Pennsylvania GOP Senate Race Too Close to Call; Madison Cawthorn Concedes NC Race

Pennsylvania GOP Senate Race Too Close to Call; Madison Cawthorn Concedes NC Race
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz greets supporters after the primary race resulted in an automatic re-count due to close results, in Newtown, Pa., on May 17, 2022. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

The latest on the primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon.


Tina Kotek Wins Oregon Governor Democratic Primary

Tina Kotek won the Oregon Democratic gubernatorial primary on May 18.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting at 3:59 a.m. ET, Kotek received 57 percent of the vote, defeating Tobias Reed by 14 percentage points, according to Decision Desk HQ.

After two terms in office, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a progressive Democrat, could seek reelection because of term limits. That made 2022 the first election in Oregon in more than 20 years with no former or current governor on the ballot.

Republicans see what could be their best opportunity to win the office since Vic Atiyeh was elected in 1982. The heated GOP primary race, which featured more than a dozen candidates, was too close to call with 67 percent of the votes counted at 4:02 a.m. ET on May 18.

The candidates vying to face Koek, include a former candidate for governor, an Oregon lawmaker who has been out of office for 20 years, a powerful mayor who said “no” to COVID-19 mandates, a school district superintendent who faced down the Oregon Department of Education over masking students, a former House leader who stood up against cap and trade, and a handful of tech sector executives who bring youth to the party.

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Sen. Ron Wyden Wins Democratic Primary for Reelection in Oregon

Sen. Ron Wyden won the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Oregon, handily defeating two challengers.

With 82 percent of the districts reporting at 3:47 a.m. ET, Wyden drew 90 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, Seven Republicans are jostling for a general election shot at the winner of that contest. The race was too close to call at 3:48 a.m. ET. With 62 percent of the districts reporting, Republicans Darin Harbick and Jo Rae Perkins led the pack with 32 percent and 31 percent of the vote respectively.

Wyden has been in public office for 40 years, representing Oregon’s 3rd Congressional from 1981 to 1996 before being elected to the senate.

In the primary contest, he faced Brent Thompson, a real estate investor and former city councilor and planning commissioner who ran unsuccessfully as a Reform Party candidate in 1996.

“Ron Wyden’s pro-growth positions Californicated Oregon,” Thompson said. “He has failed to think seven generations ahead.”

CEO of Oaks Sign Company, William E. Barlow III, the other challengers, said he wants to “stop 40 years of incrementalism … and endless positioning for the next election.”

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Idaho Gov. Brad Little Wins GOP Gubernatorial Primary

Incumbent Republican Gov. Brad Little is the projected winner of Idaho’s May 17 primary out of eight candidates.

Unofficial election results placed Little far ahead of his two leading Republican opponents, receiving 54 percent of the vote just with 84 percent of counties reporting at 3:35 a.m. May 18.

Trump-endorsed incumbent Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin placed a distant second, receiving 31 percent of the vote. Political newcomer Ed Humphreys garnered nearly 12 percent after a hard-fought grass-roots campaign.

“I respect the will of Idahoans. They felt strongly about our current governor being re-elected, so I can only honor that,” Humphreys said during an informal election-watch gathering at Two Rivers Clubhouse in Eagle, Idaho.

“Everybody knows we worked the hardest—hands-down. I took my case to the people and let the people decide. You can’t give any more than your absolute best,” he told The Epoch Times.

“The political machine that corporate America has built is very powerful. We got to see it at work.”

Asked if he planned to run again in 2024, Humphreys replied, “No, I’ve got a family to raise.”

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Pennsylvania GOP Senate Race Too Close to Call, Recount Expected

For weeks, polls showed that the Pennsylvania GOP U.S. Senate primary was too close to call. Results from primary election day demonstrate that projection was accurate.

Though he slipped to third in some recent polls and saw former President Donald Trump endorse celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in April, hedge fund investor and U.S. Treasury Dept. official David McCormick carried a slim lead for most of the night in the primary on May 17.

In the early hours of May 18, Oz pulled ahead.

With 95 percent of the precincts reporting at 12:30 a.m., Oz received 31.2 percent of the vote (397,347) while McCormick tallied 31.1 percent (396,724) and Barnette accumulated 24.7 percent (314,828), according to Decision Desk HQ.

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Madison Cawthorn Concedes North Carolina Race

After a close race, Rep. Madison Cawthorn conceded to Rep. Chuck Edwards in the GOP primary race for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district.

The concession announcement happened so suddenly that Cawthorn’s spokesman Luke Ball told reporters that Cawthorn wouldn’t concede even as Cawthorn called Edwards.

“While I was out here speaking with you all, Congressman Cawthorn called Rep. Edwards to concede the race,” Ball told members of the media at Cawthorn’s election watch party.

The announcement closed an extremely close race. For most of the night, Edwards led Cawthorn by only a few percentage points.

Despite the race’s closeness, both Cawthorn and several close friends of his said they were confident of his victory. Their certainty held steady until the last moment.

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Incumbents Prevail in Kentucky US House GOP Primaries

Incumbents prevailed across the board in Kentucky’s U.S. House primaries on May 17.

In the 1st Congressional District, neither Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) nor Democrat Jimmy Ausbrooks faced primary opponents Tuesday.

Comer is a former two-term Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, 12-year state lawmaker, and gubernatorial candidate. He is the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee and an ardent advocate of former President Donald Trump.

Ausbrooks is a mental health counselor. He ran, but withdrew, from the U.S. Senate race in 2020 and is otherwise a relative political newcomer not expected to seriously challenge Comer in November.

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Trump-Backed Doug Mastriano Wins Pennsylvania GOP Gubernatorial Primary

Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano won the Republican gubernatorial primary on May 17.

With 38 percent of the precincts reporting at 9:42 p.m., Mastriano received 40 percent of the vote and was projected as the winner by Decision Desk HQ.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro ran unopposed on the Democratic party gubernatorial ballot and will face Mastriano in the general election.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania declined to endorse a gubernatorial candidate in February. Former President Donald Trump decided to back Mastriano on May 14 at a time when the retired U.S. Army colonel and state senator already owned a comfortable lead over former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta and former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain.

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Sen. Rand Paul Wins Kentucky US Senate GOP Primary, Will Face Democrat Rep. Charles Booker in General Election

An 80–1 longshot may have won this year’s Kentucky Derby, but underdogs in the state’s Republican primaries had no such luck Tuesday as incumbents swept past interparty rivals and onto likely reelection against Democratic opponents in November.

As expected, two-term Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) easily won his GOP primary against little-known, marginally financed hopefuls. He will face Democratic challenger state Rep. Charles Booker (D-Ky.) in the general election.

All five of Kentucky’s six sitting Republican U.S. House representatives likewise breezed to preliminary wins. U.S. Reps. Jamie Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers, and Andy Barr now advance to general elections as heavy favorites against longshot Democrats in the deep red Bluegrass State.

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Rep. Ted Budd Wins Senate Republican Primary in North Carolina

Rep. Ted Budd swept to victory in the North Carolina Republican primary for the U.S. Senate on May 17.

With 45 percent of the precincts reporting, Decision Desk HQ projected Budd as the winner with 56.5 percent of the vote at 7:56 p.m.

Budd, a firebrand conservative whose campaign focused on fighting the ideological left, scored an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. His platform included fighting corruption from Big Tech companies, creating jobs, stopping socialism, and letting parents control their child’s education.

McCrory, a former North Carolina governor, built his campaign on his past political successes. He ran on a conservative platform including lower taxes, pro-life policies, support for police, stronger election security, and defending constitutional rights to Congress.

Budd’s win was a victory for the power of Trump’s endorsements to shape the future of the Republican Party. As the 2022 midterms approached, Trump played the role of kingmaker, lending his endorsement to many Republican candidates.

Often, a candidate’s support for Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged played a key role in whether the president chose to lend his endorsement.

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Scottie Barnes, John Haughey, Jeff Louderback, and Jackson Elliott contributed to this report.