GOP primary voters reject 2 prominent pro-Trump election deniers, pick 1 pro-choice male

Jon O'Dea
(Image credit: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

Voters went to the polls Tuesday in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and South Carolina to pick their candidates for the November midterms. The Democratic governors of Colorado, Illinois, and New York — Jared Polis, J.B. Pritzker, and Kathy Hochul, respectively — all won their primaries, setting up potentially competitive races against Republicans Heidi Ganahl (Colorado), Darren Bailey (Illinois), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).

Zeldin easily beat a slate of Republicans that included Andrew Giuliani, son of Rudy Giuliani. Bailey, recently endorsed by former President Donald Trump, beat Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, in a campaign where GOP billionaire Ken Griffin invested $50 million to boost Irvin while Bailey got help from advertising paid for by Priztker and the Democratic Governors Association. Democrats judged Bailey, a hardline anti-abortion Trump loyalist, the weaker opponent.

Democrats also spent $2.5 million to help Colorado state Rep. Ron Hanks (R) win the state's GOP Senate primary, but businessman Joe O'Dea (pictured) won and will face Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) in November. O'Dea is "one of the only abortion-rights-supporting Republicans in the nation to win a statewide primary this year," The Associated Press reports.

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Also in Colorado, Republicans rejected prominent pro-Trump election conspiracist Tina Peters for secretary of state, choosing Pam Anderson to face Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold. Hanks also promoted Trump's lies about winning the 2020 election. In Mississippi, Rep. Michael Guest (R), who had voted for an independent Jan. 6 commission, survived a challenge from Trump loyalist Michael Cassidy.

Two controversial pro-Trump hardliners survived challenges. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) beat a GOP state representative who had focused on her extremism, and Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) defeated five-term Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill). Miller, a first-term congresswoman most famous for favorably quoting Adolf Hitler, praised Friday's Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade as "a victory for white life," a statement her spokesman later clarified was supposed to be "right to life."

In Nebraska's historically GOP 1st Congressional District, Republican Mike Flood beat Democrat Patty Passing Brooks by 4 percentage points to fill the rest of former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry's (R) term. Fortenberry, sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation for lying to the FBI, won the district by 22 points in 2020. "The specific cause of the margin wasn't immediately unclear, although there was evidence of higher turnout in one Democratic-leaning county that could be related to the Roe decision," AP speculates.

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