By Jim EllisJune 27, 2018 — In the surprise of last night’s voting, 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and the Queens County Democratic Party, lost his Democratic re-nomination battle to self-proclaimed Democrat-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last night, but he may not be finished. Since Rep. Crowley has already secured the Working Families and Women’s Equality Party ballot lines, he also advances into the general election.
While Ms. Ocasio-Cortez will command the Democratic line and college professor Anthony Pappas has the Republican position, the independent and minor parties will play a major role in this 14th District general election. With independent filing deadlines still to come, much can happen before the Nov. 6 ballot is actually finalized. At this point, Elizabeth Perri has the Conservative Party line and James Dillon the Reform Party designation. But, with Crowley and Ocasio-Cortez presumably doing battle for all of the left-of-center votes, suddenly the right-of-center lines become more valuable. A unifying of the three lines under one candidate, which is still possible, would allow a single, more conservative contender to be more competitive in this new situation.
The 14th Democratic primary turnout was low, what looks to be about 28,000 votes when all are counted, and Ocasio-Cortez received 57.5 percent compared to Rep. Crowley’s 42.5 percent. Interestingly, Crowley is the chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party, which gives him control over how the party will spend it money to support its new nominees, including Ocasio-Cortez.
The 14th CD contains parts of Queens and The Bronx, including the communities of Flushing (part), Throgs Neck, Jackson Heights, and College Point. The citizen age voting population is 39.9 percent Latino, 31.6 percent, Non-Hispanic White, 14.5 percent Asian, and 13.9 percent African American. The general election campaign becomes interesting to say the least.
The Centennial State vote went as expected. In the governor’s race, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder) defeated a series of four candidates to win the Democratic nomination and advance into the general election. He scored a 45-25-23-7 percent victory over former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, the official party endorsed candidate, ex-state Sen. Mike Johnston, and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne. Polis will now face state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who won the Republican nomination, defeating former state Rep. Victor Mitchell and two others. The open general election will be competitive. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term.
In the House races, also as expected, former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse easily won the Democratic primary and becomes a prohibitive favorite to replace Rep. Polis in the US House.
Former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush won the Democratic primary in the 3rd District and now challenges four-term Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) in November. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) rather easily turned back four credible primary opponents on his way to winning re-nomination for a seventh term. Also as expected, Iraq War veteran Jason Crow won his Democratic primary and now challenges Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in November. The Coffman-Crow race will be highly competitive.
The Maryland ballot featured two key races. In the governor’s Democratic primary, the contest did break down into a two-way race, and former NAACP Ben Jealous scored a 40-29 percent victory over Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker. Jealous now challenges Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The late Kevin Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive who suddenly passed away in the middle of the campaign but whose name remained on the ballot, still scored over 17,000 votes, or 3.1 percent of the primary vote.
In the open 6th District House race, businessman David Trone, who spent over $10 million on the campaign, won the Democratic primary with 40 percent of the vote against seven primary opponents. He becomes the favorite against Republican nominee Amie Hoeber, who won 68 percent in yesterday’s GOP primary. The general election winner replaces retiring Rep. John Delaney (D-Potomac), who is already running for president.
Two run-off races were on the Magnolia State ballot. State House Minority Leader David Baria (D-Jackson) defeated venture capitalist Howard Sherman with 58.5 percent of the statewide Democratic Party vote, and wins the right to challenge Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in November. The senator is a huge favorite for re-election.
In the open 3rd District, as expected, local District Attorney Michael Guest easily defeated hospital system executive Whit Hughes, 65-35 percent, to win the Republican run-off. Guest will succeed retiring Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Pearl) in the GOP congressional seat that encompasses much of the Jackson metropolitan area.
The Empire State federal ballot featured several congressional primaries in addition to the major upset described above featuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeating Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens) for the Democratic nomination.
Three-term Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) survived a scare from Brooklyn Community Board member Adem Bunkeddeko, and won the Democratic primary with just 51.9 percent of the vote. The scant primary victory guarantees her re-election in November, however.
The hotly contested 11th District primary, proved anti-climatic. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island) easily defeated former representative and convicted felon Michael Grimm, 64-36 percent, to secure the Republican nomination. The congressman is a heavy favorite to defeat the Democratic primary winner, healthcare executive Max Rose.
Upper East Side veteran House member Carolyn Maloney (D-NYC) also had a competitive primary, but she scored a 59-41 percent win over former Obama White House aide Suraj Patel. Her re-election in the fall is now secure.
The highly competitive 19th District Democratic primary went to attorney Antonio Delgado, who raised well over $2 million to claim his party nomination with 22 percent of the vote over six opponents. He now faces freshman Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) in what is likely to be a competitive general election.
In Long Island’s 1st District, businessman Perry Gershon, who contributed and loaned his campaign over $1.4 million, won the Democratic primary with 35 percent of the vote against four opponents and now will take on two-term Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/The Hamptons). Zeldin begins the general election as the favorite to win a third term.
Former Lawrence County Legislator Tedra Cobb scored an impressive 56 percent victory over five Democratic opponents, including former MSNBC news program host Dylan Ratigan, to win the party nomination. She now challenges two-term Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro), who is the youngest woman ever elected to the US House.
An upset of sorts occurred in the Syracuse District. Democratic establishment favorite Juanita Perez Williams lost the party nomination by almost a 2:1 margin to college professor Dana Balter. Balter now challenges two-term Rep. John Katko (R-Syracuse).
As expected, state House Majority Leader Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) topped a field of three Democratic opponents to advance into the general election. He now opposes Republican neurosurgeon Jim Maxwell in the open November campaign. Morrelle is favored to replace the late Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Rochester).
Runoffs were the order of the day in yesterday’s Sooner State primary. In the governor’s race, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett placed first in the Republican primary and will likely face mortgage banker Kevin Stitt in the Aug. 28 GOP run-off election. Stitt appears to barely have edged Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (R) for the second qualifying position. Democratic former Attorney General Drew Edmondson easily won his party’s primary and advances into the November election. The eventual winner replaces embattled Gov. Mary Fallin (R) in what will likely be a more competitive contest than is usually seen in Oklahoma politics.
In the 1st District battle to replace resigned Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Tulsa), who left the House to become NASA Administrator, run-offs in both parties will ensue. Former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris placed first on the Republican side and appears to now face businessman Kevin Hern in the Aug. 28 run-off. Hern looks to have topped conservative Iraq War veteran Andy Coleman by a little over 800 votes for second position. State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) was a close fourth-place finisher. The Democrats also were forced into a run-off. Attorney Tim Gilpin and oil business analyst Amanda Douglas will advance into the late August secondary election.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville/Muskogee), who faced three Republican opponents after breaking his three-term limit pledge, won re-nomination with 54 percent of the vote, and is now favored in the general election as his Democratic opponents must go to a run-off election.
Gov. Henry McMaster secured a 54-46 percent run-off victory to win his first gubernatorial nomination after succeeding Gov. Nikki Haley (R), who resigned to become US Ambassador to the United Nations. Gov. McMaster defeated Greenville businessman John Warren, in what looked to be a sweep of the state everywhere but the northwestern Greenville-Spartanburg area and breaking even in Charleston. The governor now faces state Rep. James Smith (D-Columbia), who won the Democratic nomination in the original primary. McMaster will be favored in what promises to be a more competitive statewide race than we’ve seen in recent years.
In the open Greenville-Spartanburg congressional district, state Sen. William Timmons defeated former state Sen. Lee Bright to win the Republican nomination. Timmons will succeed retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-Spartanburg).
In a finish that surprised no one, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney easily won the open GOP Senate nomination contest, scoring 72 percent of the vote over state Rep. Mike Kennedy, a Provo physician. Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson (D) now opposes Romney in the general election. The former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor begins the general election as a heavy favorite to succeed retiring six-term Sen. Orrin Hatch (R).
In the 3rd District Republican primary, freshman Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo), who won a 2017 special election to claim the seat, was easily re-nominated with just under 75 percent of the vote over former state Rep. Chris Herrod. Yesterday’s win secures Rep. Curtis’ election to a full term in the fall.