Primary, runoff races up for grabs in Texas, 3 other states

By Susan McFarland
Competitive races blanket the south Tuesday with primary elections in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas. File Photo by Roibu/Shutterstock/UPI
Competitive races blanket the south Tuesday with primary elections in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas. File Photo by Roibu/Shutterstock/UPI

May 22 (UPI) -- Competitive races blanket the south Tuesday with primary elections in four states.

Voters are heading to the polls in Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky while Texas takes care of unfinished business from the March primary with a number of runoff elections.



Democrats will try to flip a seat in Arkansas's 2nd District near Little Rock, a seat held by Republican Rep. French Hill. Democrats vying for the spot are attorney Clarke Tucker, Air Force veteran Gwen Combs, schoolteacher Paul Spencer and Jonathan Dunkley.

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The GOP will also eye results from the gubernatorial election as incumbent Gov. Asa Hutchinson faces challenger Jan Morgan, a former television journalist known for setting up a "Muslim Free Zone" in her gun range.

President Donald Trump endorsed Hutchinson Monday via Twitter, saying the "great Governor of Arkansas ... has done an incredible job with a focus on lower taxes, border security, and crime prevention. Asa loves our military and our veterans."


Georgia's open governor seat will be won by former legislators Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans, both Democrats.


On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is frontrunner in a crowded field with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp also a likely contender.

In Georgia's 6th District, four Democrats are competing to take on Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November -- including former news anchor Bobby Kaple and gun-control activist Lucy McBath, whose son was fatally shot.

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In the 7th District, six Democrats are competing for a chance against Republican Rep. Rob Woodall. They include first-time candidate David Kim, who has so far raised more money than Woodall.


Kentucky's 6th District typically leans GOP, but registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans there. Republican Rep. Andy Barr, who has held the seat since 2012, will take on Democratic Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot who grew up in Kentucky, or state Sen. Reggie Thomas.

Gray lost the seat to GOP Sen. Rand Paul in 2016, something the candidate is using as a strength for this race, touting experience. Gray has argued McGrath should have lived in the district longer before running for Congress.


Round two for Texas includes more than 30 runoff races where no candidate won the majority during the state's March primary.


In the state's 7th District, Democrats are trying to unseat Republican Rep. John Culberson. The district received national attention because of the party's opposition to Laura Moser, a progressive activist and former journalist. Moser will face off against Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, a Houston attorney.

Other runoffs include the 21st District, an open seat near Austin and the 23rd District in southwestern Texas.

In the Democratic gubernatorial runoff, the winner of will face a tough battle against incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November. Contenders there include former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Andrew White -- the son of former Democratic Texas Gov. Mark White, who held the office between 1983 and 1987. After Ann Richards, he is Texas' last Democratic governor.

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