Trump-connected candidates falter, voters pick new faces to replace retiring incumbents: primary takeaways

·5 min read

Primary battles took place in five different states on Tuesday, the first time voters have flocked to the polls since the monumental Supreme Court decision knocking down Roe v. Wade.

In some races, candidates connected to former President Donald Trump stumbled, including in the Republican New York gubernatorial primary and in the controversial Colorado race for secretary of state.

But there were also significant races in Oklahoma to fill the shoes of retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe and in Illinois, where more than 20 candidates, including Democrats and Republicans, want to take over for Rep. Bobby Rush, who also is retiring.

2022 midterms: A new 'Big Lie' battleground: secretary of state elections

Here are the prominent outcomes.

Son of Rudy Giuliani fails in N.Y. governor's race

The most notable race of the night was arguably in New York, where Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul  seeks to become the first elected female governor in the Empire State’s history. Hochul easily won the Democratic nomination in her primary.

Hochul was lieutenant governor under Andrew Cuomo, who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.

But the bigger deal was what happened on other side of the political fence.

On the Republican side were a number of candidates looking to put the seat back in the GOP column, including Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani  lost to Rep. Lee Zeldin in the GOP primary.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a New York governor primary debate at the studios of WNBC4-TV, June, 16, 2022, in New York.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a New York governor primary debate at the studios of WNBC4-TV, June, 16, 2022, in New York.

Much of the Republican primary was dominated by who was most loyal to Trump, but with Zeldin slamming Giuliani – who was running in his first political race – for lacking experience.

Billionaires battle in Illinois

Democrat J.B. Pritzker spent more than $170 million of his own money when he ran for Illinois governor in 2018, and the incumbent could dole out even more cash this time around.

Pritzker easily defeated activist Beverly Miles, a Chicago nurse and military veteran, in Tuesday's Democratic primary. But what's more telling is how he spent millions in attack ads in the Republican primary.

Joined by national Democratic groups, Pritzker poured roughly $35 million into attack ads against Republican Richard Irvin, the mayor of Aurora, signaling they would prefer to face his GOP rival, state Rep. Darren Bailey, in the fall.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker praises the budget passed by the lawmakers during a news conference in his office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker praises the budget passed by the lawmakers during a news conference in his office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Irvin, meanwhile, was helped by a $50 million contribution from billionaire hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin.

More: 'Millionaire's exemption' could make Illinois’ governor's race the nation’s most expensive

Not to be left out, Bailey had support from a billionaire, too. He was helped by a $9 million donation by Richard Uihlein, a shipping company owner, to a political action committee attacking Irvin.

In the math that matters, Bailey won the GOP primary and will face Pritzker, who has cast the November election as a fight against right-wing extremism, touting himself as a "pro-choice, pro-voting rights, pro-civil rights" Democrat.

Oklahoma picks candidates to succeed Inhofe

Inhofe, of Oklahoma, and Rush, of Illinois, couldn't be more different politically, but what they share is being in Congress for roughly three decades.

Their respective retirements shook up their political backyards as dozens of contenders sought to replace them.

In Oklahoma, almost a dozen candidates wanted Inhofe's job.

When the polls closed Tuesday, Rep. Markwayne Mullin came up short for the needed 50% to avoid a runoff. Mullin will have to run again versus former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon.

Jonathan Jackson wins in Bobby Rush's district

The race in the heavily Democratic Chicago district saw even more contenders vying to replace Rush, who is the only political candidate to have ever beaten Barack Obama in a race during the 2000 campaign.

Jonathan Jackson, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, won the Democratic nomination for Rush's seat.

Election denier loses in Colorado

In what will be taken as a referendum on Trump and his claims about the 2020 contest, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters lost her bid to oversee Colorado's next election.

Peters was a vocal supporter of Trump's falsehoods about the last presidential race and has made multiple attempts at trying to prove Trump's claims of election fraud in 2020.

She herself was indicted on seven felony charges related to election fraud.

Primary takeaways: Trump's revenge tour falters in Georgia as Kemp, Raffensperger crush GOP rivals

More: In 2022 midterms, a new 'Big Lie' battleground: secretary of state elections

Though Peters raised more money than her Republican rivals, she ultimately lost the nomination to fellow Republican Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk who argued Trump's statements had eroded the public's faith in elections.

Boebert bests moderate challenger

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has become one of the more controversial members of Congress over the past two years.

Rep. Lauren Boebert listens as President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address.
Rep. Lauren Boebert listens as President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address.

She heckled President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address. She has made Islamophobic comments toward colleagues.

More: Democrats launch effort to strip Boebert of House committees over anti-Muslim comments

This past weekend, in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, she said, "The church is supposed to direct the government."

So when Boebert received a primary challenge from state Sen. Don Coram, who was  backed by outside organizations arguing she was too extreme, many eyebrows were raised.

Boebert, however, easily won the primary in a district that became more Republican after being redrawn this year.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tuesday primary takeaways in New York, Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma