Primary Preview:
Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday May 21, 2024

Four states host primary elections today, and though none feature US Senate elections in this cycle several House members face competitive nomination battles.


Three House primaries are of note in the Peach State.

Retiring Rep. Drew Ferguson’s (R-The Rock/Carrollton) 3rd District is open, and the eventual GOP nominee will succeed the outgoing congressman. Five candidates are on the ballot, but the race appears to be evolving into a three-way contest among former Trump White House aide Brian Jack, and ex-state Sens. Mike Dugan and Mike Crane.

The western Georgia seat is largely rural with no major population center. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as R+38. A runoff is likely, meaning a new election for the top two finishers on June 18.

Redistricting changed the congressional map earlier this year, thus drastically altering Rep. Lucy McBath’s (D-Marietta) 7th District. Now labeled District 6, the McBath seat returns to a boundary configuration closer to where she was originally elected in 2018. Coming back to a western Atlanta suburban seat, Rep. McBath now faces Democratic competition in the person of Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson and state Rep. Mandisha Thomas (D-Red Oak). Though Rep. McBath’s challengers are elected officials, neither seems to have made a major effort in this primary. Therefore, expect McBath to win outright tonight.

Another Democratic member facing a primary challenge is veteran Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta), which is nothing new for him. Throughout his 22-year congressional career, Rep. Scott has routinely faced primary challenges. This year, he has six opponents including Marcus Flowers who raised almost $13 million in a 2022 challenge against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Rome). This year, his campaign receipts are in the more modest $200,000 range. He is the largest fundraiser against Rep. Scott, which tells us the congressman will again prevail.

Reps. Buddy Carter (R-Savannah), Sanford Bishop (D-Albany), Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia), Nikema Williams (D-Atlanta), Rich McCormick (R-Suwanee), Austin Scott (R-Tifton), Andrew Clyde (R-Athens), Mike Collins (R-Jackson), Rick Allen (R-Augusta), and Greene face no primary opposition. Only minor competition awaits Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville/Kennesaw).


Today will feature a quiet primary election in the Gem State. Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Meridian) is unopposed, and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho Falls) faces only a pair of minor challengers.

The most interesting 2024 Idaho election cycle ballot point may be the Ranked Choice Voting proposition that voters will decide in November. Proponents are attempting to qualify an Alaska-style Top Four/Ranked Choice Voting system for the state.


Blue Grass State voters will also see a quiet primary election. No major nomination challenges are occurring though Reps. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville), Thomas Massie (R-Garrison), and Hal Rogers (R-Somerset) do face minor competition.

Reps. James Comer (R-Tompkinsville), Brett Guthrie (R-Bowling Green), and Andy Barr (R-Lexington) are unopposed for renomination. All six House incumbents look set for the general election, as well.


While Idaho and Kentucky are headed for quiet elections tomorrow, we will see more action unfolding in the Beaver State of Oregon.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) retiring after serving what will be 14 US House terms leaves a crowded Democratic primary in his wake. With the FiveThirtyEight data organization rating OR-3 as D+43, Blumenauer’s successor will be determined in tonight’s Democratic primary.

Seven Democrats are competing, but the race appears to have winnowed to a battle among state Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland), ex-Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, sister to Washington US Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle), and Gresham City Councilman Eddy Morales. Negative independent expenditures have been run against Jayapal. While a competitive battle, it appears that Dexter has the inside track toward the party nomination tomorrow and winning the general election in November.

Perhaps the most interesting of the evening primaries lies in the Portland/Salem metro area’s 5th District. The national and local Democratic Party leadership want to replace 2022 nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who lost to freshman Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Happy Valley), with state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas). Bynum has done better on the fundraising front, but we will see if her advantages can rob McLeod-Skinner of the nomination she earned two years ago when upsetting then-Rep. Kurt Schrader (D).

The final primary of the night comes in Oregon’s 6th District, the extra seat the state earned in the 2020 census. Freshman Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Tigard) won a closer than expected victory in the ’22 election (50-48%) but should have little trouble winning renomination tomorrow night. Her likely Republican opponent is again businessman Mike Erickson who is expected to triumph in the GOP primary.

Expect the 6th District to feature a moderately competitive general election race. Though Salinas under-performed in the 2022 election, the presidential turnout should help increase her 2024 victory percentage.

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