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A Look at Last Week’s Primary Results

Voters in Georgia, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia chose nominees last week.

Georgia

Former Vice President Joe Biden clinched his party’s presidential nomination with an 83% victory in the Georgia primary and sweeping the state’s 105 delegates. By all counts, Mr. Biden has secured the 1,991 bound first ballot delegate votes to seal the nomination.

In the Democratic US Senate primary, former congressional candidate and documentary filmmaker Jon Ossoff secured the party nomination. He defeated former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and ex-Lt. Governor nominee Sara Riggs Amico to win the party nomination outright. He will face incumbent Senator David Perdue*.

Regarding competitive Georgia House races, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) will now officially face former Rep. Karen Handel* (R) in the Atlanta suburban 6th District. This race finished 50-49% in 2018.

In the Atlanta suburban 7th District, 2018 Democratic nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux, who came within 420 votes of winning the seat in that year, avoided a run-off. On the Republican side, retired Navy officer and physician Rich McCormick won the crowded primary outright as he topped 55%, an impressive total within a field of seven candidates. State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Gwinnett County) placed a distant second.

In the open 9th District, the seat that Rep. Doug Collins* (R-Gainesville) is leaving to run for the Senate, state Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) and retired Navy officer Andrew Clyde will advance to the August 11 runoff. Former US Rep. Paul Broun finished in fourth position. In this safely Republican northeast Georgia district, the runoff winner will clinch the general election.

In the open 14th District, the seat from which Rep. Tom Graves* (R-Ranger/Rome) is retiring, a runoff will occur between businesswoman and conservative activist Marjorie Greene, who switched from running in the 6th District, and surgeon John Cowan. Ms. Greene placed first by a wide 41-21% margin. Seven other candidates split the remaining 38% of the vote totals. Like in the 9th District, the runoff winner will claim the seat in November.

Nevada:

In northern Las Vegas, after a full week of counting mail votes, it has become apparent that former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant has won the Republican primary in the 4th Congressional District, thus earning the opportunity of challenging Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) in the Fall. Mr. Marchant defeated insurance agency owner Sam Peters and a host of others by a 34-29% margin, with the other candidates splitting the remaining 37 percent.

This race could well become competitive. The 4th District was drawn for the first time in the 2011 redistricting plan after Nevada earned another congressional seat in the 2010 national reapportionment. While looking on paper to be a Democratic district, and it certainly has elected more Democrats than Republicans, no US Representative has won re-election to a consecutive term. This includes current Rep. Horsford, who was first elected in 2012, defeated in 2014, and then returned in 2018. Therefore, another sleeper race could again emerge here.

North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum (R) touched 90% of the vote in his primary election and is a lock to win a second term in November. His general election opponent is Killdeer School Board member Shelley Lenz (D). Freshman at-large Rep. Kelly Armstrong* (R-Dickinson) draws retail store manager Zach Raknerud (D) and is the prohibitive favorite to win the general election. There is no US Senate race in North Dakota this year.

South Carolina

With Sen. Lindsey Graham* (R) and former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison being unopposed for their respective nominations, the only competitive primary resided in the Charleston area.

Polling suggested the 1st District Republican primary would be very close, but the actual results yielded a landslide. State Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Daniel Island) easily defeated Mt. Pleasant City Councilwoman Kathy Landing, 57-26%, far beyond the tied numbers that several pre-election polls predicted. Ms. Mace now advances into the general election by exceeding 50%. She will challenge freshman Democrat Joe Cunningham (D-Charleston) in a seat that is a must-win for Republicans. This will likely become a national campaign and must be rated as a toss-up in what should be a definitive Republican district.

West Virginia

Joe Biden swept West Virginia’s 28 first ballot delegates with a 65-12% win over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Parkersburg resident David Lee Rice, who only filed in his home state’s primary, captured 8.4% of the vote. Together with the result in Georgia, Mr. Biden has now officially clinched the party nomination.

Gov. Jim Justice easily topped his two Republican primary opponents, ex-Commerce Department Secretary Woody Thrasher and former state Delegate Mike Folk. Gov. Justice garnered 63% against the pair of challengers. On the Democratic side, Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango scored 39% of the vote, but it was enough to clinch the party nomination. Gov. Justice now becomes a strong favorite to win the general election. 

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito* (R) was easily re-nominated with 84% of the vote against minor Republican primary opposition. Her likely general election opponent will be Democratic activist Paula Jean Swearingen, who defeated former state Senator and congressional candidate Richard Ojeda and former South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb, with 42% of the vote. Sen. Capito will have little trouble in winning re-election this November.

Virginia

Freshman Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman* (R-Manassas) was defeated for re-nomination last weekend, losing a unique “drive-through convention” that the 5th District Republican Party leaders contrived in response to COVID-19 precautions. In a mock convention nomination process that was conceived to favor him, even to the point of having the lone voting site at the candidate’s church, Campbell County Supervisor and Liberty University athletic official Bob Good won the party’s congressional nomination with a 58-42% margin among the 2,537 5th District GOP delegates casting their ballots.


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