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Georgia governor, Senate races highlight primaries in 5 states

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Georgia governor, Senate races highlight primaries in 5 states
Ivanka Trump listens along with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) during a panel discussion in Atlanta on September 21, 2020. Kemp is running for re-election without the support former president Donald Trump. File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- High-profile primaries and runoffs dot the election map on Tuesday where candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence go head-to-head in Georgia.

In the Peach State, incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who won the endorsement of Pence, is fending off a challenge from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is backed by Trump. For the ex-president, the race amounts to political payback for Kemp not backing his claims of voter fraud in Georgia.

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Purdue, who lost his Senate seat in 2000 to Democrat Jon Ossoff, has trailed in the polls. A Real Clear Politics polling average released Sunday showed Kemp with a comfortable 22 percentage point lead (56% to 34%) going into Tuesday's election.

The winner will take on Democrat Stacy Abrams, who is running unopposed. If Kemp wins, it would be a rematch of a contentious 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race where Kemp edged out Abrams.

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In the Georgia U.S. Senate race, former NFL star Herschel Walker, who is backed by Trump, is expected to handily win, setting up a showdown with current Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

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Two contested primary runoffs -- one Republican and one Democrat -- will be closely watched in Texas. Controversial Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will be trying to keep his seat against George P. Bush, the state's current land commissioner.

Bush is a member of the Bush political dynasty as the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush.

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On the Democratic side, moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar will be fighting to keep his South Texas seat against progressive attorney Jessica Cisneros. The campaign is a rematch from 2020, where Cisneros showed gains during the earlier primary. The seat is also a target for Republicans to flip in the general election.

In Alabama, Republican Rep. Mo Brooks is trying to win his party's nomination for Richard Shelby's Senate seat, but he is locked in a tight race with Army veteran and business executive Mike Durant.

In Arkansas, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take the first step in following in her father's footsteps in the Republican primary governor's race there. She is expected to beat the field, leading her to the November general election.

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Her father Mike Huckabee served as Arkansas governor from 1996 to 2007 and ran for president.

Minnesota will hold the Democratic and Republican special election primaries to fill the seat of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died earlier this year from cancer.

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