Major special election win for Dems, 2 incumbents fall on big primary night

Although the winner will represent the district for only a few months, the short-term result will have far-reaching implications: Both parties are heavily contested in the race. Ryan and outside groups supporting his campaign focused the race as a referendum on abortion rights, while Molinaro — a highly favored GOP recruit — focused on inflation and the broader economy.

No contest before November can accurately predict who will ultimately run the House in 2023. But the win is a big boon for Democrats, and will reaffirm the Democratic candidates’ focus on abortion rights, which could lead to a fall. It’s the latest in a string of House special elections in which Democrats have matched or surpassed Biden’s 2020 numbers in the district, boosting the party’s political fortunes after months of falling numbers.

Most of the other big races on Tuesday night have been called. Florida Democrats elected Rep. Charlie Crist The national Republican Party has become a star and will be their candidate against GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, the favorite in the general election and 2024 presidential candidate.

And in Manhattan, Rep. Jerry Nadler Defeated fellow representative. Caroline Maloney In a heated primary, two long-serving and powerful Democratic caucus chairmen jammed together during redistricting.

Another Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Monterey Jones, and looks set to lose in New York City on a busy primary night. But the DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney Just like GOP Rep. managed to fend off a progressive challenger. Don Webster, who And he faced a closer-than-expected primary in his Florida seat.

New Yorkers are nominating candidates for a half-dozen November battleground seats, while Republicans are deciding primary candidates in open, safe House seats that will remake Florida’s congressional delegation. Oklahoma holds primaries, Republicans choose their nominee to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe.

Here’s the latest on Tuesday’s primaries:

A special election pulse test

Unlike previous special elections, this district will be highly contested. Donald Trump carried the district by less than 2 points in 2016 by 7 points. The seat opened after Democrat Antonio Delgado, who first won the district in a 2018 blue wave, resigned as New York’s lieutenant governor. .

Ryan’s victory in a marginal swing district suggests that Democrats who control the White House have a chance to mitigate both traditional midterm losses and an economy that many voters still believe is headed in the wrong direction.

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Democrats here have focused heavily on abortion, from Ryan’s campaign to the outside group VoteVets, which backed him with a $500,000 ad buy. “You and I will get out to vote for someone proven to fight to protect women’s rights and freedoms, or we will get a Congress that passes a nationwide ban on abortion.” Narrator of the VoteVets ad said.

Victory here, for Ryan personally, would be short-lived. On Tuesday night, he won the Democratic primary for the closest district he sent to Congress. Molinaro will also be back: He is the Republican candidate in the district, which has been redistricted after redistricting.

Former GOP representative in Western New York. There was also a second special election to replace Tom Reed, where Republican Joe Sempolinski was favored to win the red district over Democrat Max Della Pia. Although Sempolinski won narrowly, Della Bia outperformed the Democrats’ usual performances in the district.

Squaring off against DeSantis

Crist defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, successfully fending off his barrage of attacks centered on abortion rights and Crist’s record when he was the state’s Republican governor.

This is Christ’s third time running for governor. He was initially elected as a Republican in 2006, and lost the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014 to now-Sen. Rick Scott. (In 2010, he lost an independent Senate race to a Republican Yellow frame.) The affable 66-year-old congressman was toasted on endorsements and managed to keep her up.

Crist spent much of his yearlong campaign channeling his anger at Republican Gov. DeSantis, regularly criticizing the incumbent for focusing on what he calls the culture wars instead of pocketbook issues like the state’s affordable housing crisis or rising insurance. rates. But he also went negative against Fried in the final weeks.

Crist, however, faces a straight uphill battle against incumbent DeSantis, who is sitting on more than $130 million in his campaign account. DeSantis and Republicans have already ramped up their ad buys, hoping for a steady on-air presence between now and November, and his every move is being watched closely as a possible candidate for president in 2024.

In his victory speech in St. Petersburg, Christ focused on DeSantis and the coming war.

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“So tonight the people of Florida clearly sent a message,” Crist said. “They want a governor who cares about them, who will solve real problems and protect our freedoms. Not the bully who divides us and takes away our freedom.

Members of Congress in New York are at risk

Nadler emerged from a bitter battle with Maloney in New York’s 12th District, with Maloney attacking Nadler’s eligibility for office in the final days of the race. Nadler tried to push the attacks aside and despite being well rebuffed, secured a comfortable victory.

Sean Patrick Maloney, head of the DCCC, won a primary battle with state Sen. Alessandra Biagi, who backed the party’s progressive wing and angered the DCCC leader. Redistribution. Republicans believe they can win over Maloney in November.

Maloney’s decision to run in the 17th District displaces Rep. Monteire Jones, who is now running for a seat based in New York City. Jones is locked in a tight primary for the open 10th District that includes former federal prosecutor Dan Goldman; State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou; former Rep. Liz Holtzman, who last served in Congress in 1980; City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera et al. Jones seems destined for a loss; Goldman has a narrow lead over Neo in the expected vote count, with Jones in third and not enough outstanding to catch him.

A Senate seat is on the line

Oklahoma Republicans elected Rep. Markwayne Mullin Inhofe wins. He defeated former state House Speaker TW Shannon in the GOP primary and will face former Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn in November. Mullein is an autumn favorite.

Also setting up house battlegrounds

New York has up for contestable House seats in November after the state Supreme Court threw out a Democratic gerrymander drawn by the state legislature. Now, a few places will be contested in November — and one at the center of it all Three open seats on Long Island.

The island’s delegation revenue came from the Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi and GOP Rep. Lee Seldin‘s gubernatorial runs — Geldin trailed GOP candidates in November, and Suozzi lost a primary against Gov. Kathy Hochul — and the retirement of Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice. Depending on the weather, three competitive races can be held in November.

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In the race to replace Suosi, Democrats chose DNC member Robert Zimmerman, while Republicans rallied around financier George Santos.

Another New York district to watch is the 22nd, which is open after GOP Rep. John Katko He announced his retirement. The district is slightly blue in the redistricting process, with a narrow lead in the four-way race, with a crowded field that includes Frances Connolly, who finished second in the area’s Democratic primary in 2020. However, this is not the case A slam dunk for the Democrats: Republicans landed on Brandon Williams, a millionaire who could put significant resources into November.

Safe seat fights

Florida has a slate of Republican primaries vying for safe red seats, a radical Republican gerrymander that has since put the party on a path to pick up more seats. The race to take the Christine seat won by Trump-endorsed Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna in the GOP primary is one of the most contentious. She is loved in autumn in the newly red district.

In a surprise, Webster only defeated Laura Loomer, a notorious conspiracy theorist, in a primary in Florida’s 11th district. Webster’s district includes The Villages, a central Florida retirement community and Republican stronghold that has had the largest presence in GOP politics in the state for decades.

Elsewhere, Democrat Maxwell Frost won a crowded open primary in the blue 10th District. The 25 year old activist He defeated a field that included former Reps. Alan Grayson and Corinne Brown. Frost will replace Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) Demings easily won the Democratic Senate primary in the Orlando-based district to face Rubio.

Another closely watched race in New York is the Republican primary in a safe red district that pits controversial, bombastic businessman Carl Paladino against state GOP Chairman Nick Longworthy. Paladino, with support from the House Republican conference chairman Elise StefanikThere will be one Worst Members of Congress He should win, but Longworthy has a narrow lead.

Gary Fineout contributed to this report.

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