On Tuesday, Indiana is holding Republican and Democratic primaries in all nine of its House districts. There are competitive primaries in the state's first district to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Peter Visclosky, and in the fifth congressional to replace retiring GOP Rep. Susan Brooks. Polls in Indiana closed at 6 p.m. ET in most of the state, and at 6 p.m. CT and 7 p.m. Eastern Time in the counties located in the Central Time Zone.
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The stakes: There are two main races to watch in Indiana today are the primaries in the state's two open House of Representatives seats. This year, Rep. Pete Visclosky is retiring from the first district located in the northwest corner of the state, a safely Democratic seat that Hillary Clinton carried by over 12 percentage points in 2016. The main candidates vying for the nomination in the crowded 14-candidate Democratic primary are Frank Mrvan, a North Township Trustee who has secured Visclosky's endorsement, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., and state Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon. There's also a competitive Republican primary in Indiana's fifth district, a traditionally red seat in the Indianapolis suburbs and exurbs, to replace retiring GOP Rep. Susan Brooks. Fifteen candidates are competing for the Republican nomination in the district, including State Senator Victoria Spartz, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, and former prosecutor Carl Rizzo. Tensions have run high at points in the primary, with fellow GOP candidate and nurse Beth Henderson airing attack ads that some have criticized as xenophobic in targeting Spartz's Ukrainian heritage. The district has been in Republican hands since 1993 and backed President Donald Trump by 12 percentage points in 2016. But Democrats are eyeing the now-open seat as a target to flip this year after former Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly carried the district despite losing the state in 2018, Indiana political writer Adam Wren recently reported in his newsletter "Importantville." Polls closed at 6 p.m. ET in most of the state, and at 6 p.m. CT and 7 p.m. Eastern Time in the first and eighth congressional districts, where are located in the Central Time Zone. More than 300,000 Hoosiers, an all-time record, are voting by mail this year after the state's Election Commission waived the state's previous rule requiring voters under 65 to have a documented excuse to request an absentee ballot, the Indianapolis Star reported. The massive increase in voters casting ballots by mail will likely delay the timings of election results. Hamilton County, which accounts for the bulk of votes in the fifth district, for example, is not counting ballots at all until Wednesday. Join the conversation about this story »
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Tennessee is holding US Senate and House primaries on August 6. Former US Ambassador Bill Hagerty...Tennessee is holding US Senate and House primaries on August 6. Former US Ambassador Bill Hagerty defeated Dr. Manny Sethi in the heated primary to replace retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander. Polls closed at 7 p.m. Central Time and 8 p.m. Eastern Time in Tennessee. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Polls closed at 7 p.m. CT in the Western portion of the state located in the Central Time Zone and at 8 p.m. ET in the parts of the state located in the Eastern Time Zone in Tennessee. The races: Businessman and former US Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty, who is the preferred candidate of President Donald Trump, defeated Dr. Manny Sethi, a Nashville-based surgeon and first-time candidate, in the crowded Republican primary to replace retiring GOP Senator Lamar Alexander in solidly Republican Tennessee. This primary, like many of the contentious intraparty battles of 2020, devolved into an acrimonious battle over which candidate has stronger conservative bonafides and will be a more loyal ally to Trump. It's a primary fight some described as the nastiest and intense in Tennessee's recent history. As The New York Times and the National Review have noted, the tenor of the primary means that whichever candidate wins will be a stark departure from the type of centrist, mild-mannered, and pro-business Republicans Tennessee has traditionally elected. Former Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who often disagreed with and openly criticized Trump, retired in 2018 and was replaced by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a strong conservative and vocal supporter of Trump. Hagerty, a Tennessee native who served as ambassador to Japan under the Trump administration for over two years from January 2017 to July 2019, earned Trump's endorsement right out of the gate and was expected to easily secure the GOP nomination. But now Hagerty still faced a tough challenge from Sethi, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt Medical Center and son of first-generation immigrants from India. Sethi is running a campaign as a populist conservative outsider, and has experienced a last-minute surge of support and momentum, making this race highly competitive. Despite both candidates holding solidly conservative views, they spent considerable time trying to attack each others' political donation records for being too liberal. Sethi hit Hagerty for serving as a finance chair for the 2012 presidential campaign of Trump foe Sen. Mitt Romney, and donating $1,000 to Al Gore in the 2000 election, leading Hagerty to forcefully distance himself from Romney. His ads have negatively portrayed Hagerty as being entrenched in a wealthy "ruling class" establishment more similar to Romney's brand of conservatism than Trump's. Meanwhile, Hagerty attacked Sethi for not donating to Trump's 2016 campaign and for his wife donating $50 to former Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello in 2008 through ActBlue, a platform that processes payments for Democratic candidates and some nonprofits, including ones connected to the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform efforts. In addition to attacking each other, both candidates aired ads forcefully denouncing the recent riots in the wake of police killings this spring as dangerous, anti-police, and connected to socialism. And while the candidates have mostly similar policy positions and would both be reliable party-line votes and conservative voices in the Senate, the primary somewhat divided differing factions of the GOP. Hagerty has the backing of Trump and much of the party's establishment heavyweights, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Blackburn, Sen. Tom Cotton, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group. Meanwhile, Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have broken with Trump to endorse Sethi. If Hagerty loses, he'd be the fifth Trump-endorsed Senate or House candidate to lose a primary this cycle, following Rep. Scott Tipton of Colorado, Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia, Rep. Steve Watkins of Kansas, and North Carolina House candidate Lynda Bennett. Hagerty will face environmental justice organizer Marquita Bradshaw in the general election. She defeated minister and former Tennesse Assistant Attorney General Robin Kimbrough Hayes and US Army veteran and Tennessee National Guard Officer James Mackler in the primary. In the general election, Tennessee's Senate race is rated as "safe Republican" by the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and "solid Republican" by Inside Elections. Also on Thursday, there's a crowded Republican primary in the deep red first congressional district in East Tennessee to replace retiring Rep. Phil Roe. The leaders of the 16-candidate field include pharmacist Diana Harshberger, cancer pathologist Josh Gapp, State Sen. Rusty Crowe, former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, former Johnson City Commissioner Steve Darden, and State Rep. Timothy Hill. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Maine is holding congressional primary elections on Tuesday, July 14. Three candidates are vying for the...Maine is holding congressional primary elections on Tuesday, July 14. Three candidates are vying for the Republican nomination to face Rep. Jared Golden in Maine's second district, a top battleground district Democrats won back in 2018. Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system, meaning that the race could go to an additional ranked-choice runoff between the top two candidates if no one earns a majority of the vote outright. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Polls closed at 8 p.m. Eastern Time in Maine. The races: Sara Gideon, the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, easily defeated her opponents, lawyer Bre Kidman and activist Betsy Sweet, to clinch the Democratic nomination for US Senate to face GOP Sen. Susan Collins in the fall. The race between Collins, a four-term Senator, and Gideon, is expected one of the most competitive races of 2020 that will determine which party controls the chamber. There's also a competitive Republican primary in Maine's second congressional district to face Rep. Jared Golden, a former state legislator and US Marine veteran who defeated a Republican to flip the seat to Democratic control in the 2018 midterm elections. Maine's second district, which occupies most of the state's geographical landmass and is heavily rural and working-class, flipped from voting for former President Barack Obama by 9 percentage points in 2012 to vote for President Donald Trump by 10 points in 2016. In addition to winning the seat back for Democrats, Golden was also the first member of the House elected with Maine's relatively new ranked-choice voting system for federal elections. In most US elections, a voter only casts a vote for one candidate on their ballot, and the candidate who earns the most votes wins outright. But in Maine's system, voters rank all the candidates on the ballot based on the order of their preferences. If no candidate earns over 50% of the vote outright, the lowest-performing candidate is eliminated, and the race goes to a ranked-choice runoff. For voters whose first-choice candidates did not advance, ballots are re-tallied and those voters' second-choice selections are redistributed until a candidate earns a majority of the vote. State Senator Eric Brakey, former Maine State Representative and Lisbon, ME town councilmember Dale Crafts, and Adrienne Bennett, a realtor who previously served as press secretary to former GOP Gov. Paul LePage, are the Republican candidates vying for the nomination to face Golden. A poll of the race conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of FairVote showed Crafts in the lead over his opponents, with 37% of likely Republican primary voters indicating they would pick Crafts as their first choice followed by Bennett at 25%, Brakey at 19%, and 19% undecided. The race between Golden and the eventual Republican nominee will be a hotly-contested one. Election handicappers including the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia have rated the race as a tossup while Inside Elections rates it as leaning Democratic. Maine's second district also plays an important role in the electoral college, and will receive a significant amount of attention in the presidential race. Maine, along with Nebraska, allocates its electoral college votes proportionally, with two allocated based on the statewide results and each congressional district accounting for one electoral college vote. In the electoral college, Maine's second district is rated as a tossup by the Cook Political Report, tilt Republican by Inside Elections, and lean Republican by Sabato's Crystal Ball.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Texas is holding runoffs in the Democratic primary for US Senate and several key US House...Texas is holding runoffs in the Democratic primary for US Senate and several key US House of Representatives districts on Tuesday, July 14. 2018 House candidate MJ Hegar defeated State Senator Royce West in the runoff to face GOP Sen. John Cornyn in November. Texas' runoffs are taking place amid a particularly bad outbreak of COVID-19 in the state. While Texas has several days of early voting, the state fought in court against expanding vote by mail options. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Polls in most of Texas closed at 7 p.m. Central Time and 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The stakes: Texas voters are picking nominees for several U.S. congressional races in Tuesday's runoff elections as the state battles a rampant surge in coronavirus cases. No candidate passed the 50 percent threshold required to appear on the November ballot in the state's March 3 Democratic primary, resulting in runoffs that were initially scheduled for May 26 but were postponed to Tuesday because of the pandemic. Texas, unlike many other states that have held elections during the public health crisis, did not expand access to mail-in ballots. Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, who believes widespread vote-by-mail would lead to increased voter fraud despite ample research showing mail ballot fraud is extremely rare, managed to ward off local Democrats' legal challenges that aimed to provide absentee ballots for those who do not wish to risk their health by showing up at the polls. The US Supreme Court also denied the Texas Democratic Party's initial request in court to grant expanded access to the state's more than 16 million registered voters, a decision which President Donald Trump celebrated. Big WIN in Texas on Mail-In Ballots! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2020 Some poll workers walked off the job prior to Tuesday due to concerns over Gov. Greg Abbott's refusal to mandate mask-wearing for voters, resulting in a handful of polling locations being shuttered, according to reporting from the Texas Tribune. The state's highest one-day count since the outbreak began was on July 11 with 10,351 confirmed cases. As of Tuesday, Texas reported nearly 275,000 cases and 3,331 deaths from the virus with a seven-day average of 9,195 new confirmed cases and 84 deaths per day, according to The New York Times. The races: Air Force veteran MJ Hegar defeated state senator and lawyer Royce West in the runoff to face Republican Sen. John Cornyn this November. Hegar has promoted her military service and life as a working mom to garner support, and has emerged as the leading candidate with roughly 22 percent of the vote in March's primary. The former helicopter pilot, who also ran for U.S. House in 2018 but was narrowly defeated, has raised more than $6.5 million according to the Center for Responsive Politics — three times more than West's estimated $1.7 million. Hegar has received major endorsements from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the super PAC EMILY's List. West, on the other hand, has backing from local leaders in the state legislature, where he has represented Dallas for 27 years. Though their platforms align on many issues, from advocating for criminal justice reform to addressing health care inequities, the competition has turned increasingly bitter in its final weeks. One heated exchange unfolded on local television station KVUE when Royce questioned Hegar's history as a Democrat after rumors surfaced that she voted in the 2016 Republican primary and made a monetary contribution to Cornyn's campaign in 2011. Hegar admitted on air that she had indeed made a $25 dollar donation to Cornyn to "get a meeting" with him, wielding the move as an example of the corrupt influence of money in politics. She then attacked Royce for playing a role in the "broken system" by implying he became a millionaire while in office. Hegar also defended her vote for Carly Fiorina in 2016, which she said was an effort to stop the candidacy of Donald Trump, according to the Texas Tribune. Royce suggested in an email to supporters that Hegar's remarks on his financial success were racially motivated, to which she then denied in a Zoom call with reporters, as reported by the Dallas Morning News. Royce has recently homed in on anti-racism protests around the country as a new pathway to support his bid. If elected, he will become the first Black senator to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Hegar will face three-term GOP incumbent Cornyn, who has the largest war chest with $18.7 million raised and $12.8 million cash on hand. His reelection would help retain the upper chamber's Republican majority. No Democrat has won a statewide election since 1994, though political analysts argue the field in Texas has shifted toward more purple territory in recent years. Former local school board member Candance Valenzuela defeated former Air Force pilot looking to snag a Democratic nomination is Kim Olson in the Democratic primary for Texas' 24th Congressional District, a suburban seat spread between Fort Worth and Dallas. Valenzuela, a progressive who has shared her childhood experiences of homelessness on the campaign trail, would be the first Black Latina woman in Congress if elected. She has received endorsements from Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and the Black, Hispanic and Asian congressional caucuses. Olson's campaign was bruised by her controversial history as an administrator for the Dallas Independent School District and past charges of war profiteering in Iraq, which she has called inaccurate, according to the Texas Tribune. Valenzuela will face former Irving Mayor Republican Beth Van Duyne, who also served in the Trump administration, in a chance to flip the seat currently held by retiring Rep. Kenny Marchant. When Rep. Pete Olson announced his retirement, 15 candidates entered the primary for the 22nd Congressional District, which includes Fort Bend County, located south of Houston. The crowded field ultimately narrowed to county sheriff Troy Nehls and longtime Republican donor Kathaleen Wall. On Tuesday, Nehls defeated Wall by a large margin in the runoff. Wall had broken state records in self-funding — a total of $8.3 million — to support her campaign, according to the Houston Chronicle. Nehls, meanwhile, had raised less than $500,000 but carried 41 percent of the vote and was recently endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Congress. The contest has not been without drama. Wall released a slew of campaign ads, including one commercial that mimics Trump's blaming of China for the coronavirus, a move Democrats have denounced as racist, as reported by the Texas Tribune. She has also received blowback from her rival after she released two ads that accused the sheriff's office of mishandling sex trafficking cases. "To suggest we ignore cases or turn a blind eye is an ABSOLUTE LIE," Nehls wrote in a Facebook post. "I am the only candidate in this race who has done something to combat human trafficking." Nehls will run against Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni, who is hoping to flip the GOP seat after losing to Olson in 2018 by just five points. Here's the status of the other big runoff races to watch on Tuesday: Controversial former White House physician Ronny Jackson beat Josh Winegarner to win the Republican runoff in Texas' deep red 13th congressional district. Mike Seigel defeated Dr. Pritesh Gandhi to face Rep. Michael McCaul in the Democratic runoff for Texas' 10th congressional district, which occupies a large swath of the suburbs between Houston and Austin. The Republican runoff between Tony Gonzalez and Raul Reyes to face Democratic nominee Gina Ortiz-Jones is still too close to call in Texas' 23rd district, a Democratic-trending district which is being vacated by retiring Rep. Will Hurd. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet