8 Primaries today. Plus “Kathy Hochul Is the Best Choice for Democrats in the NYS June 28 Primary.” Vote!

Voters in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah will be deciding races up and down the ballot today.

As the summer gets underway in earnest, there are really only a couple of Super Tuesday-style primaries days remaining, featuring lots of states holding statewide contests, and one of them is tomorrow. Let’s take a look at them in alphabetical order.

In Colorado, there’s a highly competitive Republican U.S. Senate primary, and much of the GOP has rallied behind businessman Joe O’Dea. Colorado Democrats, meanwhile, have run ads touting state Rep. Ron Hanks’ far-right credentials, hoping to give him a boost because they see him as unelectable in a general election. (This is a tactic I call “pulling a McCaskill.”)

There’s also a GOP gubernatorial primary tomorrow, with former Mayor Greg Lopez running against Heidi Ganahl, who, as a University of Colorado regent, is the only Republican currently elected to statewide office in the Rocky Mountain State.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, meanwhile, has quickly become one of Congress’ most notorious right-wing members, and she’ll face a primary tomorrow from a more moderate state senator named Don Coram.

Also of interest is Colorado’s secretary of state race, where conspiracy theorist Tina Peters is competing in a GOP primary against Pam Anderson, a former head of the state’s clerks association. The winner will take on Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold in the fall.

In Illinois, arguably the marquee race tomorrow is the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary, where state party officials and donors have lined up behind Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, a relative GOP moderate. Democrats, again “pulling a McCaskill,” have touted state Sen. Darren Bailey — widely seen as unelectable in a fairly reliable “blue” state — and Donald Trump has played his part, endorsing Bailey and ignoring the party establishment’s wishes.

On a related note, due to post-census redistricting, there are two member-vs.-member congressional primaries tomorrow. One of the most contentious is in the 15th district, where Rep. Mary Miller — yes, that Mary Miller — is facing off against Rep. Rodney Davis. Because the latter voted for a bipartisan measure to investigate the Jan. 6 attack, Trump endorsed Miller, who introduced the former president at a rally in Illinois over the weekend.

Miller has also condemned Davis for having voted to certify the results of the 2020 election, which further helps capture what’s happening in Republican politics in 2022.

In Illinois’ 6th congressional district, meanwhile, two Democratic incumbents — Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman — are also facing off against one another. As NBC News noted the other day, Casten has outraised Newman, and has been endorsed by The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board and 16 House Democrats. Newman is backed by EMILY’s List, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and eight House Democrats.

In Mississippi, there are three congressional primary runoffs tomorrow — in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th districts, respectively — but pay particular attention to the 4th, where incumbent Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo was pushed into a runoff in large part because of a series of ethics controversies.

Meanwhile, in the 3rd district, GOP Rep. Michael Guest was also pushed into a runoff after facing a partisan backlash: The congressman voted for a bipartisan plan for a Jan. 6 commission, and he’s been under fire ever since. Only three House incumbents have lost in primaries so far this year, and there’s a real possibility that total will grow by two tomorrow.

Nebraska, voters in the state’s 1st congressional district will vote tomorrow to fill the vacancy left by former Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned after a felony corruption conviction. GOP state Sen. Mike Flood will face Democratic state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks tomorrow, and given the district’s partisan leanings, Flood is widely seen as the clear favorite. (The same two candidates will face off again in November.)

In New York, there are plenty of contests for campaign watchers to follow, up and down the ballot. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, elevated in the wake of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is facing off against intra-party rivals, though polls show her relatively well positioned to advance. There’s also a multi-candidate Republican gubernatorial primary, and recent polling suggests Rep. Lee Zeldin is the frontrunner.

Just as notable, if not more so, is the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Hochul tapped former Rep. Antonio Delgado for the job, which would appear to give him an inside track, but he’ll face off against two candidates who were in the race long before he was: progressive activist Ana Maria Archila and former Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna.

In Oklahoma, one of the year’s most crowded U.S. Senate primaries will be decided tomorrow, with several competitive candidates vying to succeed incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is retiring before the end of his term. Inhofe has already backed his former chief of staff, Luke Holland, but there are nine other candidates in the field, including former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Rep. Markwayne Mullin.

Oklahoma’s other U.S. senator, Republican James Lankford, looks like a safe bet for re-election, but his primary rival is businessman Jackson Lahmeyer, who’s been backed by, among others, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, and state GOP Chairman John Bennett, each of whom have condemned Lankford’s willingness to certify the results of the 2020 election.

In the governor’s race, Gov. Kevin Stitt will face multiple Republican challengers, but his financial advantage is expected to help him advance. In the Democratic primary, Joy Hofmeister, the state’s school superintendent, switched parties in large part so she could run against Stitt in the fall.

In South Carolina, there aren’t any races generating national attention, but voters will weigh in on primary runoffs in state legislative contests, as well as the race for state superintendent of education.

And in Utah, incumbent Sen. Mike Lee is facing a couple of underfunded GOP rivals. There is no Democratic primary: The party instead formally decided to back Evan McMullin’s independent candidacy.

In the Beehive State’s four congressional districts, each of the four Republican incumbents is facing at least one primary rival. None of the incumbents is expected to lose.

By Steve Benen, MSNBC, June 27, 2022


New York Times Editorial.

In New York State’s Democratic primary election for governor on June 28, some of the protections and freedoms we would expect in a healthy democracy are on the ballot: the right to vote; the right of women to reproductive freedom; the right to a fair and competent system of public safety, including protection not just from street crime but also from the proliferation of assault rifles and gun violence; and, as President Franklin Roosevelt once said, the freedom from want — want for affordable housing, strong education, a sustainable climate, a stable economic future, among so much more.

With the federal government paralyzed on many of these issues, states are poised to become an even more powerful force in American life. New York is among the few that have been dedicated to defending these essential norms that are under attack elsewhere in the country.

It’s a moment, in other words, when leadership matters. Gov. Kathy Hochul is already leading on these questions, and she deserves an additional four years as chief executive of New York. She has our endorsement to be elected governor.

A former member of Congress who was elected lieutenant governor in 2014, Ms. Hochul stepped into the governor’s office last August after Andrew Cuomo resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. It was a period of upheaval and uncertainty for New York’s roughly 20 million residents, as the state was still suffering through the Delta wave of the Covid pandemic. In her first months in office, Ms. Hochul gave the state exactly what it needed: a competent, steady hand who put the interests of the public first.

She has since recruited a team of talented experts to serve New York and lead the state out of the pandemic.Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City’s former public health department commissioner, an independent thinker, now heads the state’s Department of Public Health. Janno Lieber, whom Ms. Hochul appointed to lead the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has shown insight into both the politics and the policy needed to transform the state’s transport infrastructure.Kathryn Garcia, a proven leader and skilled administrator, has served ably as the governor’s chief of operations.

Ms. Hochul hasn’t always gotten it right. One serious misstep was her choice of a former state senator, Brian Benjamin, to serve as lieutenant governor. He resigned in April after beingindicted on charges of bribery and fraud. In an interview, the editorial board pressed Ms. Hochul repeatedly on why she chose Mr. Benjamin despite the red flags raised in his background check and numerous news accounts of potentially fraudulent campaign donations. Beyond saying she took “full responsibility,” she offered little clarification.

The pandemic and rising threats to democracy have also made clear just how much the presence of good public servants matters. Overall, Ms. Hochul has shown herself capable of tending to the state’s needs while leaving behind the drama and tiresome bravado of the many governors who served before her, a bracing change. She has worked closely — and collaboratively — with Mayor Eric Adams of New York, a relationship that is vital to any effort to improve public safety, education and public transit in New York City and across the state.

In an interview with the board, Ms. Hochul spoke convincingly of her ability to handle crises, from hurricanes to pandemics. That’s reassuring, but there’s far more to the job than being a crisis manager and an effective boss. New York needs and deserves a chief executive who is capable of showing leadership, vision and political courage when necessary.

Ms. Hochul has demonstrated that passion on reproductive rights, an issue where New York will play a critical role. The governor has directed$35 million to expand capacity and enhance security. She is expected in the coming days to sign apackage of bills into law further strengthening access to abortion and protecting providers from prosecution or malpractice lawsuits from anti-abortion states. She has also strongly backed a push to amend the state Constitution to include access to abortion rights and has vowed to make the state a “safe harbor” for women from other states seeking abortion care.

She is also prepared to lead on the issue of gun violence. Ms. Hochul, who once had an A rating from the National Rifle Association for her legislative record, says her personal views about how to regulate ­­guns changed dramatically after a gunman shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. “I became converted in a sense,” the governor told us in an interview. “That evolution is an evolution that we need to have more people have. And I’m the best person to talk about that.”

This was not simply a political move. Ms. Hochul has embraced gun safety regulations. On June 6, the governorsigned into lawbills to raise the minimum age for purchases of semiautomatic rifles to 21 from 18, bar most civilian sales of body armor and strengthen the state’s red-flag law, aimed at blocking people who show signs they may pose a threat to others or themselves from obtaining a firearm. She signed into law last year abill banning the sale of so-calledghost guns, firearms that are assembled in pieces and are often untraceable. Her familiarity with gun culture in rural areas should help her make the case for reasonable gun safety measures to gun owners.

Ms. Hochul has made a commitment to confront domestic terrorism, a growing threat. After the white supremacist shooting in Buffalo that killed 10 people on May 14, shepromised to add an eight-person unit in the state police to track such extremism online. A larger effort will be undertaken by the state’s emergency services agency. These are good first steps, but we would like to see Ms. Hochul put the full weight of New York’s government toward making the state inhospitable to violent white supremacy and other extremist violence. These threats cost lives and tear at the fabric of our democracy.

New Yorkers need the same urgency put toward how the governor will address the pressing problems in their everyday lives, especially public safety, housing and the economy.

On public safety, Ms. Hochul’s emphasis on trying to interrupt the flow of guns into the state is correct. “The problem is the guns on the streets,” she said in her interview.

The state has built far too little housing, and rents and home prices are spiraling out of reach, even for wealthier New Yorkers. Ms. Hochul will need to make the case — with conviction — for building more housing, especially in the suburbs of New York City.

Ms. Hochul also needs to explain more directly what she would do to improve the state’s economic fortunes — and to ensure that prosperity is more broadly shared. The lack of a clear economic message has become a chronic problem for Democrats in state and national elections. She and her party need to convince voters that they know how to channel economic growth into concrete improvements in the lives of Americans. One critical challenge is revitalizing the business districts in New York City, where several recent high-profile crimes on the subway and elsewhere, plus coronavirus variants and a surge in cases, are keeping many office workers at home.

Ms. Hochul has the opportunity to draw a clear contrast with Republicans by emphasizing the role that government can play in improving New Yorkers’ quality of life and in increasing access to opportunity. She has put forward proposals in areas such as housing, transit and education that could form pieces of such a vision. The test before her is not dissimilar to that facing Democratic hopefuls across the country. She needs to address more directly the economic struggles faced by so many New Yorkers — and to explain how the state, under her leadership, can deliver them a better future.

We still hope to see more from her. Ms. Hochul’s budget process could bemore transparent. Her reliance on large donations, particularly from the real estate industry, isdispiritingly familiar. We had questions about the last-minute appearance in the state budget of taxpayer funds for a new stadium in Buffalo. Her husband works for a company that provides concessions at the existing stadium. “We are very, very, very careful about not having any involvement or engagement or financial gain that comes from anything involved here,” she said in response to our questions about this possible conflict of interest.

States and cities also have to make up for inaction on climate change at the federal level. New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, passed under Governor Cuomo, set forth an ambitious set of greenhouse gas reduction targets. But realizing those lofty goals requires making more progress on specific measures, such as encouraging offshore wind energy, electrifying school and public buses and making sure that new residential and commercial buildings are energy efficient.

There are other good public servants in this Democratic primary. Tom Suozzi, a representative from Long Island, has brought a much-needed sense of urgency to the race and has shown a visceral understanding of the everyday frustrations of many New Yorkers. His focus on tax cuts isn’t sound economics, however. His ideas for housing policy sound like more of the same. And his tough-on-crime campaign seems to ignore some of the important lessons around the need for bail reform.

Jumaane Williams, New York City’s public advocate, brings an important perspective to the race. Mr. Williams has wisely cautioned against returning to New York’s punitive and ineffective policies on policing and incarceration. But in his interview with the editorial board, Mr. Williams’s vision did not venture far beyond the New York City region, and his activist politics and relative lack of experience as a state official are out of step with what New York needs right now.

We have endorsed both men for other offices at other times, and the competition they bring to this race is welcome. Today, we are confident Ms. Hochul is the best choice to be New York’s governor.

New York’s Republican primary for governor is also being held on June 28. The candidates include Representative Lee Zeldin of Long Island; Rob Astorino, a former Westchester County executive; Andrew Giuliani, a former Trump administration official and the son of Rudy Giuliani, a former mayor of New York; and Harry Wilson, a businessman and former adviser to Barack Obama. The editorial board is not making an endorsement in that race.


June 28, 2022

Voices4America Post Script. Voters in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah will be deciding races up and down the ballot today. Plus read The NY Times Editorial - Kathy Hochul Is the Best Choice for Democrats in the NYS June 28 Primary..VOTE! Share this

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