Speed Reads

primaries

Key primary races in Kentucky and New York are too close to call

The Democratic candidates in Kentucky vying to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) in November likely won't know who won Tuesday's primary until next week — at the earliest.

Amy McGrath, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, has a slight lead over state Rep. Charles Booker — with 54 percent of precincts reporting, she has 44.7 percent of the vote compared to Booker with 36.5 percent. Only ballots cast at the polls on Tuesday have been counted so far, and because many people are voting absentee because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press doesn't expect the full results to be in before June 30. As such, several networks say this race is too close to call.

McGrath entered the race last year, and as of June 3, has raised $41 million in her quest to take out McConnell. She has the support of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), but raised eyebrows among Democrats when she said she "probably would have voted" to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a statement she later walked back.

Booker announced he was running in January, and has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He supports the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all, and has joined protests against the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot and killed in March by police who entered her Louisville apartment on a no-knock warrant.

In New York, Rep. Eliot Engel (D) is fighting to hold onto his seat in the 16th Congressional District. His main challenger is Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal and progressive candidate. With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Bowman has 60.9 percent of the vote, and Engel is trailing with 35.6 percent. In New York, absentee ballots are not counted until a week after a primary. Engel was first elected in 1988, while this is Bowman's first political campaign.