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Primaries worth watching in Arizona, Florida

by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/28/18, 12:33 pm

Primary elections Tuesday feature key races in three states that will further shape the battle in November for control over Congress and state governors’ mansions.

In Arizona, establishment-backed U.S. Rep. Martha McSally is favored to win the Republican nomination to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake. A last-minute endorsement from President Donald Trump could still change the landscape and give a leg up to either of her two firebrand contenders. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in the running after Trump pardoned him for criminal contempt of court last year, while former state Sen. Kelli Ward, a critic of the late Sen. John McCain, stirred up controversy after she claimed the McCain family’s announcement on Friday that the senator would no longer seek treatment for his brain cancer was timed to hurt her campaign. McCain died Saturday, and Ward later apologized. U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is favored to nab the Democratic nomination in the race for Flake’s seat.

Florida voters will select candidates in a gubernatorial primary Tuesday to replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is vying for a seat in the Senate. Scott is favored to win in his race for the GOP Senate nomination and will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. In the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Trump endorsed U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, who faces a challenge from state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Polls show former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham with a slight lead in the race for the Democratic nomination.

While Oklahoma held its primaries back in June, there are runoff rematches Tuesday for races in which no candidate snagged a majority of the vote, including the GOP nomination for governor, which pits former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett against businessman Kevin Stitt.

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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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