The Latest: Primary race for Engel’s seat too early to call
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a handful of primary elections across the United States (all times local):
The Democratic primary in New York’s 16th Congressional District is too early to call.
As of 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday, challenger Jamaal Bowman had roughly 61% of the counted vote. Incumbent Eliot Engel was in second with about 36% of the counted vote.
New York counties didn’t release any mail ballots Tuesday, which could account for more than half the vote. Counties have until July 1 to start releasing the results of mail ballots.
The congressional race is among dozens of races in the state in which The Associated Press did not declare winners on Tuesday. They include all primary elections for state legislature, 16 congressional primaries and the Democratic primary for Queens Borough president.
Republican state Sen. Chris Jacobs has swept an Election Day doubleheader in western New York to win a House seat formerly held by a congressman who resigned last fall.
Jacobs on Tuesday won a special election to serve out the term of disgraced U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, who quit just before pleading guilty to insider trading.
Jacobs also won a three-way primary to be the Republican candidate in November’s general election.
In the special election, Jacobs beat Democrat Nate McMurray, a former town supervisor.
The two will face off again in November after Jacobs also finished ahead of former town justice Beth Parlato and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw in the Republican primary.
Collins’ seat has been vacant for more than eight months. The primary and special election were originally supposed to be on separate dates, but were consolidated because of the coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has defeated her challengers in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District, in her first defense of the seat she claimed in a shocking victory two years ago.
Her chief challenger in Tuesday’s primary was Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor who was a registered Republican until a few years ago. The 30-year-old Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most well-known voices of the American political left since her 2018 victory.
Her district in Queens and the Bronx was among the places hit hardest by the coronavirus, which made traditional campaigning impossible over the past three months.
The Democratic Senate primary in Kentucky is too early to call.
As of 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Amy McGrath had roughly 45% of the counted vote. Charles Booker was in second with about 36% of the counted vote.
The Senate race is among the dozens of races in the state in which The Associated Press did not declare winners on Tuesday. They include all primary elections for state legislature, the Democratic primary elections for U.S. House in the state’s 4th and 6th Congressional Districts, and the Republican primary in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
The coronavirus pandemic led to a huge increase in voters casting ballots by mail, and counties were unable to process and count those ballots on the night of the election. Many counties, including Jefferson, the state’s largest, didn’t report any results on Tuesday.
The state does not expect to release additional results until Tuesday, June 30, a week after the election. The AP does not expect to declare any additional winners until then.
Joe Biden has won the Democratic presidential primary in New York.
Tuesday’s results came as no surprise since Biden had accumulated the requisite number of delegates to clinch the presidential primaries for their parties.
New York is a reliably Democratic-voting state. The general election is in November.
The state is also holding congressional primaries on Tuesday. One of the highest-profile races is between Eliot Engel and Jamaal Bowman. Engel is seeking his 17th-House term. Bowman is backed by progressive icon Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
A 24-year-old real estate investment CEO has won the Republican primary runoff for Mark Meadows’ North Carolina congressional seat over President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate.
Madison Cawthorn defeated Lynda Bennett on Tuesday in the 11th Congressional District. Bennett had received the president’s backing and the endorsement of Meadows, Trump chief of staff.
Cawthorn finished second to Bennett in a 12-candidate primary in March, but the runoff was needed because Bennett failed to get more than 30% of the vote need to win outright.
Cawthorn, who would reach the constitutionally-mandated age of 25 to serve in the House in August, was paralyzed from the abdomen down after a 2014 car accident. He’ll face Democrat Moe Davis in November.
The district is still considered Republican-leaning despite recent boundary changes following litigation.
Cawthorn has described himself as a strong Trump supporter but says he wouldn’t be beholden to anyone in Washington.
A group locked outside a voting site in Louisville, Kentucky, were seen on video banging on doors at the entrance of the city’s only polling location.
A judge ruled Tuesday that the site could remain open 30 minutes past the 6 p.m. poll close time after two U.S. Senate candidates petitioned the court.
Jefferson County Clerk spokesperson Nore Ghibaudy says about 175 more voters were let in after the court reopened the polling location.
Ghibaudy says poll workers urged all voters in the building’s lobby to get in a line before 6 p.m. He said the voters who were locked out were not in the building’s lobby just after 6 p.m. when the doors were shut and locked.
Virginia Republicans have picked Daniel Gade to be their nominee and face off against incumbent Mark Warner for a Senate seat later this year.
Gade won a low-key primary Tuesday against two other opponents. Gade raised by far the most money and has the highest profile of the three.
Virginia was once a hotly contested swing state where Senate elections were decided by small margins. But the state has swung solidly blue in the Trump era as voters in the state’s growing suburbs reject the president’s agenda. Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in more than a decade.
Gade is a retired Army officer who was seriously injured in Iraq in 2005, losing a leg after his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.
Gade advised President George W. Bush on military and disability issues and was President Donald Trump’s appointee to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but withdrew his nomination after a lengthy delay in the Senate over his confirmation.
Gade previously taught at West Point and now teaches at American University.
Joe Biden has won the Democratic presidential primary in Kentucky.
Tuesday’s results came as no surprise since the former vice president has accumulated the requisite number of delegates to clinch the presidential primary.
The Democratic presidential convention is set for late August.
President Donald Trump was earlier declared the winner of Kentucky’s Republican presidential primary, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won the Republican Senate primary in the state.
Kentucky’s Democratic Senate primary is one of the most interesting races on Tuesday. Amy McGrath and Charles Booker are competing to take on McConnell in November. The race was too early to call at poll close.
President Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential primary in Kentucky, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has won the Republican Senate primary in the state.
Tuesday’s results came as no surprise since Trump has consolidated support around his reelection bid. McConnell is the nation’s most powerful senator.
Trump has already accumulated the requisite number of delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
The Democratic Senate primary is one of the most interesting races on Tuesday. Amy McGrath and Charles Booker are competing to take on McConnell in November. The race was too early to call at poll close.
Advocacy groups are calling for extended voting time in Kentucky, citing long lines in one of the state’s largest cities.
The ACLU of Kentucky, the state’s NAACP chapter and other groups sent a letter to the state’s board of elections on Tuesday requesting a one-hour extension in counties that have had long lines. Polls in the state’s Eastern time zone close at 6 p.m.
Lexington’s lone polling sites had long lines at some points, but voting in Louisville’s only polling site had not seen similar delays.
“These long wait times have the potential to discourage voters from exercising their right to vote,” said the letter addressed to state board of elections executive director Jared Dearing and general counsel Taylor Brown.
Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Michael Adams, said despite some delays, Kentucky has been “a national success story.” He says, “Turnout is through the roof.”
A Kentucky woman was allowed to vote after convincing the board of elections that her dogs ate her and her husband’s absentee ballots.
Christine Stanley, a 34-year-old Lexington health care attorney, voted in the Democratic primary at Kroger Field but only after getting out of line and going before the board of elections.
After showing the board evidence, including “lots of bite marks, drool and dirt,” she and her husband were allowed to vote, and Stanley said she voted for herself for the Urban County Council seat she is seeking, for Charles Booker in the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and for Democrat Josh Hicks to run against Republican Rep. Andy Barr.
“I haven’t seen Amy say anything that was really inspiring,” Stanley said by telephone after voting Tuesday. “Charles Booker, when he speaks, he talks about all these issues that are happening in Kentucky.”
Stanley, who is Black, said race didn’t really play a part in her choice of Booker.
“Charles Booker has legislative experience, and I think that he has seen firsthand what Kentucky needs,” she said. She believes McGrath should start at the state legislative level and try again in a few years.
A voter in New York says she applied for an absentee ballot in roughly April, but it never arrived.
Thirty-two-year-old illustrator Dena Cooper says she went to her polling place in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood on Tuesday to vote in person since she never received her absentee ballot. When she explained the situation to a poll worker, she was told to go home and wait for the absentee ballot to arrive.
But in fact, New York voters who have applied for but not cast absentee ballots can legally vote in person. After getting advice from Common Cause’s voter-information hotline, Cooper planned to try again to vote Tuesday evening.
Cooper was keen to vote for Bernie Sanders for president, even though Joe Biden has enough delegate support to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
She says she wants to give Sanders “as much power as he can possibly have” in negotiating the party’s priorities.
Scores of voters are standing in the cavernous entrances of a football stadium on the University of Kentucky’s campus in Lexington in lines that snake back-and-forth between metal barriers and spill outside onto the sidewalk.
Sixty-four-year-old Sharon Holland and her 38-year-old daughter, Sandy Perry, waited about an hour, including a few minutes with their umbrellas in the rain, to vote for President Donald Trump, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.
Holland didn’t like that Lexington had merged all its polling places into one large site, citing older voters and disabled voters as being particularly inconvenienced. But despite the long wait, she said she never considered leaving without voting.
“I needed to be here to cast my vote ’cause if you don’t come and cast your vote then you really don’t have the right to complain about anything,” she said.
Both mother and daughter described Trump as having done an “excellent” job. Holland says, “People may not like the things he says or the way he says them.” But she says, “He does do what he says he’s going to do. I just look at policy.”
A voting rights advocate says there’s a lot of work to do before the November election.
Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Tuesday that “it’s clear that there are many voters who are seeking to vote absentee, and there are many reports of people who didn’t receive their ballots and had to go to polling places.”
New York, Kentucky and Virginia are holding congressional primaries Tuesday, and there was one Republican House runoff each in North Carolina and Mississippi.
Clarke said she was also concerned about President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on mail voting.
“What is plainly clear is that voters want as many options available to them,” Clarke said. “There are many people seeking to vote by absentee ballot, and there are many people seeking to vote in person.”
One voter in Lexington, Kentucky, says Tuesday’s primary election was the longest he’s ever spent in line to cast a ballot.
Fifty-five-year-old Bob Woods arrived at Kroger Field at the University of Kentucky around 10 a.m. and spent nearly an hour and fifteen minutes in a line winding through the entryway of the stadium before approaching the room where voters were being checked in.
“I knew that a lot of people had voted by mail previous to this, so I was a little surprised to still see that there were still that many people in line when I got there,” Woods said, adding: “This is definitely the longest that I’ve ever waited.”
Woods, who works in consulting, said the line hit a bottleneck at the check-in stations, where only about four workers for each of two lines were present to check voters in before allowing them into the booths, many of which remained open because of the holdup.
The check-in station also posed challenges for social distancing.
“People really got bunched up there,” Woods said, though he estimated that about 75-80% of people were masked.
Voting appears to be running smoother than in primaries held two weeks earlier in Georgia and Nevada.
While there were reports of some voters in New York and Kentucky having to cast ballots in person Tuesday after not receiving an absentee ballot, it did not appear to be causing the long lines that were seen in places like Milwaukee and Atlanta.
The longest wait times were reported at the lone voting site in Lexington, Kentucky. Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins says he added two more check-in stations after turnout remained steady into the late morning, with voters reporting a wait time of about an hour and a half.
“Usually we get a pretty big rush in the morning,” Blevins said. “That we expected, but usually it dies down around late morning. That didn’t happen.”
Wait times were minimal in Jefferson County, though voting advocates said they were concerned that the lone polling place for the entire Louisville area was too difficult for some voters to get to.
In New York City, much of the complaints fielded by voter protection groups centered on polling places that opened late and voters reporting they had not received both pages of their ballot.
In Louisville, voters encountered only mild traffic on their way into the Kentucky fairgrounds.
Inside the polling site, some chairs for volunteers were left empty, as crowds moved through to cast their ballots in small groups spaced apart.
“They should have more (elections) like this. You can get in and get out quick, said 70-year-old Mary Moorman, an African-American woman who said that she did not have to wait in lines like she normally would.
Michael Baker was dissatisfied with the polling location because it was far away from where he lived in the West End. He noted that most people in his neighborhood don’t have cars.
Baker voted for state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
“I heard people say to me that would take away a lot of votes from Amy (McGrath),” Baker said. “But being an African American brother, I want to use my vote for another brother to try and get into office, to hope that we can get some change.”