Aug. 2 (UPI) — Voters in six states cast ballots in their respective primaries Tuesday, including in three races involving Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump last year.
Primaries are being held in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Washington to determine which candidates will be on the ballots come Election Day in November.
Kansans, meanwhile, voted down a ballot measure to eliminate protections for abortion in the state.
Among the races to keep an eye on was the Arizona gubernatorial race, where current Republican governor, Doug Ducey, is term-limited and unable to run for re-election. In the Republican primary, Trump has endorsed former TV anchor Kari Lake, while former Vice President Mike Pence backed developer Karrin Taylor Robson.
The polls closed as 7 p.m., and early returns from the secretary of state’s office shows Robson with 49% of the vote to Lake’s 40.5%.
Businessman Scott Neely is also running for the Republican nomination. He had less than 4% of the vote share as of about 8:30 p.m.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs ran away with the Democratic nomination with nearly 74% in early returns. Former Nogales, Ariz., Mayor Marco Lopez Jr. trailed with 21.5% and former U.S. Rep. Lieberman had less than 5% of the vote.
In Ohio, voters headed back to the polls for the state’s second primary — this time for statehouse seats. Voters decided on nominations for governor, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House in May.
Trump-endorsed Tudor Dixon, a former actress and right-wing media commentator, was on track to snag the Republican nomination to take on Democrat and incumbent Gretchen Whitmer in November’s gubernatorial election.
According to unofficial state results, Tudor was in the lead with nearly 37% of the vote as of 11 p.m.
“Thank you, Michigan!” she said on Twitter. “We will take the fight to Gretchen Whitmer for our children, our grandparents, our business owners and every single Michigander affected by her disastrous policies.”
As she appeared posed to win, the conservative Christian anti-abortion group American Principles Project congratulated Dixon on her campaign but said the hardest test was yet to come.
“Whitmer’s anti-family policies have been a disaster for Michigan,” APP President Terry Schilling said in a statement. “Defeating Whitmer would be a huge boost for the pro-family movement, and we are confident Tudor Dixon is the candidate to do it.”
Whitmer ran unopposed.
“The stakes in this election are high. But I don’t back down from a tough fight,” the incumbent said on Twitter. “We’re going to keep building our momentum and continue our historic progress of Michiganders.”
Incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican, is facing a challenge from former Trump administration official John Gibbs, who has Trump’s endorsement. Meijer was one of 10 Republican congressmen who voted to impeach Trump last year for his involvement in inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol. In the Democratic Party, lawyer Hillary Scholten is running unopposed for the 3rd Congressional District seat.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt appeared posed Monday night to secure the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs over scandal-riddled former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
With about a third of precincts reporting, Schmitt had received 42.2% of the vote share to Greitens’ 20.6%, which also trailed Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s nearly 24%, according to the state’s unofficial results.
Heading into the race, some saw Trump’s endorsement as a potential direction for his loyalists, though it only served to provide confusion as he gave his support Monday to “ERIC” with both Schmitt and Greitens claiming it as an endorsement for themselves with the former posting a “thank you” note to the former president on Twitter and the later posting a photoshopped picture of himself with Trump.
On the Democratic side, Trudy Busch Valentine, daughter of August Busch, the chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch, was positioned to take on Schmitt in November, netting 43.2% of the vote to closest challenger Lucas Kunce, a Marine veteran and attorney, who got 35% of the vote.
Two Republican incumbents up for re-election in the state also voted to impeach Trump — Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse.
Trump endorsed former Army Green Beret Joe Kent in the 3rd District race against Herrera Beutler in a contest that also includes Republicans Leslie French, Vicki Kraft and Heidi St. John as well as Democrats Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez and Davy Ray; independent Chris Byrd; and Oliver Black of the American Solidarity Party.
Early unofficial state results show Perez is leading the pack with 31.7% of the vote followed by Beutler with nearly 25% and Kent with 20.1%
In the 4th District, Trump backed challenger Loren Culp over Newhouse in a race that also includes Republicans Benancio Garcia III, Corey Gibson, Brad Klippert, Jacek Kobiesa and Jerrod Sessler; and Democrat Doug White.
Newhouse led the pack late Monday night with 27.3% of the vote followed by White with nearly 26% and Culp in third with nearly 22%