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The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary Day in New Jersey

The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary Day in New Jersey
© Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:

New Jersey voters are taking part in the state’s primary elections, which include a number of contentious races. 

In the Garden State’s 2nd District, Democrats Amy Kennedy and Brigid Callahan Harrison are battling it out for the chance to compete against Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewThe Hill's Campaign Newsletter: Election Day – Part 4 Van Drew fends off challenge from Kennedy after party switch Chamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night MORE

Harrison, a political science professor and pundit, announced she was running for office last year after she wrote an op-ed criticizing Van Drew for his decision to oppose impeachment efforts against President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE. Kennedy is a former teacher and mental health advocate and the wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D). 

There hasn’t been much polling in the race, but the campaign has divided New Jersey’s political scene. Harrison has endorsements from New Jersey's Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerDangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs MORE and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Trump appointee sparks bipartisan furor for politicizing media agency MORE, along with Jersey political power broker George Norcross. Kennedy, on the other hand, has the support of Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (D-N.J.). 

Meanwhile, in the 3rd District, the Republican battle to face off against first-term Democratic Rep. Andy Kim is heating up. Former Hill International CEO David Richter is competing against former construction union official Kate Gibbs. The race has featured a number of personal attacks between the two candidates. 

Whoever wins the primary will likely face a touch race against Kim in the district, which the nonpartisan Cook Political rates as a “toss-up.” Trump won the 3rd District in 2016 by 6 points.

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A number of Democratic incumbents are hoping to fend off progressive challengers on Tuesday: Reps. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Democrat Gottheimer wins reelection in New Jersey Cook Political Report shifts 8 more House races toward Democrats MORE in the 5th District, Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresWe can't lose sight of Ortega's abuses in Nicaragua Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell wins Democratic primary MORE in the 8th District, Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellPress: Trump's biggest fear is — lock him up Biden faces politically thorny decision on Trump prosecutions IRS races to get remaining stimulus checks to low-income households MORE in the 9th District, Bonnie Watson ColemanBonnie Watson ColemanDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Democrats smell blood with new DHS whistleblower complaint New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries MORE in the 12th District and Frank Pallone in the 6th District. 

While these incumbents will likely prevail in their races, Sires has received attention in his race against progressive Hector Oseguera. Sires, who has served in Congress for 14 years, has coasted to reelection in the past. However, his campaign has gone negative against Oseguera, raising questions about how threatened he is by the progressive. 

--Julia Manchester 

Read More: 

What to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday by Julia

Democrats fight it out to challenge top target Van Drew by Julia

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

President Trump waded anew into racial controversy, including criticizing NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag at its events. The tweet was the latest example of how hard Trump has leaned into racial politics as his poll ratings have slid during the coronavirus crisis. Niall Stanage reports. Trump’s attacks on cultural issues has some Republicans on the defensive ahead of November, writes Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderWe need a college leader as secretary of education As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony MORE (R-Tenn.) said on Tuesday that he will not attend his party's national convention next month, becoming the second GOP senator to announce they will skip the event. Sen. Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Loeffler to continue to self-isolate after conflicting COVID-19 test results MORE (R-Iowa) has said he will not go because of the coronavirus. Jordain Carney reports.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE released a plan on Tuesday to ensure the U.S. doesn’t face shortages of critical products, especially medical equipment, that could be needed during a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic. Alex Gangitano reports.

Biden’s campaign on Tuesday added two top Democratic aides to head his campaign operations in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state in November's general election. Biden will head back to Pennsylvania on Thursday. Marty Johnson reports.

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Tom Klingenstein: Republicans need to unite in defense of American culture.

Mark P. Jones: How George Floyd will impact the Texas Democratic Senate runoff.

 

CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox fended off former Gov. Jon Huntsman in the Republican primary race to succeed Gov. Gary Herbert, delivering a blow to one of the state’s most prominent political heavyweights. The Associated Press (AP) called the race for Cox on Monday, nearly a week after the June 30 primary. The Hill’s Max Greenwood and Tal Axelrod report.

 

MONEY WATCH:

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Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison’s campaign to unseat Sen. Lindsay Graham (R) in South Carolina pulled in nearly $14 million in the second quarter of the year, setting a statewide fundraising record in the process. Max reports.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries

 

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July 11:

Louisiana primaries

 

July 14:

Alabama primary runoffs

Texas primary runoffs

Maine primaries

 

Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries

 

Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs

 

Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries

 

Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

 

Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention

 

Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries

 

Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries

 

Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries

 

Sept. 29:

First presidential debate

 

Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate

 

Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate

 

Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate