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Nine races to watch in New York, Florida and Oklahoma

Associated Press/Mary Altaffer, pool

A primary pitting two powerful Democrats against each other. A special election that could provide some clues about how Democrats might fare in November. Two well-known Democrats duking it out for the chance to face Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in November.

Tuesday will feature one of the last sets of competitive primaries ahead of November, and New York, Florida and Oklahoma will hold closely watched races.

Here’s a look at nine races to watch on Tuesday:

New York’s 10th Congressional District Democratic primary

Associated Press

New York’s new congressional map set off a scramble among Democrats after redistricting created several awkward member-on-member primaries and caused some lawmakers to switch districts. 

New York’s 10th Congressional District, which covers portions of northwest Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, drew a crowded Democratic field, including Rep. Mondaire Jones, who currently represents the 17th Congressional District; Dan Goldman, Democrats’ lead counsel in the first impeachment trial against former President Trump; New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera; New York state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou and former New York City Comptroller Liz Holtzman.

Jones opted not to run in his current district in an effort to avoid going head-to-head with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm. Maloney currently represents the 18th Congressional District but announced he would run in the 17th.

Goldman received a major endorsement from The New York Times editorial board, which strategists said would be a major boost in the primary. But he is not without fierce competition.

Niou notched endorsements from the New York Working Families Party and former New York gubernatorial candidate and actress Cynthia Nixon. Rivera, meanwhile, has received endorsements from several New York City borough presidents in addition to key health care workers union SEIU 1199. 

Holtzman is a former congresswoman who drew national attention when she beat Democratic incumbent Rep. Emanuel Celler (N.Y.) in the 1972 primary by a margin of more than 600 votes, going on to win the general election with two-thirds of the vote. 

New York’s 12th Congressional District Democratic primary

At least one high-profile Democrat will see their career in Congress come to an end as Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney battle it out in a primary for New York’s 12th Congressional District.

Maloney and Nadler, the chairs of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and House Judiciary Committee, respectively, have served in the lower chamber for decades, both starting their careers in Congress in the 1990s. 

Nadler currently represents the 10th Congressional District, while Maloney represents the 12th, but they found themselves facing each other following redistricting. Progressive attorney Suraj Patel is also vying for the seat. 

Nadler received a boost to his campaign when both The New York Times and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) endorsed him. 

Maloney responded that “it doesn’t surprise me. The old boys network is very, very close and they support each other.”

Meanwhile, Patel has touted himself as a forward-looking fresh face, telling The Hill in an interview last week that both incumbents “are campaigning on accomplishments or press releases or statements, frankly, from 1998 and 2006 and 2009. Neither of them are talking about 2024 or 2026, or what New York needs today.”

The district leans heavily Democratic, so Tuesday’s winner will likely come out ahead in November as well.

New York’s 19th Congressional District special election

Democrat Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro are facing off in a special election to serve out the remainder of Rep. Antonio Delgado’s (D) term after Delgado was appointed to serve as New York’s lieutenant governor.

The race is considered a bellwether for the November midterms, with Molinaro focusing on economic issues and crime and Ryan keying in on abortion.

The decennial redistricting process makes competing in the special election especially convoluted given that Ryan and Molinaro are seeking a seat that will not look the same beginning next year. Ryan is also on the ballot for the 18th District Democratic primary, while Molinaro will be the GOP’s midterm nominee in the redrawn 19th District.

Delgado won his seat in 2020 by double digits, but the data website FiveThirtyEight rates the seat a partisan lean of plus 1 point Republican under the old maps. 

New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election

New York will also be holding a special election in its 23rd Congressional District after former Rep. Tom Reed (R) resigned from his House seat to join government relations firm Prime Policy Group. He had earlier said he would not seek reelection following allegations that he had groped a former lobbyist. Reed apologized for the incident, saying the situation occurred “at a time in my life in which I was struggling.”

Republican Joe Sempolinski, a former district director for Reed, is vying for the open seat against Democrat Max Della Pia, the Tioga County Democratic Committee chairman who ran in the Democratic primary in 2018 and lost.

While Della Pia is running separately in the Democratic primary for the full two-time term that starts next year, Sempolinski is not, meaning he would be in Congress for only a short time. 

But Sempolinski seems likely to prevail given that FiveThirtyEight gives the seat a partisan lean of plus 15 points Republican. 

Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary

Associated Press

Four Democrats are running to take on DeSantis, with state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist (Fla.), a former Republican governor-turned-Democratic lawmaker, considered the two front-runners. 

Crist has been seen as the favorite, notching endorsements from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Democratic National Committee chairwoman and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and the AFL-CIO, among others. In recent weeks, Fried and Crist have sought to portray each other in campaign ads as insufficiently Democratic.

poll out last week from the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, conducted via email, showed Fried receiving 47 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters polled, compared to 43 percent for Crist. 

Meanwhile, a St. Pete Polls survey conducted via landline found that 59 percent of likely Florida Democratic party voters who said they either planned to vote or had already voted would back Crist, compared to 30 percent for Fried, according to Florida Politics.  

The more difficult task that lies ahead is beating DeSantis, regularly floated as a 2024 GOP presidential hopeful who has stoked culture wars on issues ranging from critical race theory to transgender girls and women participating in girls’ and women’s sports. 

Florida’s 7th Congressional District GOP primary

Florida’s 7th Congressional District has attracted a crowded field of eight Republicans running for a seat that is likely flip red in November after moderate Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) said she wouldn’t seek reelection. 

Trump hasn’t waded into the GOP primary, but that hasn’t stopped some candidates from embracing him in an attempt to win over voters. 

Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) touted his conversative track record and legislation he sponsored, including to rename a highway to include Trump’s name. Cory Mills, another candidate, touted his appointment by Trump to be a Pentagon adviser. 

Others have sought to show their ties to the governor, such as Rusty Roberts, who serves on the Florida Transportation Commission as a DeSantis appointee. 

Former Navy Seal Brady Duke has a serious financial advantage, according to the Orlando Sentinel

FiveThirtyEight gives the seat a partisan lean of plus 14 points Republican.

Florida’s 10th Congressional District Democratic primary

Ten Democrats are looking to get their party’s nod on Tuesday in a seat considered to heavily favor Democrats in November. The seat opened when Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) opted to run for Senate.

Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old who previously worked at the American Civil Liberties Union, could have a shot at becoming one of first Gen Z lawmakers in Congress. Democrats such as Former Rep. Alan Grayson (Fla.), the Rev. Terence Gray, state Sen. Randolph Bracy and former Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.) are also seeking bids.

FiveThirtyEight gives the seat a partisan lean of plus 29 points Democratic, meaning that the Democrat who prevails Tuesday is likely to win in the midterms. 

Florida’s 13th Congressional District GOP primary

Crist opted not to run for another term in the House, instead seeking to return to the governor’s mansion and opening up the seat to a sea of challengers.

Trump waded into the primary, backing Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna. Luna ran against Crist in 2020, losing to him by single digits. The Air Force vet has also raked in endorsements from top Republican names such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Scott Perry (Pa.), and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

Other Republican candidates include attorney Amanda Makki; attorney Kevin Hayslett, who received the endorsement of former Trump White House national security adviser Michael Flynn; law student Moneer Kheireddine; and business owner Christine Quinn.

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as “likely Republican.”

Oklahoma Senate GOP primary runoff

Associated Press

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) handily won reelection in 2020 but announced in February he wouldn’t finish out his term, triggering a special election to fill the seat.

Former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Okla.) were forced into a runoff for the Republican nod after neither candidate received at least half of the vote outright in the crowded June 28 primary. 

Several polls within the last week show Mullin leading Shannon. Trump endorsed Mullin, and the runoff will be considered another test of the former president’s power.

Whoever wins will face former Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.) in the general election. 

The Cook Political Report rates the Senate seat as “solid Republican,” meaning whoever wins Tuesday will be considered the likely winner in November. 

Tags 2022 midterm elections Antonio Delgado Florida Jerry Nadler Mondaire Jones New York New York primaries Oklahoma Ron DeSantis Sean Patrick Maloney Tom Reed Trump

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