The latest on the June 28 primaries in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.
Army Vet Wins Colorado GOP Bout Between Political Newcomers
11:36 p.m. ET
A former U.S. Army officer and West Point graduate running for his first political office has won the June 28 Republican primary in Colorado’s Congressional District 7 (CD 7).
Erik Aadland, an Iraq/Afghanistan combat veteran awarded the Bronze Star for valor, edged economist Tim Reichert and 2016 Jefferson County Trump campaign chair and 2020 Republican National Convention delegate Laurel Imer to win the GOP nod in CD 7.
Aadland, who has worked as an oil and gas industry project manager for the last decade, will take on state Sen. Brittany Pettersen, a Democrat, in November’s general election.
Pettersen was unopposed in the Democratic primary after qualifying for the ballot through the assembly process. Political parties in Colorado conduct preliminary county, district, and state-level assemblies to designate primary candidates. Candidates can also petition for direct access to the primary ballot.
Trump-Endorsed Darren Bailey to Face Pritzker in Illinois Governor Election
11:02 p.m. ET
Trump-Endorsed Darren Bailey on June 28 won the six-way Illinois Republican gubernatorial primary election. He will face Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, in the fall.
Bailey drew 57 percent of the vote as of 10:57 p.m. on Tuesday, easily defeating the other Republicans in the race.
A third-generation farmer and two-term state senator, Bailey runs on a conservative platform to fully free the state from COVID restrictions, protect the rights of the unborn, and support the Second Amendment.
A staunch critic of Pritzker’s COVID mandates, Bailey filed the state’s first lawsuit challenging the governor’s pandemic executive orders and was granted a temporary restraining order.
Oklahoma Republican US Senate Primary to Be Resolved in August Runoff
10:43 p.m. ET
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) on June 28 secured the most votes in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate but did not clear the 50 percent threshold necessary to avoid a runoff.
With 73 percent of the votes reported at 10:33 p.m. on June 28, Mullin received 44 percent of the vote followed by T.W. Shannon, who advanced with 17 percent, according to Decision Desk HQ.
The winner of the runoff is widely expected to win in the general election in the deep red state on Nov. 8 and fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Kendra Horn, who served as a U.S. representative in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District from 2019 to 2020, was unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face the winner of the runoff in November.
Local Sheriff Ousts Incumbent Republican in Mississippi US House Primary Runoff
10:23 p.m. ET
Mike Ezell, a local sheriff, defeated Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) in the June 28 GOP primary runoff for Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District, marking the end of a race that intensified after a June 7 primary election split the vote among multiple candidates.
With 83.9 percent of the ballots counted at 10:04 p.m., Ezell had 53.1 percent of the vote and was declared the winner by The Associated Press.
After Palazzo and Ezell finished first and second in the June 7 primary, every other candidate endorsed Ezell.
The contest has been riven by dueling accusations of corruption and mismanagement.
Ezell, the sheriff of Jackson County, highlighted an ongoing investigation of Palazzo’s alleged ethical lapses, including the personal use of money from his campaign to improve a riverfront property he expected to sell.
Rep. Boebert Wins Colorado Republican US House Primary
10:09 p.m. ET
Trump-backed Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) easily blasted past her challenger, a veteran state lawmaker, to win the Republican primary on June 28.
By 9:57 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Boebert had corralled more than 63 percent of the vote with 60 percent of precincts reporting.
The popular incumbent now hopes to defeat the winner of the Democratic primary and two others on November 8 in her bid for a second term representing Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District.
One of the candidates ready to duel it out with Boebert is homebuilder and substitute teacher Adam Frisch of Aspen. He spent eight years on the ski-resort town’s city council, focusing on water rights, affordable housing, and green energy.
Hochul Wins, Zeldin Leads in New York Gubernatorial Primaries
9:53 p.m. ET
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who as lieutenant governor assumed office in Albany last August when Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign amid scandal, is one step closer to being the first woman ever elected as chief executive of the Empire State.
The Buffalo native defeated moderate Long Island Congressional Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Brooklyn progressive Jumaane Williams in New York’s June 28 Democratic primary to earn the party’s gubernatorial berth in fall’s general election,
Hochul will face the winner of the Republican primary in November. Four-term Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) was in the lead as of 9:49 p.m. ET on Tuesday, but the race was still too early to call.
The June 28 primary was only for statewide offices and state assembly races, essentially serving as New York Primary Day Part 1. Primaries for the state’s 27 congressional districts and 63 state senate districts, will be staged on Aug. 23.
Incumbent Fends Off Upstart in Mississippi GOP Primary Runoff
9:41 p.m. ET
Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) on June 28 won the GOP primary runoff election for Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District.
With 84 percent of the ballots reported at 9:36 p.m., Guest drew more than 67 percent of the votes, defeating challenger Michael Cassidy.
Guest will face Democrat Shuwaski Young in the Nov. 8 general election. Young won the June 7 Democratic primary in Mississippi’s 3rd district.
Cassidy narrowly defeated Guest in the first round of the primary on June 7, earning 47.5 percent of the vote to Guest’s 46.9 percent—a result in line with voter dissatisfaction over incumbents in many other races across the country.
The June 28 result ends a contentious primary season in the district.
Esther King Wins Republican Primary in Key Illinois US House District
9:30 p.m. ET
Esther King on June 28 won Illinois’ Congressional District 17 (CD 17) Republican primary.
She will face the winner in the Democratic primary, which was too early to call as of 9:29 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
With 13 percent of the ballots reported at 9:30 p.m. ET on June 28, King earned more than 68 percent of the votes, besting Charlie Helmick.
Illinois CD 17 is considered a competitive House seat that could go either way in the general election, based on its performances in the last two presidential elections.
It was one of seven districts nationwide that went for former President Donald Trump while picking a Democrat to go to Congress in 2020. Last year, the Democratic-controlled state legislature redrew the district to make it more favorable to Democratic candidates.
Utah Voters Split Over Which Republican to Pick for Senate
5:21 p.m. ET
SPANISH FORK, Utah—Utah County primary voters went to the polls on June 28 to choose between incumbents or to chart a new direction with candidates for change in the U.S. House and Senate.
At the Spanish Fork Senior Centern in the heavily Republican county, voting was steady and consistent throughout most of the morning.
Chris Merrill of Mapleton, a registered Republican, said he voted for incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) because, “I like what he’s done.”
“I’d like him to continue doing it,” Merrill told The Epoch Times in an exit poll. “I didn’t feel a lot of sincerity in [Republican opponent] Becky Edwards. I feel that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I feel he’s doing good work.”
Merrill said he votes in every election, but in this election, the driving issue is “the economy.”
“I believe the economy is important. I think voting is important. I’m not a big fan of red flag [gun control] laws.”
A red flag law allows someone to petition a state court to order the confiscation of firearms if a person is considered dangerous to himself or others.
Merrill said he’s also pro-life, which factored into his decision to vote in this election.
A woman who didn’t want her name used voted mail-in ballot for Lee as a Trump Republican.
“My daughter and I did it together. I did Republican all the way,” the woman told The Epoch Times.
The voter said there was no reason to vote for Edwards, a former Utah state representative, or business executive Ally Isom.
“[Lee] has been doing a pretty good job,” she said. “I’m satisfied with everything.”
“You want to know the truth [why I voted]? My daughter said so.
“The way I look at it, the way it’s going to be is the way it’s going to be,” the voter said regarding Roe v. Wade, an issue which she considers crucial in this election. Still, violence from pro-abortion advocates is “ridiculous.”
“They ought to just be grown up enough to accept what is. They’re not going to change it,” the woman said.
Oklahoma Voters Cast Their Ballots in Multiple High-Profile Races
4:34 p.m. ET
Standing outside Hideaway Pizza in Oklahoma City’s historic Automotive Alley district, Republican US Senate candidate and 2nd Congressional District Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) moved from one TV news interview to another on the afternoon of the primary election day.
One videographer asked the entrepreneur and former professional mixed martial arts fighter to provide comments as if he had just won the race so the interview can air tonight. Mullin smiled and politely declined, adding that “I can’t talk about something that hasn’t happened yet.”
Inside Hideaway Pizza, Mullin and his campaign team hosted an election day kickoff party that stretched from late morning to early afternoon. Mullin thanked a crowded room of supporters and encouraged Oklahomans to head to the polls.
“When there is a race with 13 people on the ballot, every vote literally counts,” Mullin said. “I know people are busy. It’s the middle of summer, and families have their commitments, but still we have a duty to show up and vote. It’s the only way we will take this country back from President Biden and his Socialist agenda.”
Among the multiple businesses Mullin operates is Mullin Ranch, where he raises cattle, so he is accustomed to early mornings. On June 28, the lifelong eastern Oklahoma resident woke up, made the 90-mile drive to Tulsa, visited a few stops to talk to voters, and then embarked on the 100-mile drive to Oklahoma City for the gathering of supporters.
“I spent every minute on the phone on the way here, and I’ll spend every minute on the phone on the way back talking to mayors across the state, and to as many voters as I can,” said Mullin, who was accompanied by his wife and three of their six children in Oklahoma City.
Polls suggest Mullin and former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon are likely to advance to an August 23 runoff to determine the Republican nomination.
“If I was in second place, I would love the idea of a runoff,” Mullin said with a grin when he was asked about the concept of runoffs. “It’s a different story when you are leading in the polls, and if you finish in first.
“If a runoff happens, and we are there, it is like starting a new campaign,” Mullin explained. “You only have one opponent instead of 12, and it is important to reach as many people as possible since, typically, runoffs have a lower voter turnout.”
T.W. Shannon cast his vote around noon local time and encouraged Oklahomans to head to the polls before they close.
Shannon will have his watch party in Oklahoma City and hopes, at the least, he will advance to the August 23 runoff.
“Oklahomans: There are still a few more hours left to vote! If you haven’t, please find your polling location & get to the polls,” Shannon said in a tweet.
‘Values Centered Around God and Family Still Matter Here,’ Oklahoma Voters Say
3 p.m. ET
HARRAH, Okla.—In Harrah, a town of 6,620 located 30 miles east of Oklahoma City, a steady stream of traffic poured into the voting precinct at the Harrah Board of Education.
Outside, Mike and Bernice, a retired married couple, agreed that American values are on the line in this election.
“Values centered around God and family still matter here, and that is why it’s important to get out here and vote,” said Mike, a former teacher. “If only the rest of the country was like Oklahoma, then we would be fine.”
On the edge of town, Harrah’s Barber Shop is emblazoned with a large American flag mural. A “Trump 2024” flag waves on a pole. Donald Trump won Oklahoma with 65 percent of the vote in 2020.
In downtown Harrah, which consists of a single street adorned with the chamber of commerce, a few shops, an old theater, and a grain elevator, a railroad engineer named Kelly walked out of a fitness center.
“I’m not much into politics, but I know people here are true conservatives who just want America to be what it was when Trump was president,” he said. “This is a small town where people know and support each other. We kinda like being left alone so we can mind our own business.”
June 28 Primaries
Oklahoma Republicans will sort through 10 candidates to select a candidate to run for U.S. Senator, two Mississippi GOP congressional incumbents face runoffs, and controversial Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) is being challenged by a party rival in her first re-election campaign.
Those races are among the dozens of local, state, and congressional races on tap as voters in seven states head to polls for June 28 runoffs and primaries, capping a busy month of preliminary contests to set November general election ballots.
Mississippi and South Carolina will stage runoffs to settle unfinished business from June primaries. In Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah, Republicans and Democrats are voting in party primaries.
After the June 28 elections, 29 states will have completed inter-party rounds leading up to fall’s 2022 midterm elections.
The primary pace slackens in July, with only Maryland on the docket before picking up in August. Of the 19 states with primaries still on tap—Louisiana and Rhode Island do not have primaries—15 will stage them between Aug. 2-23.
New York is moving ahead with June 28 primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, and state assembly, while preliminary contests for Congressional and state senate seats were shifted to Aug. 23 after the Democrat-controlled legislature’s proposed electoral district maps were rejected and revised in May court rulings.
A roundup of June 28 runoffs and primaries:
State Lawmakers to Square Off in New Colorado Congressional District
2:44 p.m. ET
Voters in Colorado’s new congressional district will see familiar names on their November ballot, with two state lawmakers set to square off after winning their June 28 primaries.
Republican State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer edged three rivals in the Republican primary for the state’s newly created Congressional District 8 (CD 8) to advance to the general election.
Kirkmeyer will face state Democrat Rep. Yadira Caraveo in November, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
A Weld County Commissioner for 20 years before being elected to the state senate in 2021, Kirkmeyer’s well-established ground game proved to be the difference in emerging victorious from a crowded field in the most competitive campaign of Colorado’s primaries.
10 GOP Candidates Seeking to Replace Inhofe in Oklahoma
Ten GOP candidates are vying in the June 28 primary to replace 87-year-old Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, who took office in 1994 and was elected to a fifth term in 2020 before announcing his retirement in February.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) is regarded as the frontrunner, but in the crowded field, it is unlikely he’ll secure the 50 percent threshold that will allow him to advance to November without a runoff on Aug. 23.
A poll jointly conducted by Oklahoma City’s KWTV News 9 and Tulsa’s KOTV News on 6, released on June 23, indicated that Mullin stands in first with 38.7 percent, followed by top contender and former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon at 13 percent.
State Sen. Nathan Dahm is in third with 8.1 percent, followed by Luke Holland (5 percent), Scott Pruitt (2.4 percent), Alex Gray (1.8 percent), and Dr. Randy Grellner (1 percent).
According to the poll, 30 percent of the likely Republican primary voters questioned are undecided.
The winner will take on former Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), who represented the state’s CD 5 in 2019-20. She faces no opposition in the Democratic primary.
Three candidates are challenging Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt in the GOP primary. The victor will take on the winner of the Democratic primary between Joy Hofmeister and Connie Johnson.
Stitt, the former CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group, is seeking his first reelection after winning his first-ever campaign as a “political outsider” with an endorsement from President Donald Trump in 2018. He is again endorsed by former President Trump, the National Rifle Association, and 68 GOP state lawmakers.
Stitt is being challenged by naturopathic doctor and former Tulsa SWAT team officer Mark Sherwood, Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Joel Kintsel, and stay-at-home mother, Moria McCabe.
Meanwhile, 14 candidates are on the ballot in Oklahoma’s Republican CD 2 primary to succeed Mullin, including Quapaw Nation Secretary-Treasurer Guy Barker, former chair of the state GOP John Bennett, former state Rep. Avery Frix, Cherokee Nation tribal councilor Wes Nofire, state Rep. Dustin Roberts, and Muskogee chief of police Johnny Teehee.
In Oklahoma’s CD 1, incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) is unopposed and will face Democrat Adam Martin and independent candidate Evelyn Rogers in November’s general election. Hern is endorsed by Trump.
There are two runoffs on the ballot, including in Congressional District 3, where Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.), who voted in favor of forming the Jan. 6 commission, could be ousted from his seat by U.S. Navy veteran Michael Cassidy.
Cassidy finished first in their June 7 GOP primary, edging Guest 47.5 percent to 46.9 percent but failing to capture the required 50 percent plurality to avoid the runoff.
In Mississippi’s CD 4, Rep. Steven Palazzo is seeking a sixth term in the House but needs to shake off Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell to advance.
In their five-candidate June 7 primary, Palazzo finished with 32 percent, with 25 percent going to Ezell. The other three candidates on the primary ballot have since endorsed Ezell.
There are more than 20 runoffs on tap for local and state offices, including for state Superintendent of Education and nine state House seats. The runoff generating the most attention is between two Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nod to run against incumbent Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in November.
Author and preservationist Catherine Fleming Bruce and state Rep. Krystle Matthews finished first and second in the June 14 Democrat primary but failed to secure the 50 percent plurality to avoid the runoff.
Project Veritas has released an audio of Matthews strategizing on how to utilize Democrat “sleepers” to run as Republicans in local elections, as well as requesting drug money from a Perry Correctional Institution inmate in a February phone call.
“We need some secret sleepers,” she is heard saying. “Like, you need, we need them to run as the other side, even though they for our side, and we need them to win,” the Senate primary candidate said. “We need people to run as Republicans in these local elections.”
Voters will pick their party’s candidates for 17 U.S. House seats, and one U.S. Senate seat, with Republicans set to select one of six candidates to challenge incumbent Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November.
Darren Bailey, a pro-Trump conservative state senator and staunch critic of Pritzker’s pandemic mandates, and Richard Irvin, mayor of Illinois’s second-largest city, Aurora, are among the Republican frontrunners.
Pritzker, who contributed $90 million to his reelection campaign in January, does not face a serious challenger in the party’s primary.
In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is unopposed in the party’s primary, while seven candidates seek the Republican nomination in the GOP primary. Duckworth will be the odds-on favorite to win a second term in November.
Among the state’s 18 House seats, Cook Political Report rates five in Democratic-leaning districts as winnable for Republican candidates, including the state’s refashioned CD 13, where incumbent Republican Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) has opted not to run in, choosing instead to run in more Republican-friendly CD 5.
Nikki Budzinski, a former union organizer and former chief of staff of the Office of Management and Budget in the Biden administration, has emerged as the front-runner in the CD 13 Democratic primary.
Her campaign has raised $1.7 million, far outraising any other candidate in the race, according to its June 8 filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
In the Republican CD 13 primary, Jesse Reising, founder of the Warrior-Scholar Project and a former federal prosecutor, and Regan Deering are running on a similar Republican platform, that of pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and border security.
In CD 17, also redrawn to annex more Democratic-leaning urban centers into the district, the retirement of five-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) has spurred a bevy of candidates to seek the seat.
Meteorologist Eric Sorensen and former Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann are among the leading contenders in the Democratic primary.
The winner will likely take on Esther King, a real estate lawyer, and former U.S. Army captain, who is heavily favored to win the GOP CD 17 primary. She lost to Bustos by 4 points in 2020.
CD 6’s Democratic primary will feature one of the eight primary races nationwide where post-2020 Census redistricting has pit incumbents against each other.
Two-term Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) and first-term Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) are vying for the seat. The survivor will take on the winner of the Republican primary, where suburban mayors Gary Grasso and Keith Pekau have emerged as the top contenders.
Voters will see a new congressional district in 2022 and competitive races across the board in this prickly purple state where the rural-urban divide is a vivid factor.
Three congressional races are drawing the most attention, most notably in CD 3, where Trump-endorsed Republican incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) faces four challengers, including rancher and state senator Don Coram in the GOP primary.
In the state’s newly-created CD 8, four contenders are seeking the Republican berth to take on Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo while in CD 7, GOP voters will select one of three candidates to face off with Democrat state Sen. Brittany Pettersen.
All four of the state’s incumbent Republican U.S. House representatives are being challenged by party rivals in primaries.
In CD 1, Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah) seeks a second term by defeating Andrew Badger and Tina Cannon. Moore voted against Trump’s second impeachment, twice to keep Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as Republican House conference chair, and supported bipartisan legislation to form the commission to investigate the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is seeking a sixth term in November but first must get by Erin Rider in the CD 2 Republican primary. Incumbent Reps. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Burgess Owens (R-Utah) also face June 28 inter-party tests.
Jeff Louderback, Allan Stein, John Haughey, Nanette Holt, Nathan Worcester, Darlene Sanchez, and Cara Ding contributed to this report.