Bee Nguyen will face Brad Raffensperger in race for Georgia secretary of state
Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen will win the Democratic nomination for secretary of state to take on Republican incumbent Brad Raffensperger in November, CNN projects.
Nguyen is projected to finish ahead of former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler. The candidates advanced to the runoff after both fell short of the majority required under state law to win the May 24 primary outright.
Nguyen, a rising star in Democratic circles, scored endorsements from a slew of national and state politicians, including Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s Democratic nominee for governor. The daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Nguyen (pronounced “win”) would become the first Asian American elected to a statewide political post in Georgia, should she prevail in the fall.
Voters in Washington, DC, filed in and out of Eastern Market’s Election Day polling location on Tuesday to cast their ballot.
Some voters stopped and browsed the mint and ginger limeade and artisan bread stands on the way out on the busy street during lunchtime.
A couple of candidates brought their children and walked around talking to incoming voters and businesses at various booths in the market.
Of the various voters CNN spoke with, most said education, crime and equality of resources are important to them.
Linda Kaufman, a 63-year-old DC resident, said there’s a window to everything going on through living in the city.
“I do a lot of talking with my feet, so I attend a lot of protests about equal access to education, health care abortion, the justice system,” she said.
Kaufman said Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is up for reelection this year and facing challengers in Tuesday’s primary,��is uniquely aware of these issues in a way some of the other candidates have not expressed, which is why she’s voting for the incumbent to win a third term.
Her husband, Frederick Crittle, voted for Bowser because he said she has made education a priority and Crittle believes “everybody has a right to a good, free education and access to free healthcare.”
“I became a US citizen three months ago, and I wanted to vote in this primary so I could exercise my right to vote,” Crittle said.
Casey Davidow, a 32-year-old teacher, has taught for years under the Bowser administration and wants to see change and more transparency.
“In my experience in DC schools, Mayor Bowser didn’t have teachers backs or students backs in a genuine way, and instead was more interested in who would finance her future campaigns and who could help her gain more power in the city,” she said.
Davidow said she voted for mayoral candidate Robert White because he made it clear he wants to listen and wants transparency.
Voter Gary Vanderhoof, who stressed a need of equitable use of resources, said social services, health and education are most important in DC.
“All the parts of the city should have equal access to these sorts of things, and we’re behind, including equality of schools and teachers,” he said.
It is 7 p.m. ET, and polls are closing across Virginia and Georgia.
Here are some of the key races voters are deciding on:
Virginia: Republicans last year swept all three elected statewide executive offices and won control of the state House of Delegates — and on Tuesday, there are GOP primaries for two US House seats that could be key to determining control of the chamber next year.
In the Virginia Beach-anchored 2nd District, Republicans seeking to take on Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria include state Sen. Jen Kiggans, a Navy veteran and nurse practitioner backed by House GOP leaders such as Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik, and Jarome Bell, who has made Trump’s lies about the 2020 election central to his campaign and is backed by several allies of the former President.
In the new 7th District in Northern Virginia, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, like Luria, faces no opposition for the Democratic nomination. The Republican field there includes state Sen. Bryce Reeves, Prince William County supervisor Yesli Vega and retired Army Green Beret Derrick Anderson.
Georgia: Republicans are holding primary runoffs for two open House seats that feature Trump-endorsed candidates. In the Atlanta-area 6th District, emergency room doctor and Marine veteran Rich McCormick and Trump-backed attorney Jake Evans are competing for the GOP nomination. In the 10th District, east of Atlanta, Trump’s pick, former Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones, faces businessman Mike Collins, the son of the late Georgia Rep. Mac Collins, in the GOP primary.
Georgia Democrats will pick their nominees for several statewide offices, including for secretary of state. In that race, state Rep. Bee Nguyen and former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler are looking to take on GOP incumbent Brad Raffensperger, who drew Trump’s ire after he refused to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state in 2020. (Raffensperger is set to be in DC on Tuesday testifying before the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.) Meanwhile, the Democratic runoff for lieutenant governor pits former US Rep. Kwanza Hall against lawyer Charlie Bailey, with the winner to face Trump-endorsed state Sen. Burt Jones in the fall.
Read more about today’s Tuesday’s elections here.
Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia’s governor’s race last year offered an early glimpse into just how much the political tide had turned against Democrats heading into the midterm elections.
This year, the GOP is attempting to build on its gains in three races for Democratic-held House seats: Rep. Elaine Luria’s Virginia Beach-based 2nd District, as well as Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s 7th District and Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s 10th District, both in northern Virginia.
The state GOP allows Republican officials in each congressional district to decide how to choose their nominees. The 2nd and 7th Districts will hold primaries Tuesday, while the 10th District GOP chose retired Navy Capt. Hung Cao as its nominee in a ranked-choice, firehouse primary in May.
In the 2nd District, Navy veteran and state Sen. Jen Kiggans has establishment support from the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is aligned with House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, and from New York Rep. Elise Stefanik’s leadership PAC, as well as the campaign arm of the National Rifle Association. Navy veteran Jarome Bell is backed by far-right figures and groups, including former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Turning Point Action, the group affiliated with activist Charlie Kirk.
In a tweet last year, Bell called for the execution of those involved with 2020 election fraud, even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud. Air Force veteran Tommy Altman is backed by North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a member of the House Freedom Caucus who lost his primary earlier this year.
In the 7th District, the GOP race is wide open, with a field that includes state Sen. Bryce Reeves and Yesli Vega, a Prince William County supervisor and an auxiliary sheriff’s deputy who is supported by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The sun came out Tuesday afternoon at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumphries, Virginia, where voters cast ballots for the Republican primary in the state’s 7th Congressional District.
CNN spoke with several voters in Dumphries, many of whom said the economy and gun violence are top of mind.
Asked what drove her to the polls Tuesday, Sharon, a 65-year-old voter who spoke on the condition of only giving her first name, said, “Gun control is a big part even though I’m a Republican.”
“I think there needs to be more checks. There is no need to have assault rifles,” she said, citing recent mass shootings across the country.
Though she is a Republican, and believes the economy is a sticking point, Sharon said she may “lean Democratic eventually at some point.”
Yet, Sharon said when it comes to abortion, she is “very happy with the way the Supreme Court is working now,” as she believes “any abortion is murder.”
Dana, a 57-year-old Republican who also only gave her first name, said crime, specifically gun crime, is a current issue both locally and federally. Dana said she’s “not anti-guns” and has guns in her home.
“It seems to have gotten worse in the last few years,” she said about the issue, adding that she believes people are afraid to take their families into [Washington,] DC, or to large gatherings.
Dana would like to see some sort of “age restrictions or better trainings” when it comes to who can access a gun.
Luke Ciarcia, who is 18-years-old and a first-time voter, cast his first ever ballot Tuesday – and it was for his mom, Gina Ciarcia, a Republican candidate for the US House in Virginia’s 7th district.
Ciarcia said that like his mom, who is an educator, he prioritizes quality of education. He added that gas prices and inflation are top of mind.
“Not paying $5 for gas would be pretty cool,” he said.
For his part, Greg Butts, a 69-year-old voter who cast a ballot for President Biden in 2020, shared his thoughts on the 2024 presidential election.
“I don’t think Biden should run again, mostly because of his age,” Butts said.
“He stumbles and his communication skills are going down,” he said.
Though Butts voted in the GOP primary Tuesday, he also voted Democrat for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the state’s gubernatorial election last fall.
Runoff elections in Georgia will determine the general election matchups for a handful of the nation’s most competitive congressional races in November’s midterm elections.
Here are key things to watch in the state today:
Trump tries again in Georgia runoffs
Former President Trump’s biggest failure in a Republican primary to date came in Georgia, where candidates he supported failed to oust Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump had been targeting for more than a year.
He gets another chance to gauge his influence on Georgia races Tuesday in runoffs for two House seats.
In the Atlanta-area 6th District, Jake Evans, the Trump-endorsed former chairman of the State Ethics Commission, faces Marine veteran and emergency room doctor Rich McCormick, who is making his second bid for Congress. In the 10th District, which stretches east from Atlanta to the South Carolina border, the GOP runoff features Trump’s pick, former Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones, against businessman Mike Collins, who is the son of the late US Rep. Mac Collins and recently earned Kemp’s endorsement. Jones originally ran for governor, before switching to the House race with Trump’s encouragement.
Will the Stacey Abrams slate succeed in Georgia Democratic runoffs?
An endorsement from Stacey Abrams is one of the most sought-after in Democratic politics across the country and especially in Georgia, where she’ll square off in November with Kemp for a second time.
Abrams has endorsed in three Democratic primary runoffs for statewide offices Tuesday as she seeks to help shape the party’s ticket this fall.
State Rep. Bee Nguyen, the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, is Abrams’ pick for secretary of state over former state Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, who is Black and has said she believes support for Nguyen is the result of party leaders’ efforts to diversify the Democratic ticket and appeal to more White voters in November. Dawkins-Haigler has the support of the three candidates who failed to make the runoff. The winner will take on Republican incumbent Brad Raffensperger and Libertarian Ted Metz, a former gubernatorial candidate, in November.
In the lieutenant governor race, Abrams is backing lawyer Charlie Bailey. He is running against Kwanza Hall, who served briefly as a US congressman after winning a special election in 2020 to replace the late Rep. John Lewis. The nominee will face Republican state Sen. Burt Jones, who has been endorsed by Trump.
Abrams has also endorsed state Rep. William Boddie for the Democratic nomination for labor commissioner over businesswoman Nicole Horn. Republican state Sen. Bruce Thompson awaits the winner in the fall.
A Black Republican seeks to flip Democratic-held Georgia district
National Republicans have rallied around Jeremy Hunt, a 28-year-old graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and a Black candidate in Georgia’s plurality Black and rural 2nd District, in the race to take on longtime Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop.
Hunt, who finished first in the May primary with 37% of the vote, faces Chris West, a 38-year-old attorney and former Georgia Air National Guard officer who is White. West is supported by some of the Republicans they faced in the primary. He has cast Hunt, a Fox commentator who recently moved to Columbus while taking Yale Law School classes online, as an outsider to the district.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has campaigned with Hunt, and the National Republican Congressional Committee listed him as an “On the Radar” candidate on its program for promising recruits. He is among a number of Black Republican candidates — which also includes Wesley Hunt in Texas, John James in Michigan and Jennifer-Ruth Green in Indiana — attempting to win seats and diversify the party’s congressional membership this year.
Bishop has represented the Southwest Georgia district since 1993. Its large Black population and Bishop’s status as a more conservative “Blue Dog” Democrat have made it one of the only rural Southern seats the party still holds. Bishop hasn’t faced a truly competitive general election since 2010.
But Georgia’s redistricting process made the seat slightly more competitive, and Republicans hope that with economic and historical factors at their back, a wave election would carry them to victory in the district where former Democratic President Jimmy Carter resides.
Here are more key things to watch in Tuesday’s elections.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks is fighting for his political life as voters head to the polls in Alabama for Tuesday’s Republican senate runoff. The embattled congressman spent much of the final days of his campaign lashing out at his once-ally, former President Donald Trump, over his endorsement of Brooks’ rival, Katie Britt.
“It’s quite clear that Donald Trump has no loyalty to anyone or anything but himself,” Brooks told AL.com. Trump originally backed Brooks, but jumped ship when Brooks’ campaign began to struggle.
Britt, the former chief of staff to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, was already a favorite to win before Trump gave his seal of approval.
Outside the Vaughn Park Church east of downtown Montgomery, voters who spoke to CNN were split on the power of Trump’s endorsement.
For Elise and Will Bone, Trump’s support is what put them over the edge for Britt.
“She’s young and I like what she stands for,” Elise told CNN. When asked if she and her husband ever considered voting for Brooks, Will interjected. “I like what he said,” Will said. “But Trump ain’t supporting him.”
But not everyone voting for Britt was a doing so because of Trump. Susannah Cleveland has been behind Britt since day one, and wasn’t phased by the former President’s endorsement.
“She is relatable, she is a mom like I am, I know her personally and I think she’s a great person,” Cleveland said. “I don’t trust Mo; I think Katie will be the best.”
LeeAnn Duggar came to vote with her daughter. She’s backing Brooks, because she says he’s more conservative than Britt. Duggar said her opinion of Brooks wasn’t impacted after Trump rescinded his endorsement.
“It didn’t bother me—I’ve got other people I put a little more oomph behind than former President Trump,” she said laughing. Duggar said she voted for Trump and liked him, but “didn’t like the way he acted all the time,” and would likely support former Vice President Mike Pence or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Trump were either men to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination in 2024.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser is running for reelection for her third term. She’s facing three primary challengers but is favored to win the election.
Key candidates: Muriel Bowser, Robert White, James Butler, Trayon White
What to know: Crime has been a central issue in the Democratic mayoral campaign. Bowser has introduced a plan that would include hiring hundreds more police officers, while the more progressive Robert White, an at-large council member, wants to increase “violence interrupters” and focus more on housing instability. Trayon White, a council member for Ward 8 in the southeast part of the city, has a history of controversial statements. In 2018, he said the “Rothschilds” controlled the climate and the federal government. He later apologized for the remarks and said he didn’t know they were anti-Semitic
Poll times: The polls opened from 7 a.m. ET until at 8 p.m. ET.
Voter eligibility: The deadline to register to vote was May 31 – however same-day registration is available at vote centers during early voting and on Election Day.
Any registered voter can vote by mail or vote early in-person. All DC voters who are registered with a party received mail-in ballots. The ballots began to be mailed on May 26, and mail ballot drop boxes opened on May 27. The early voting in-person period ran from June 10 to June 19 and drop boxes will close at 8 p.m. ET on June 21. Mail ballots can be received until June 28 if they are postmarked by Election Day.
DC voters must be registered members of a party to vote in that party’s primary.
How votes are counted: Washington, DC, election officials can process mail ballots before Election Day, and the first vote reports once polls close will be mainly comprised of mail-in ballots and votes from early in-person voting.
On an overcast morning in Stafford, Virginia, CNN spoke with a number of GOP voters at the Courthouse Community Center, located in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District – a district currently represented by Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, but one where the GOP aims to build on its gains in the November race for the Democratic-held US House seat.
Top of mind for these Republican voters Tuesday was inflation, immigration and education.
Jennie Austin, a 62-year-old voter who was undecided heading into the polls Tuesday, said she noticed rising grocery prices when mushroom soup became $2 a can. She said road improvement and gas prices were also areas of concern.
Austin, who used to be a Democrat until former President Barrack Obama’s second term and voted for former President Donald Trump in both 2020 and 2016, decried the current “mudslinging” in politics.
Cisco Cividanes, a 77-year-old retired marine who used to work for the state, said that while he used to spend $275 a week on food, he is now spending $290.
“What they do in Washington affects us here in Northern Virginia,” he said.
“Right now it’s not going real well. So many families are struggling,” said Linda Robertson, a 74-year-old retired school bus driver who drove students of all ages for 30 years in Stafford.
She cited rising gas prices as a problem. As a widow, Robertson said, “it’s hard being by yourself.”
She also listed immigration as a top concern and said Trump, who she voted for in 2020 and 2016, “was not a politician,” but rather “a businessman” and, “did a good job.”
“I have gone off the deep end because I’m tired of what is going on,” said Juliet Schweiter, a substitute teacher and the mother of three teenagers. Schweiter, a Stafford County voter, was volunteering with Crystal Vanuch’s campaign for Congress at the polls Tuesday and is listed as someone who has endorsed Vanuch on Vanuch’s campaign website.
Vanuch is the current Stafford County Board chair and a Republican candidate for the US House seat.
“I have made it my personal job to be in politics,” Schweiter said, adding that she talks to her community and friends about politics and the importance of voting. Schweiter rallied for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin last November and told her neighbors about him, she said.
She cited the border, critical race theory (CRT), second amendment rights and inflation as key areas of concern and said the current administration is “throwing its hands up, saying ‘I don’t know what to do.'”
“I’ve always voted on the issues,” Schweiter said. “The Democratic party has gone off the deep end.”
Edward O’Brien, a 59-year-old Republican voter, said he was “disgusted with the whole slate of issues,” and listed “the border,” “limits imposed on the production of fossil fuel,” and “forced production of electric vehicles” as the most pressing of his concerns.
“People don’t want a rapid transition to electric vehicles,” he said.
Likewise, Michelle West, a 59-year-old Republican voter who voted for Trump in 2020 and 2016, said education, the border and inflation are also the top three issues that matter to her most. She said she wants to see “more parental involvement” in schools and believes that “CRT needs to go.”
Anthony Johnson, a Democratic voter CNN spoke with in Stafford on Tuesday, said “voters rights,” “gender equality” and “human rights” are of the utmost importance.
“It is a right and privilege and honor to vote,” the 56-year-old Democrat said.