The latest on the Aug. 9 primaries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont.
Trump-Endorsed Michels Defeats Pence-Backed Kleefisch in Wisconsin Governor’s Primary
Donald Trump-backed businessman Tim Michels on Aug. 9 defeated former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, endorsed by Mike Pence, in Wisconsin’s GOP gubernatorial primary.
With 76 percent of the votes counted at 11:46 p.m., Michels received 47 percent of the vote, and Kleefisch received 43 percent, according to The Associated Press.
Kleefisch was backed by Pence along with former Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
A former TV news anchor, she served for two terms as lieutenant governor under Walker, who had enthusiastically campaigned for her.
Kleefisch launched a generously funded campaign last September and raced to a commanding lead over lesser-known opponents. Her name recognition as lieutenant governor for Walker helped.
Republican Wins Minnesota Special General Election for Vacant US House Seat
Republican Brad Finstad on Aug. 9 defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger in the special election to fill the remainder of the late Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s term.
With 56 percent of the votes counted at 11:07 p.m., Finstad received 77 percent of the vote to Ettinger’s 23 percent, according to The Associated Press.
Hagedorn was first elected in 2019. He died after a long battle with kidney cancer, his wife, Jennifer Carnahan, announced on Feb. 18, 2022.
Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, and a former 1st Congressional District representative, announced details for the special election within the three-day window of Hagedorn’s death, as established by Minnesota law.
Hagedorn won by less than one percentage point in 2018 before prevailing by three percentage points in 2020.
Finstad’s victory narrows the Democrats’ already slim majority in the U.S. House.
‘Squad’ Member Ilhan Omar Survives Close Minnesota Democratic Primary Challenge
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Aug. 9 defeated former Minneapolis city council member Don Samuels in the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
With more than 95 percent of the votes counted at 11:57 p.m., Omar received 50 percent of the votes, and Samuels received 48 percent.
Omar, 39, is a high-profile member of Capitol Hill’s new generation of progressive Democrats. She is the first Somali-American elected to Congress.
Omar has supported the “defund the police” movement. She backed a proposal to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.
Minnesota Incumbent Survives US House Primary Challenge From Progressive
Eleven-term incumbent Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) prevailed over community organizer Amane Badhasso, a refugee from Ethiopia, in Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary.
McCollum, 68, is the longest-serving member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation.
With 26 percent of the votes counted at 11 p.m. ET, McCollum drew 84 percent of the vote to Badhasso’s 14 percent.
Badhasso is a progressive Democrat who hoped to join Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on the “squad” in Congress.
Tlaib and Bush won their respective Democratic primaries last week.
In a statement after she announced her candidacy, Badhasso explained why she entered the race.
Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Barnes Advances to Face Incumbent Johnson in High-Spending Match-Up for US Senate
Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sailed past his only challenger in Wisconsin’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Aug. 9 and will face Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in the general election in November.
The Associated Press and Decision Desk HQ called the races for Johnson and Barnes not long after polls closed on Tuesday.
As expected, Barnes overshadowed the other four candidates in the Democratic contest. The field had shrunk in the final two weeks before the primary. Three candidates who had trailed Barnes, but were more popular than the remaining candidates, dropped out and endorsed the frontrunner.
Now Johnson and Barnes will square off in the general election on Nov. 8. The race could have one of “the tightest” finishes of any Senate race in the country, political analyst Joe Handrick told The Epoch Times.
Nanette Holt, and Jeff Louderback contributed to this report.