Republicans who are running to be secretary of state in Wisconsin and Minnesota in primaries Tuesday are repeating Donald Trump’s false claims about the last presidential election and they've suggested they want more authority over how elections are run, especially in Democratic-leaning counties. Wisconsin’s office of secretary of state has no role in elections, but that could change if Republicans are able to win the post this year and pass a law that would empower the office with far more responsibilities. In Minnesota, the leading GOP secretary of state candidate has called the 2020 election a “train wreck.” Connecticut and Vermont also are holding primaries for secretary of state on Tuesday.
Vermont Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint are the leading candidates in a Democratic U.S. House primary that could make either of them the first female member of the state's congressional delegation. Gray has the backing of the centrist lane of the party, with endorsements from two former governors and a campaign donation from retiring U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy. Balint has been endorsed by an all-star list of progressive leaders, including the state’s other U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders, and the founders of Vermont’s famously progressive ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s. The winner of Tuesday’s primary is expected to cruise to victory in November in deep-blue Vermont.
The campaign committee of a former Hawaii lawmaker who pleaded guilty after taking bribes has donated to two candidates for the state House of Representatives. State Campaign Spending Commission data says Friends of Ty Cullen donated $2,000 to Jamaica Cullen. She's running in the Democratic primary for parts of Waipahu and Hoopili, the area Ty Cullen used to represent. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Jamaica Cullen is Ty Cullen’s sister-in-law and worked in his office during the past four legislative sessions. Friends of Ty Cullen also donated $2,000 to Rachele Lamosao, who is running in the Democratic primary to represent central Waipahu.
Watch salesman turned anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who was found liable last year for “numerous and particularly egregious” violations of campaign finance law, has been forced to sell his house to help pay millions in fines and debt. The Seattle Times reports a federal bankruptcy judge Thursday approved a resolution requiring Eyman to sell his portion of a Mukilteo house to his ex-wife. The $900,000 will go toward paying over $5.6 million in sanctions and legal fees he owes the state of Washington and creditors. Eyman was fined by a Thurston County judge who found he had enriched himself by laundering political donations. Eyman described the penalties against him as “ridiculously unconstitutional and absurdly excessive."
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, who witnessed the Capitol riot days after taking office in 2021 and then cast one of the 10 Republican votes to impeach Donald Trump over the attack, has lost his reelection bid. Meijer was defeated in a primary Tuesday by Trump-endorsed John Gibbs, a businessman and missionary who served in the Trump administration. Two Republicans in Washington state who incurred Trump’s wrath by voting for impeachment also went before voters. Races involving Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse were too early to call by Wednesday morning. Trump vowed revenge against the 10 who crossed party lines on the impeachment vote, and he endorsed party challengers to them in the midterm elections.
In the shadow of a thousand-dollar campaign billboard, one of many across Kenya’s capital, street vendors struggle to make even 200 shillings ($1.68) a day and often pocket none. Kenya’s Aug. 9 election is ripping open the scars of inequality and corruption as East Africa’s economic hub chooses a successor to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Nairobi vendors can hardly grasp the enormous amounts of money spent on next week’s election, one of the most expensive in Africa. Hardly anyone can. In Kenya, candidates aren’t required to publicly account for campaign donations or spending. And corruption is widespread.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. He will face Trudy Busch Valentine, a nurse and philanthropist who defeated Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and nine others in the Democratic primary. Republican leaders have long feared that a Greitens win would jeopardize a red state Senate seat in the November general election. Greitens resigned four years ago. His resignation followed a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped, and a risk of impeachment. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement last year that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job.
Businesswoman and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon has won the Republican primary for Michigan governor. The win Tuesday sets up a tough general election race against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has millions in her campaign fund. Dixon defeated four male candidates in a race between little-known Republicans. Dixon was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and the family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, as well as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and several anti-abortion organizations. The mother of four made education a top issue of her campaign, saying she wants to keep drag queens and talk of sex and gender out of elementary schools. She opposes abortion, except to save the life of the mother..
Former Oregon gubernatorial candidate Nick Kristof says he is getting out of politics and back into journalism. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the longtime New York Times columnist abandoned his post last year to try a run at the state’s highest elected office. His campaign was cut short by residency requirements in Oregon’s constitution. State records show this week he handed off nearly $1 million in unspent political cash, then deactivated his campaign committee. After reimbursing himself for a little more than $2,000 for personal expenses, Kristof donated $990,000 to a new political action committee called Oregon Strong. The new PAC is directed by Kristof’s wife, Sheryl WuDunn, and his former campaign bookkeeper, Elizabeth Wilson.
Jim Obergefell is hoping that Democrats can win back seats at the Ohio Statehouse and beyond this fall with a message grounded in his landmark U.S. Supreme Court fight for same-sex marriage. The celebrity plaintiff-turned-Ohio House candidate says the party can win by driving home that it will fight for everyone to be included in “We the People.” His pitch comes as stark political divisions played out in Tuesday's legislative primaries. Rescheduled amid a partisan mapmaking fight, a combined 43 Republican and Democratic primaries pit incumbents against rivals to the right or left, and key constituencies against one another.
A political consultant who is accused of helping put a “ghost candidate” on a ballot to siphon off votes from the Democratic candidate in a state Senate race in central Florida has pleaded not guilty to election finance-related charges during his first court appearance. James “Eric” Foglesong entered the plea Tuesday during an arraignment hearing at the Seminole County Courthouse. Last May, prosecutors filed charges against Foglesong; the candidate, Jestine Iannotti; and Seminole County GOP chairman Ben Paris. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Iannotti illegally accepted a $1,200 cash donation from Foglesong for her campaign.
Republican Tim Michels has spent nearly $12 million of his own money on his run for Wisconsin governor, campaign finance reports filed ahead of next week’s primary election show. Michels is endorsed by Donald Trump in the race where he faces former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state Rep. Tim Ramthun. Michels is co-owner of Michels Corp., the state’s largest construction company. Reports filed with the state on Monday show that Michels spent another $4 million of his own money in July on the race, bringing his total spent so far to just under $12 million, or about $1 million a week since he got into the race.
A former Louisiana Democratic Party leader who resigned from the state Senate earlier this year has now pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge. Former Sen. Karen Carter Peterson entered the plea Monday. Prosecutors say Peterson diverted campaign funds for personal use, including for gambling expenses. And they said she arranged for companies run by her associates to be hired by the state party. Prosecutors say those associates did little or no work for the party and gave part of the money back to Peterson. Peterson resigned from the Legislature in April, citing battles with depression and gambling addiction.
Primary elections are being held in six states on Tuesday. In Missouri, scandal-ridden former Gov. Eric Greitens is attempting a political comeback in his campaign for U.S. Senate. In Michigan, a crowded field of Republican gubernatorial candidates includes a man charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. In Arizona, a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement is running for the U.S. House. Three House Republicans who voted to cross party lines to impeach President Donald Trump over the deadly insurrection are also on the ballot Tuesday.
The Republican dustup to determine who tries to flip a Democratic congressional seat in Nashville this fall has hit its final week. As early voting ends in the Aug. 4 primary election, voters in Tennessee’s open 5th Congressional District have grown familiar with nonstop TV ads from vaguely named groups. They are attacking any of three top fundraising hopefuls in the nine-candidate GOP field. Those are Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, former state House Speaker Beth Harwell and retired Tennessee National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead. For Democrats, state Sen. Heidi Campbell is advancing to November unopposed. The seat is open after Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper decided he couldn't win any of the three new redistricted Nashville seats.
Some Democratic candidates in statewide down-ballot races have decided to make abortion access key to their campaigns. They're doing so even when it may not have an obvious connection to the office. A Connecticut state treasurer candidate is airing ads in which she promises to “lead the crusade” for abortion rights and to push companies in which the state invests to fund abortion access. A Wisconsin treasurer candidate has asked donors to help her “fight to codify Roe.” A state auditor candidate in Ohio likes to remind voters that his role on the state's political mapmaking commission could also influence abortion access.
The State Department has offered a $10 million reward for information about Russian interference in American elections, including a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a troll farm that officials say fueled a divisive social media campaign in 2016. The reward is being offered by the department’s Rewards for Justice program. It seeks information about the Internet Research Agency, Yevgeniy Prigozhin — a wealthy businessman whose ties to Putin earned him the nickname “Putin Chef” — and other entities involved in interfering in the 2016 election won by Donald Trump.
A congressional candidate in Washington state whose compelling personal story of military valor and unfathomable loss helped him win former President Donald Trump’s support is connected to right-wing extremists. Republican Joe Kent has openly displayed ties to far-right and extremist organizations since announcing his primary challenge to Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington state. That includes groups that have drawn law enforcement scrutiny over their involvement in the Jan. 6. insurrection. Kent’s campaign says he rejects racism and bigotry. Taken broadly, Kent’s recent relationships and activities reinforce concerns about the GOP’s ties to extremist groups
A congressional candidate in Washington state whose compelling personal story of military valor and unfathomable loss helped him win former President Donald Trump’s support is connected to right-wing extremists. Republican Joe Kent has openly displayed ties to far-right and extremist organizations since announcing his primary challenge to Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington state. That includes groups that have drawn law enforcement scrutiny over their involvement in the Jan. 6. insurrection. Kent's campaign says he rejects racism and bigotry. Taken broadly, Kent’s recent relationships and activities reinforce concerns about the GOP’s ties to extremist groups.
Three Republican challengers are mounting energetic campaigns to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th Congressional District, a key target of GOP efforts to retake control of the House. Army veteran Jesse Jensen ran unsuccessfully against Schrier in 2020. King County Council Member Reagan Dunn is a former federal prosecutor whose mother once held the seat. And Matt Larkin is a business executive and former state attorney general candidate. They're hammering on inflation, high gas prices, crime and dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden ahead of the Aug. 2 primary. Schrier is highlighting her pragmatic service to the district and stressing she's the only pro-choice candidate.
Republicans are warming up to the far-right nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano. When Mastriano crushed a nine-person field to win the primary in May, some in the party warned that his far-right views would squander an otherwise attainable seat in a critical battleground state. But now, as the general election season intensifies, the GOP machinery is cranking up to back Mastriano’s campaign and attack his Democratic rival, Josh Shapiro. That means embracing a candidate who alienates moderate party members. But some Republicans say they’re duty bound to get behind their party’s nominee.
The Federal Election Commission has rejected a complaint accusing a Georgia congressman of violating campaign finance laws. The commission sent Republican Rep. Buddy Carter a letter Wednesday stating the congressman acted legally last year when he spent money to explore a possible U.S. Senate race without declaring himself a candidate. The Georgia Democratic Party filed the complaint last August after Carter ran a statewide TV ad criticizing Major League Baseball's decision to pull its All-Star Game from the state. The complaint claimed Carter should have formally declared his Senate candidacy, in part because the $75,000 ad aired mostly outside his House district. The FEC noted the ad never mentioned the Senate race. Carter ultimately opted to seek reelection to the House.
Candidates for state and local offices in California will soon be able to accept cryptocurrency campaign donations. The Fair Political Practices Commission voted Thursday to approve new rules allowing the donations for digital currencies such as Bitcoin. The new rules will take effect within the next 60 days. They allow candidates to accept cryptocurrency donations only if they immediately convert them to U.S. dollars. Candidates m use use a registered cryptocurrency processor to handle the transaction. California had been one of nine states that prohibited cryptocurrency contributions. Twelve states, plus Washington D.C., allow cryptocurrency contributions in some form, according to a commission staff report.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state is seeking her sixth term at a new inflection point for women. She was first elected in 1992 during the “Year of the Woman,” motivated in part by the way Anita Hill was treated at Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Murray's run for reelection now coincides with the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade. Her campaign has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars blasting her Republican rival Tiffany Smiley ahead of their Aug. 2 primary. Observers say the fact that the longtime incumbent is up so early with aggressive messaging shows Democrats’ concerns about the political environment for incumbents.
A tally shows filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the most commercially successful director of all time, donated $20,000 to Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ campaign. Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, were among 31 people who gave Evers the maximum $20,000. That's according to information released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Those 31 top donors gave Evers a total of $620,000. Of the $10.1 million Evers raised over the first half of the year, about $4.3 million came in cash and in-kind donations from the Wisconsin Democratic Party. The Aug. 9 Republican primary will determine who Evers faces in November.