Wisconsin’s Republican primary for governor was the most closely watched race of the night. It has become a proxy fight over the direction of the GOP between former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. Trump-mentored businessman Tim Michaels is facing former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who is backed by Pence and former Gov. Scott Walker, for whom he was the state’s No. 2 for eight years.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Connecticut:
Sen. Palint, backed by Bernie Sanders, defeated Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, a more moderate candidate backed by retired Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Palint will enter the November general election as a heavy favorite to win the seat.
A former schoolteacher, Palint had the support of other leading progressive groups and politicians. Gray drew support from more moderate state leaders, including Leahy, who stopped short of offering a formal endorsement but said they voted for him. Former Vermont Govs. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin also supported Gray.
But in a race that offered few significant policy differences among the leading candidates, Palin’s victory in claiming the progressive mantle — endorsed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and neighboring Ed Markey of Massachusetts — could help her among primary voters. Should lean more left than the average Vermont Democrat.
The Wisconsin Senate race is set
The Wisconsin Senate general election has been a delicate process for weeks. But on Tuesday night, it began in earnest.
Republican Senate. Ron Johnson easily won his primary for re-election, while Democratic Senate candidate and Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes won a Republican bid to unseat the incumbent.
Johnson vs. Barnes’ race will be one of the most closely watched campaigns of the 2022 cycle. It pits Republicans who have drawn the ire of Democrats for their ties to former President Donald Trump and who has espoused a string of conspiracy theories against a Democrat who holds many progressive positions.
Although Johnson and Barnes are political adversaries, they have already begun using similar language to define the other, calling each other “out of touch,” extreme, and out of touch with state voters.
Omar survives a surprise nail bite
Samuels ran as a pro-police critic of Omar’s calls to “take back the police.” Samuels and his wife sued the city of Minneapolis to force it to increase its police staff to the 741 officers required by the city’s charter.
The momentum, widely seen as a long-term challenge, built after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey endorsed Samuels last week. He was supported by unions, several suburban mayors and moderate DFL leaders. His close call could inspire another attempt to unseat Omar in 2024.
“Lifelong social media lover. Falls down a lot. Creator. Devoted food aficionado. Explorer. Typical troublemaker.”