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Ohio, Kansas primary results still up in the air

by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/08/18, 01:56 pm

It’s still three months until midterm elections will decide the balance of power in Congress, but Tuesday’s tight primary races and a special election in Ohio could indicate a tough road ahead for candidates.

Ohio’s special election for Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi’s House seat remains too close to call Wednesday. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Troy Balderson leads Democrat Danny O’Connor by a mere 0.9 percentage points, as election officials count absentee and provisional ballots. Democrats called it a moral victory in a district that has been a Republican stronghold for decades, while President Donald Trump, who held a rally in the state Saturday for Balderson, took to Twitter to congratulate the state senator for coming out on top. Republicans and Democrats invested more than $8 million in the race to finish off Tiberi’s term, which ends in just a few months. The same two candidates will have to face off again for the seat in November.

In primaries across the country Tuesday, vote counters are working overtime to determine the results of other races considered too close to call. In the Kansas Republican gubernatorial primary, Trump-endorsed Kris Kobach led current Gov. Jeff Colyer by just 191 votes, with a likely recount on the horizon. As Kansas’ secretary of state, Kobach will oversee the recount unless he recuses himself. State Sen. Laura Kelly easily secured the Democratic nomination.

Democratic voters in Michigan favored the party’s establishment candidate over a far-left firebrand in the gubernatorial primary. Gretchen Whitmer, the former Democratic leader in the state senate, defeated Abdul El-Sayed, a former Detroit health commissioner who pushed for single-payer healthcare and other socialist policies. If El-Sayed had captured his party’s nomination and won in November, he would have been the country’s first Muslim governor. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette secured the GOP nomination in trying to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

In Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who holds one of the most vulnerable Democratic seats in the U.S. Senate, secured her incumbent bid in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Josh Hawley, Missouri’s attorney general, in November.

And in Washington state, former Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi won his party’s nomination for a House district outside Seattle that’s traditionally a GOP stronghold. But Democrats hope to flip the seat in November. The Democratic race remains too close to call, though Kim Schrier, a candidate backed by Planned Parenthood, is in the lead. In the state’s U.S. Senate primaries, incumbent Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican Susan Hutchison won their parties’ nominations and will face off in November.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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