Factbox-Four key races in Wisconsin, Minnesota midterm primaries
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[August 09, 2022]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Voters
in states including Wisconsin and Minnesota will pick candidates for the
U.S. Congress and other offices in primaries on Tuesday, in another test
of former President Donald Trump's influence in the Republican Party
ahead of the Nov. 8 midterms.
Vermont and Connecticut also hold nomination contests, while Minnesota
holds a special election for its currently vacant 1st Congressional
District. Following are four key races:
WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR'S PRIMARY
In its final stretch, the Republican nomination contest for Wisconsin's
gubernatorial race has become a proxy battle in the rivalry between
President Donald Trump and his former Vice President, Mike Pence.
Trump endorsed construction company owner Tim Michels in June, upending
a race that until then was led by former state Lieutenant Governor
Rebecca Kleefisch. By the end of June, Kleefisch and Michels were
neck-and-neck in a poll by Marquette Law School.
Pence then endorsed Kleefisch in late July, setting up the third
high-profile race this year in which Pence and Trump backed opposing
candidates. In the previous contests, Pence-backed Georgia Governor
Brian Kemp won the party nomination for his re-election bid, while
Trump-backed Kari Lake, a former news anchor, won the Republican
nomination for the Arizona governor's race.
Pence, who like Trump is considering running for president in 2024, has
recently distanced himself from Trump's repeated falsehoods about a
stolen 2020 election.
MINNESOTA SPECIAL CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION
Democrats on Tuesday face an uphill battle to gain the U.S. House of
Representatives seat left vacant following the death in February of
Republican U.S. Representative Jim Hagedorn.
Ahead of Tuesday's special election, Republican Brad Finstad, a former
agriculture official in the Trump administration, was ahead of Democrat
Jeff Ettinger 46% to 38%, according to a public opinion poll conducted
in the last week of July by Survey USA.
[to top of second column]
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch announces that Republican
Governor Scott Walker's campaign is going to seek a recount in the
race for the governor of Wisconsin at a mid-term election night
party in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Nick
Political observers have said the race could be close after Ettinger,
a former CEO at Hormel Foods, spent early on television ads making
the case that his business experience set him up as a problem solver
on run-away food prices.
WISCONSIN DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATE PRIMARY
In the race to challenge Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson,
Wisconsin's Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, a progressive backed
by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, is expected to win the Democratic
nomination after a leading moderate opponent dropped out of the race
in late July. The focus now shifts to Barnes' ability to appeal to
moderate voters in the race against Johnson, which could be one of
November's tightest and most consequential Senate races.
MINNESOTA REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR'S PRIMARY
Former Minnesota state senator Scott Jensen, the Republican
frontrunner to win the party nomination for the governor's race in
November, vows he will try to ban most abortions in the state.
Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade,
abortion remains legal under state law in Minnesota. Jensen recently
said he supports abortion rights in cases of rape or incest.
Jensen, a physician who has cast doubt on the seriousness of
COVID-19, would challenge Democratic Governor Tim Walz if he wins
the nomination. Walz is seen as potentially vulnerable in November.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Alistair Bell)
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