Voters in New York, Florida and Oklahoma head to the polls Tuesday for midterm primaries.
What You Need To Know
- Voters in New York, Florida and Oklahoma head to the polls Tuesday for midterm primaries
- Redistricting in the Empire State, which lost a seat following the 2020 Census, has pitted two powerful, longtime House Democrats – Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney – against each other
- Two of the biggest questions to be answered Tuesday in Florida’s primary will be about which Democrats will take on high-profile Republicans – Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio – in November
- Voters in Oklahoma have the rare experience of simultaneously deciding who will fill both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats this year
Among the highlights: a battle between powerful Democratic House incumbents in New York, races to decide which Democrats will challenge Florida Republicans Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, and runoffs in a pair of U.S. Senate races in Oklahoma.
Redistricting in the Empire State, which lost a seat following the 2020 Census, has pitted two powerful, longtime House Democrats against each other.
Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, both in their mid-70s, are running in the 12th District. Nadler has been in Congress since November 1992, and Maloney joined the House in January 1993. Nadler chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Maloney heads the Oversight Committee.
Sixty-one percent of the newly redrawn 12th District is comprised of Maloney’s current constituency, and 39% Nadler’s current 10th District.
Nadler and Maloney, however, aren’t the only candidates in the Democratic primary. Suraj Patel, an attorney and former Barack Obama presidential campaign staffer, and Ashmi Sheth, a former associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, also are running, with Patel widely viewed as the bigger threat of the two.
Patel, 38, who also challenged Maloney in 2018 and 2020, has been campaigning on the promise of generational change.
An Emerson College poll earlier this month showed Nadler, who, as Judiciary Committee chairman, was a key figure in both of President Donald Trump’s impeachments, pulling away from the pack. He had 43% support, Maloney had 24%, and Patel had 14%.
Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones also is running in a new district, but his situation is quite different. Jones, a progressive, would have had to face Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat, in a newly redrawn territory. Instead, Jones moved to the deep-blue 10th District in New York City, which includes none of his current constituents.
The 10th District has a crowded Democratic primary field of 12 candidates. They include Jones, prosecutor Daniel Goldman, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, state Assembly members Yuh-Line Niou and Jo Anne Simon, and New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera.
Sean Patrick Maloney and fellow Democratic incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman also face tough primaries Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a special congressional election is being held in the Hudson Valley that some observers believe could serve as a national gauge of how the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion is impacting the midterms.
The race in the 19th District is between Democrat Pat Ryan, the Ulster County executive, and Republican Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive and 2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee. Ryan supports abortion rights; Molinaro opposes abortion.
They are running to complete the remaining months of Antonio Delgado’s term after Delgado was appointed lieutenant governor in May. Ryan and Molinaro also are running for seats in the next Congress but, due to redistricting, in different districts.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, is up for reelection this year. But he and his Republican challenger, political commentator Joe Pinion, were unopposed for their parties’ nominations, and their primaries were canceled.
Two of the biggest questions to be answered Tuesday in Florida’s primary will be about which Democrats will take on some of the state's most high-profile Republicans in November.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio have automatically advanced to the general election because they were unopposed in for the GOP nominations.
In the gubernatorial race, four Democrats are vying to take on DeSantis, a rising star in the Republican Party and possible 2024 presidential hopeful. The biggest names in the field are Rep. Charlie Crist, a former governor, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Crist says he’s running for governor “to unite Florida and bring goodness and decency back to the Sunshine State.” Fried, meanwhile, has hammered Crist for for being a former Republican who once had anti-abortion views and, as governor, appointed conservatives to the state Supreme Court.
The last Democrat to win a Florida gubernatorial race was Lawton Chiles in 1990.
In the Senate race, Val Demings, a three-term congresswoman from Orlando, is widely expected to win the Democratic nomination and face Rubio, who has held the seat since 2011.
Running against Demings are former Justice Department special counsel William Sanchez, attorney Brian Rush and businessman Ricardo De La Fuente.
The non-partisan Cook Political Report rates the seat as leaning Republican, although polling in the last few weeks has showed Demings tied or leading Rubio.
Florida picked up a 28th House seat in the Census, and redistricting has made for fewer competitive races. The Cook Political Report rates just four districts as competitive — and all four of those are considered likely to be won by Republicans.
If that plays out, that would include two districts flipping from blue to red: the 7th District, where Rep. Stephanie Murphy is retiring, and the 13th District, which Crist is vacating to run for governor.
Meanwhile, controversial Republican Matt Gaetz is facing a strong primary challenge from retired Marine and former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo. In TV ads, Lombardo has attacked Gaetz over the investigation into possible sexual relations between him and a minor. Gaetz has denied the allegations.
On Saturday, Trump endorsed Gaetz, one of his fiercest defenders on Capitol Hill.
Regardless of who wins, the district, which sits in Florida’s panhandle, is expected to remain in Republican hands.
Voters in Oklahoma have the rare experience of simultaneously deciding who will fill both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats this year. That’s, in part, because longtime Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe announced in February he will retire at the end of the congressional term.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin and state House Speaker T.W. Shannon will meet in the runoff for the GOP nomination. In the June primary, which had 13 candidates, Mullin won 44% of the vote, compared to Shannon’s 18%.
Both candidates have repeated Trump’s false claims about fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Trump has endorsed Mullin.
The winner will take on former Rep. Kendra Horn in the general election.
In Oklahoma’s other Senate race, cybersecurity professional Madison Horn and lawyer Jason Bollinger are running in the Democratic primary to determine who will challenge incumbent James Lankford.
The Cook Political Report rates both of Oklahoma’s Senate seats as solidly Republican.
There’s also a GOP runoff in Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District — Mullin’s current seat — between state Rep. Avery Frix and former state Sen. Josh Brecheen. The winner will face Democrat Naomi Woods in November.