At the Races

What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
GOP picks nominee in top Senate race; 2 Toss-up House races will be set

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith faces a DFL primary challenge Tuesday from five other candidates, including former Republican Richard Painter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

From New England to the upper Midwest, four states are hosting primaries Tuesday. The most interesting contests are in Wisconsin and Minnesota, which both hold primaries for Senate and for several competitive House seats. And in two safe Democratic districts — one in Minnesota and one in Connecticut — primaries will likely pick new members of Congress.

Wisconsin Republicans will pick their nominee to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, one of 10 Senate Democrats running for re-election in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. The contest between Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir has come down to the wire.Both are backed by billionaires bankrolling super PACs. Vukmir has the state party’s endorsement, and the Wisconsin GOP’s turnout machine behind her. But Nicholson has benefitted from millions of dollars in outside spending to boost his campaign. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the Wisconsin Senate race Leans Democratic.Some Democrats see their best House pickup opportunity in Wisconsin in the 1st District, which opened after Speaker Paul D. Ryan decided to retire. Trump carried the district by 10 points in 2016, his smallest margin among all five GOP-held seats in the Badger State. Former Ryan aide Bryan Steil is expected to win the Republican nod, while ironworker Randy Bryce faces Janesville school board member Cathy Myers for the Democratic nomination.

Democratic Poll Shows Close Race for Pete Sessions’ Seat in Texas
GOP congressman faces Democrat Colin Allred in Dallas-area district

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is facing Democrat Colin Allred in November. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions’ re-election race is looking increasingly competitive, with Democrat Colin Allred polling close to the longtime Republican lawmaker, according to a new internal Democratic survey.

The Dallas-area 32nd District is traditionally GOP territory. But this year’s race is considered competitive, in part because the 32nd is one of three Republican-held districts in the Lone Star State that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-up

Fame and Campaign Fortune Haven’t Saved ‘Iron Stache’ From a Heated Primary
Randy Bryce faces fellow Democrat Cathy Myers in Wisconsin’s 1st District on Tuesday

Democrat Randy Bryce faces Cathy Myers in Tuesday’s primary in Wisconsin’s 1st District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Randy Bryce came on to the political scene, he became a Democratic fundraising juggernaut. But the Wisconsin Democrat, who is known by his Twitter moniker “Iron Stache,” hasn’t locked down his primary race in the 1st District, despite a national profile and buckets of money being poured into his campaign.

Bryce faces a potentially competitive contest against Janesville school board member Cathy Myers in Tuesday’s primary. 

Democratic Poll: GOP Rep. Mimi Walters in Competitive Race
Democrat Katie Porter’s poll shows her in a tight contest in California’s 45 district

Democrat Katie Porter is running against GOP Rep. Mimi Walters in California’s 45th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A poll from California Republican Rep. Mimi Walters’ Democratic opponent Katie Porter found a competitive race in the 45th District in Southern California. 

The 45th is a Democratic target this cycle, one of seven GOP-held House seats in the Golden State that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.

Minnesota DFL Primary Will Shape Toss-up House Race
Five candidates face off in 8th District for right to take on top GOP recruit

Former Minnesota state Rep. Joe Radinovich is running for the DFL nomination in the 8th District. (Courtesy Joe Radinovich for Congress)

Looking at a map of potential Democratic takeover opportunities, Republicans’ see their bright spot in Minnesota’s 8th District. Just how bright it is, however, could largely depend on the outcome of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party primary on Tuesday.

There are few House districts that have attracted more outside spending during the previous two cycles than Minnesota’s 8th, where DFL Rep. Rick Nolan has twice defeated businessman Stewart Mills — the last time by just half a point while President Donald Trump was carrying the seat by 16 points. 

Collins’ Exit Sends New York Republicans Scrambling to Find Replacement
GOP candidates coming out of the woodwork to express interest in seat, sources say

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was facing Democrat Nat McMurray in the 27th District before he decided to suspend his campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Chris Collins’ decision to suspend his re-election campaign following his recent indictment on insider trading charges has upended the race for his Western New York seat, and Republicans in the area are scrambling to determine their next steps.

Two GOP county chairmen said Saturday they expected Collins’ name to be removed from the 27th District ballot. The Republican chairs for the eight counties in the district are expected to meet early next week, potentially on Tuesday, to pick a new nominee.

Chris Collins Suspends Campaign Just Days After Criminal Indictment
New York Republican faces charges related to insider trading

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., has suspended his re-election campaign after his arrest and indictment earlier this week on charges related to securities fraud. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins, who was arrested and indicted on charges related to securities fraud earlier this week, has suspended his re-election campaign.

“Democrats are laser focused on taking back the House, electing Nancy Pelosi Speaker and then launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump,” Collins said in a statement Saturday. “They would like nothing more than to elect an ‘Impeach Trump’ Democrat in this District, which is something that neither our country or my party can afford.”

In Minnesota’s 1st District, a Test Between New and Old GOP Candidates
Jim Hagedorn is running for the nomination for the fourth time

Jim Hagedorn, who’s been endorsed by the Minnesota GOP, is facing a primary in the 1st District on Tuesday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn has done this before — three times, in fact.

The Minnesota Republican has never won any of those congressional races in the 1st District, but he’s trying again this year. Hagedorn came within a point of defeating Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Tim Walz in 2016, and now that it’s an open seat — Walz is running for governor — Hagedorn sees another opening.

Congressional Leadership Fund Expands Field Offices
GOP super PAC now has 40 field offices around the country

Congressional Leadership Fund is opening a field office in GOP Rep. George Holding’s district in North Carolina. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The super PAC backed by House Republican leadership is opening six new field offices in seats the GOP is trying to hold this fall. 

Congressional Leadership Fund is adding offices in Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas, bringing its total number of offices around the country to 40. 

At the Races: Blizzard of Charges Hits Chris Collins
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There Could Be Two Different Democratic Successors for Conyers’ Seat
Tlaib won the primary for the new term, while Jones won the special election primary

Rashida Tlaib isn’t the only Democrat with a claim on Conyers’ old seat. (Courtesy Rashida Tlaib)

After winning the Democratic nomination Tuesday night in Michigan’s 13th District — a safe Democratic seat — former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib is set to make history as the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

But she may not be the next person to hold the open seat, which longtime Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. vacated late last year over allegations of sexual harassment.

Report: Chris Collins Will Still Run for Re-election
New York Republican faces charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was indicted on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Chris Collins will still run for re-election, according to a report from the Buffalo News.  

The Buffalo News reported that Collins wrote in an email to supporters that he would still seek re-election in the 27th District despite being indicted Wednesday on charges relating to insider trading and lying to the FBI. 

3 Takeaways from the Ohio Special Election for the Midterms
Anti-Trump energy remains high, and Republicans aren’t giving up on Pelosi attacks

Republican Troy Balderson, above, is leading Democrat Danny O’Connor in the special election for Ohio’s 12th District. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

The special election in Ohio’s 12th District remained too close to call Wednesday, with Republican Troy Balderson narrowly leading Democrat Danny O’Connor.

But the competitiveness of the race in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s contest and the tighter-than-expected margin offered several takeaways for the next three months.

McCaskill: Supreme Court Vote ‘Not a Political Winner’
McCaskill’s opponent is expected to make the Supreme Court vacancy an issue in the race

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is one of the most vulnerable incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The current Supreme Court vacancy is expected to be a central topic in the Missouri Senate race — at least if the GOP nominee has anything to say about it.

Attorney General Josh Hawley, who won the GOP primary as expected Tuesday, has already been using the high court vacancy to make his case against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. But McCaskill said Wednesday that some Missourians will be upset no matter how she votes on President Donald Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Democratic Group Launches Wildfire Ads Against California Congressman
Red to Blue CA is targeting GOP Rep. Tom McClintock in NorCal district

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., is a DCCC target this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic outside group is launching a new ad campaign against California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, accusing him of voting against wildfire assistance last year. The launch comes as the largest wildfire in the state’s history rages in northern California.

Red to Blue CA is coming out with mailers and a digital ad on Facebook linking the congressman from the largely rural 4th District to the wildfire. The group cites his December 2017 vote against an emergency spending bill that offered additional funds to communities recovering from hurricanes and wildfires. The measure did pass the House.