June 3, 2020 / 4:15 AM / a month ago

Factbox: Eight U.S. states hold primaries for seats in Congress

(Reuters) - Eight U.S. states held primary elections on Tuesday, some of which were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, including some key congressional races.

Here are details of the most interesting nominating battles:

STEVE KING SEES CONTROVERSIAL CAREER COME TO AN END

Representative Steve King, who has a history of making racially charged remarks, will not be the Republican nominee in northwestern Iowa, losing his primary after mainstream Republicans abandoned him.

IOWA DEMOCRATS CHOOSE CHALLENGER TO SENATOR ERNST

Democrat Theresa Greenfield, a businesswoman endorsed by the national party, prevailed over several other challengers for the right to face incumbent Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst in November.

Both parties expect the race to be hotly contested. For Greenfield, the campaign represents somewhat of a second chance, after she failed to qualify for the ballot in a 2018 U.S. House of Representatives race.

LOCALS BATTLE EX-SPY FOR NEW MEXICO SEAT

Valerie Plame, a former CIA operative, raised over $2 million, more than anyone on the ballot in New Mexico’s 3rd District, where the House seat is open because the current Democratic congressman is running for Senate.

Plame moved to Santa Fe over a decade ago after her cover was blown by officials in then-President George W. Bush’s administration.

But she appeared headed for defeat on Tuesday, sitting in third place in the Democratic contest as of 11:45 p.m. ET (0345 GMT). Teresa Leger Fernandez, a lawyer who has played up her New Mexico roots and has secured important backing from organizations like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, was in first place, with state Representative Joseph Sanchez in second.

CONSERVATIVE NATIVE AMERICAN GETS REMATCH IN NEW MEXICO

A conservative Republican member of the Cherokee Nation, Yvette Herrell, will get a second chance to take on Democrat Xochitl Torres Small, who narrowly defeated Herrell in 2018 in New Mexico’s sprawling 2nd District.

Herrell beat Claire Chase, a former congressional aide, on Tuesday after a contest in which both touted their loyalty to Republican President Donald Trump.

NEWCOMER FAILS IN CHALLENGE TO DEMOCRATIC LEADER HOYER

A 29-year-old political neophyte, Mckayla Wilkes, lost a long-shot challenge to House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has represented Maryland’s 5th Congressional District southeast of Washington for nearly four decades.

Wilkes ran on a progressive campaign supporting Medicare for All and reparations for descendants of slaves.

TRUMP LOYALIST WINS IN INDIANAPOLIS AREA

State Senator Victoria Spartz, who was backed by the political arm of the conservative Club for Growth, won the Republican nomination in Indiana’s 5th congressional district.

Spartz held off more than a dozen other Republican candidates who sought to replace Susan Brooks, a moderate House Republican who is retiring from a district that includes north Indianapolis.

Ads run by the Club for Growth questioned whether Spartz’s main rivals, Beth Henderson and Carl Brizzi, were sufficiently loyal to Trump.

Spartz will face Democrat Christina Hale, a former candidate for lieutenant governor, who prevailed in her party’s nominating contest on Tuesday. Democrats have targeted the district in 2020, which has been represented by a Republican for nearly three decades.

CROWDED DEMOCRATIC FIELD IN INDIANA SUBURBS

Frank Mrvan, a trustee in North Township, finished ahead of a sprawling field of 14 Democrats seeking to succeed retiring 18-term Democratic Representative Peter Visclosky in Indiana’s 1st congressional district.

While Mrvan earned Visclosky’s endorsement, Tom McDermott, the moderate mayor of the district’s largest city, Hammond, had raised more money than any candidate going into Tuesday’s contest.

The district is solidly Democratic.

FORMER HEAD OF NAACP SEEKS TO KEEP BALTIMORE SEAT

Democrat Kweisi Mfume, who won a special election to complete the term of the late congressman Elijah Cummings, also prevailed in Tuesday’s primary to compete for a full two-year term in Maryland’s 7th congressional district.

Mfume held the Baltimore-area seat for 10 years before becoming director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He defeated more than a dozen Democrats, including state Senator Jill Carter and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who was married to Cummings.

The seat is considered safely Democratic.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone, Lisa Shumaker, Jonathan Oatis and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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