Daily News and Gray TV last week found Brooks trailing Britt, a former Shelby chief of staff, by 31% to 29%. Durant was third with 24%.

With no candidate having a clear path to a majority on Tuesday, a runoff is likely to occur on July 26.

Three candidates are competing for the Democratic nomination in the race.

Republican incumbent Kay Ivey defended her conservative credentials in the Alabama gubernatorial campaign. GOP challengers have attacked Ivey for not allowing Trump to hold a rally aboard a historic battleship because he mandated a mask in response to the COVID-19 pandemic because he urged residents to take action against the virus to get vaccinated, and for admitting an LGBTQ-affirmative charter school. She has countered by supporting Trump’s claims about stolen elections and stressing her anti-abortion and pro-gun stance.

Ivey’s GOP opponents include Trump’s former ambassador to Slovenia Lindy Blanchard and businessman Tim James, whose father Fob was the state’s governor from 1995 to 1999.

Ivey is doing well in the polls, but they were mixed on whether she could break the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Six Democrats are running for governor. A poll by Emerson College/The Hill last week had retired rehab specialist Yolanda Flowers at the top with 29% support – 22 percentage points higher than everyone else – but nearly half of those polled said they were undecided.


There appears to be little drama in the major Arkansas primary on Tuesday.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders leads the polls for the Republican nomination in the race to replace acting governor Asa Hutchinson. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, had support from 72.5% of likely GOP primary voters, according to a poll by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College earlier this month.

Trump endorsed Sanders shortly after she announced her candidacy.

She is expected to face Democrat Chris Jones in the general election. Jones, a former executive of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, also has a big lead in the polls.

Meanwhile, US Senator John Boozman faces three challengers in the Republican primary, including former New England Patriots player Jake Bequette and journalist-turned-activist Jan Morgan. Boozman held a 26-point lead over second-place Bequette in the most recent Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College poll.

Three hopefuls are seeking the Democratic nomination, but nearly two-thirds of Democrats polled were undecided earlier this month.


Voters in Texas, which became the first state to hold its primary on March 1, head to the polls to decide runoffs.

In the race for the Republican nomination for secretary of state, incumbent Ken Paxton fought state land commissioner George P. Bush.

Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, finished the four-way primary 20 percentage points behind Paxton. Bush has sought to gain ground – he lost six points in a recent poll – by attacking Paxton’s integrity. Paxton is the subject of an FBI corruption probe and was charged in 2015 with security fraud that has yet to be brought to justice. He has denied wrongdoing.

Bush sought Trump’s endorsement, but the former president instead put his support behind Paxton, who was leading a lawsuit challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election, which the US Supreme Court ultimately rejected.

In south Texas’ 28th congressional district, nine-term Rep. Henry Cuellar is attempting to fend off a challenge from 28-year-old immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros in the Democratic primary.

Cisneros and other progressives have tried to draw attention to Cuellar’s anti-abortion views, with the runoff coming about three weeks after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion showing Justices Roe v. Wade could fall soon.

In January, the FBI searched Cuellar’s home and campaign office. Cuellar has denied wrongdoing, and his attorney said the congressman is not the target of a federal investigation.

Cuellar received 49% of the vote in March, Cisneros 47%. Also in 2020 the two faced each other in a close race.


Minnesota’s regularly scheduled primary doesn’t happen until August, but the state’s 1st congressional district is holding a special election Tuesday to fill the seat of Republican Jim Hagedorn, who died in February after battling cancer.

Hagedorn’s widow, Jennifer Carnahan, is among 10 candidates running for the GOP nomination. She resigned under pressure as leader of the state party last year after a close aide and top donor was accused of child sex trafficking.

Carnahan was also caught on a tape speaking callously about her husband before his death. “I don’t care,” she said. “Jim, he’s going to die of cancer in two years,” she hears her say. “So be it.”

Carnahan later said the comments were made “in sorrow” and “it is absolutely unfortunate”.

Other Republicans in the field include State Representative Jeremy Munson and former US Department of Agriculture official Brad Finstad.

Among the Democrat hopefuls are former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger and University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, who was a White House ethics advocate under President George W. Bush.