By Jim Ellis
• GEORGIA: Former vice president Joe Biden clinched his party’s presidential nomination with an 83 percent victory in the Georgia primary and sweeping the state’s 105 delegates. By all counts, Biden has secured the 1,991 bound first-ballot delegate votes to seal the nomination.
In the Democratic US Senate primary, former congressional candidate and documentary filmmaker Jon Ossoff looks to have fallen just short of the 50 percent mark to secure the party nomination. If the trend holds as the final votes are counted, he will advance to an Aug. 11 runoff election. After trailing former lieutenant governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico most of the night, ex-Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson appears to have secured the second runoff position in a close vote.
Logistical problems in the Atlanta area could delay the final totals, so whether Ossoff won outright and deciding the second runoff position are still not necessarily determined. It is likely, however, that a runoff will occur between Ossoff and Tomlinson, assuming the latter candidate chooses to continue. The percentage spread between the two is a lopsided 49-16 percent.
Numbers are also not final in the Atlanta suburban 7th District, but it appears that 2018 Democratic nominee Carolyn Bourdeaux, who came within 420 votes of winning the seat in that year, came close to avoiding a runoff with 46 percent of the vote. Should this trend hold, she will face state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero (D-Norcross) in the secondary election.
On the Republican side, retired Navy officer and physician Rich McCormick won the crowded primary outright as he topped 55 percent, an impressive total within a field of seven candidates. State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Gwinnett County) placed a distant second.
In the open 9th District, the seat that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) is leaving to run for the Senate, state Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger) and retired Navy officer Andrew Clyde will advance to the Aug. 11 runoff. Former US Rep. Paul Broun finished in fourth position. In this safely Republican northeast Georgia district, the runoff winner will clinch the general election.
In the open 14th District, the seat from which Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger/Rome) is retiring, a runoff will occur between businesswoman and conservative activist Marjorie Greene, who switched from running in the 6th District, and surgeon John Cowan. Greene placed first by a wide 41-21 percent margin. Seven other candidates split the remaining 38 percent of the vote totals. Like in the 9th District, the runoff winner will claim the seat in November.
• NEVADA: With lines lasting as long as three hours in order to cast in-person primary votes yesterday, and considering the state is allowing mailed ballots postmarked on Election Day to be counted, the bulk of Nevada’s votes are not tabulated, and results won’t be definitive for some time.
So far, in the Republican primary to choose a nominee to oppose freshman Rep. Susie Lee (D-Las Vegas) in the Clark County based 3rd District, former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer has a 10-point lead over ex-state Treasurer and frequent candidate Dan Schwartz with 70 percent of precincts reporting early votes.
In the contested GOP race to face Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) in District 4, former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant and insurance agency owner Sam Peters are locked in a close battle, 33-30 percent, from the early returns in just over half of the precincts.
• NORTH DAKOTA: Gov. Doug Burgum (R) touched 90 percent of the vote in his primary election last night and is a lock to win a second term in November. His general election opponent is Killdeer School Board member Shelley Lenz (D). Freshman at-large Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-Dickinson) draws retail store manager Zach Raknerud (D) and is the prohibitive favorite to win the general election. There is no US Senate race in North Dakota this year.
• SOUTH CAROLINA: With Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison being unopposed for their respective nominations, the only competitive primary resided in the Charleston area.
Polling suggested the 1st District Republican primary would be very close, but the actual results yielded a landslide. State Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Daniel Island) easily defeated Mt. Pleasant City Councilwoman Kathy Landing, 57-26 percent, far beyond the tied numbers that several pre-election polls predicted. Mace now advances into the general election by exceeding 50 percent. She will challenge freshman Democrat Joe Cunningham (D-Charleston) in a seat that is a must-win for Republicans. This will likely become a national campaign and must be rated as a toss-up in what should be a definitive Republican district.
• WEST VIRGINIA: Joe Biden swept West Virginia’s 28 first ballot delegates with a 65-12 percent win over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Parkersburg resident David Lee Rice, who only filed in his home state’s primary, captured 8.4 percent of the vote. Together with the result in Georgia last night, Biden has now officially clinched the party nomination.
Gov. Jim Justice easily topped his two Republican primary opponents, ex-Commerce Department secretary Woody Thrasher and former state Delegate Mike Folk. Gov. Justice garnered 63 percent against the pair of challengers. On the Democratic side, Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango scored 39 percent of the vote, but it was enough to clinch the party nomination. Gov. Justice now becomes a strong favorite to win the general election.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) was easily re-nominated with 84 percent of the vote against minor Republican primary opposition. Her likely general election opponent will be Democratic activist Paula Jean Swearingen, who defeated former state senator and congressional candidate Richard Ojeda and former South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb, with 42 percent of the vote. Sen. Capito will have little trouble in winning re-election this November.
All three Republican US House incumbents, Reps. David McKinley (R-Wheeling), Alex Mooney (R-Charles Town), and Carol Miller (R-Huntington) are all secure for re-election.