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What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries


Voters in Alabama and Georgia will make their final selections on Tuesday in congressional runoffs — including a very hard-fought battle for the Senate in Alabama — and Virginia primary voters will select party nominees for 2 of probably the most closely watched House races within the country.

Here’s what to observe for on a Southern-accented Primary Day.

Republican voters in Alabama might be forgiven for his or her confusion over their party’s nominee for an open Senate seat. Former President Donald J. Trump, a preferred figure within the state, endorsed Representative Mo Brooks for the job after he emerged as an unwavering acolyte and a stalwart supporter of Mr. Trump’s election falsehoods.

The previous president then withdrew his endorsement as Mr. Brooks lagged within the polls, and eventually threw his support to Katie Britt, a former chief of staff for Senator Richard Shelby, who’s retiring.

On Tuesday, Ms. Britt and Mr. Brooks meet in a runoff that may determine the prohibitive favorite to grow to be Alabama’s next senator. Recent polling indicated Ms. Britt has a commanding lead.

The special masters who drew up Virginia’s recent House districts dealt a really bad hand to 1 incumbent: Representative Elaine Luria, a Democrat. Her home in Norfolk was faraway from her Tidewater district, and a great deal of rural terrain was added to the seat. Once barely Republican, her district, Virginia’s Second, became considerably more so.

The 2 predominant Republicans vying to take her on are State Senator Jen Kiggans, who has the backing of Republican leadership in Washington, and Jarome Bell, who has the backing of the state congressional delegation’s most conservative Republican, Bob Good, and members of the Trump world.

Ms. Kiggans, Mr. Bell and Ms. Luria are all Navy veterans in a district where one in five voters are on lively duty within the military or are veterans. What separates the three is ideology, with Mr. Bell campaigning on Mr. Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

In one other 12 months, the brand new boundaries of Representative Abigail Spanberger’s Seventh District can be seen as shoring up her standing because the incumbent Democrat, shifting her from a Republican-leaning map to a rather Democratic one. But this isn’t one other 12 months, and 6 Republicans are lined as much as benefit from the conditions favoring their party nationally and take a crack at her.

Bryce Reeves, a state senator and former narcotics officer and Army veteran, calls himself the front-runner, but he has loads of competition. Crystal Vanuch, chairwoman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, has latched onto the winning social themes of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s race in 2021: parental control of education and barring critical race theory from schools. Derrick Anderson is a combat veteran and former Green Beret, and Yesli Vega, a sheriff’s deputy, headed Latinos for Youngkin last 12 months.

Runoffs in Georgia for Republican nominees for House seats feature two Black candidates with different prospects and different stories.

In Southwest Georgia’s recent Second District, Republican leaders would very very similar to Jeremy Hunt, a moderate-sounding political newcomer, to tackle the endangered, longtime incumbent Black Democrat, Sanford Bishop.

But first, Mr. Hunt, a West Point graduate and former Army captain who served at Fort Benning, must get past Chris West, an Air National Guard officer who’s white and running on photos showing him with Mr. Trump.

In Georgia’s tenth District, meanwhile, Vernon Jones, a longtime Democratic politician who endorsed Mr. Trump in 2020 after which became a Republican, is running with Mr. Trump’s backing after being pushed out of the first for Senate.

But in something of a rerun proxy war between Mr. Trump and Georgia’s Republican establishment, Gov. Brian Kemp — who defied Mr. Trump and overcame a primary challenge from former Senator David Perdue that the previous president engineered — has backed the opposite Republican within the runoff, Mike Collins, as have many of the Republicans who helped Mr. Kemp win his primary in a landslide.

Mr. Collins has also brought up a 2004 claim that Mr. Jones sexually assaulted a girl, a charge that the lady dropped although never recanted. Mr. Jones has said the encounter was consensual, and in an announcement after Mr. Kemp sided along with his rival he boasted of his outsider status.

“I’m not running for Congress to affix the establishment,” he said. “I’m running for Congress to destroy it.”

In Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, which was redrawn to be overwhelmingly Republican, one other candidate endorsed by Mr. Trump, Jake Evans, faces possible defeat.

Mr. Evans, a lawyer who stepped down last 12 months as chairman of the Georgia ethics commission, barely made the runoff against Wealthy McCormick, a Marine pilot and emergency-room doctor who was by far the highest vote-getter on May 24.

Dr. McCormick might not be Mr. Trump’s selection, but he is not any moderate: He has campaigned against what he calls President Biden’s “unrelenting assault on our core values.” He has the backing of the House’s No. 2 Republican, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

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