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N.Y., Illinois, other states hold primaries for key races in November

N.Y., Illinois, other states hold primaries for key races in November
Several states will hold primary elections on Tuesday, including Illinois and New York. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

June 28 (UPI) -- A risky Democratic strategy where progressive backers have supported the most extreme Republican candidates in the GOP delivered mixed results in two states on Tuesday.

Primaries were held in Illinois, New York and Colorado.

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Democrats and supporters, believing that far-right candidates would be easier to beat in a difficult midterm year, have spent millions in the Illinois governor's primary backing Donald Trump-supported candidate Darren Bailey over moderate Richard Irvin, mayor of the Chicago suburb of Aurora.

Irvin, though, had the backing of wealthy conservative Ken Griffin, who has tried to combat Democrats' efforts by spending $50 million of his own money in Irvin's behalf.

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Bailey was projected to win the race with 56.2% of the vote, while Irvin was in third behind Jesse Sullivan, with about 51% of the votes counted, according to The Washington Post.

The winner of the GOP primary on Tuesday will take on incumbent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has publicly feuded with Griffin in the past. Pritzker has been on the attack against Irvin in a way that would discourage GOP voters, saying that he is soft on crime and not conservative enough.

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In Colorado, Democrats spent nearly $2 million on Republican Greg Lopez in hopes he'll beat Heidi Ganahl, who's a University of Colorado Board of Regents member who could threaten incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis in November.

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However, Ganahl was projected to win the race, with 53.2% of the vote compared to 46.8% for Lopez with 91% of votes counted.

Democratic groups have also been active in three Colorado primaries trying to bolster the re-election prospects of Polis and Sen. Michael Bennet and the party's chances of winning a newly drawn House seat.

Democrats have poured money into supporting Republican Ron Hanks in the Senate race. Hanks attended Trump's Jan. 6, 2021, rally in Washington, D.C., and has said that he believes Trump lost in 2020 due to voter fraud.

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Hanks was also projected to lose to Joe O'Dea, who had claimed 55.5% of the vote compared to Hanks at 44.5% with 91% of the votes counted.

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was elevated to the post last August when Andrew Cuomo resigned, was projected to win the race for the Democratic nomination with 67% of the vote, besting two Democratic opponents -- Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

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Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, was projected to win the Republican primary with 42.4% of the vote as 48% of the votes were counted, coming out ahead of Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York Mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, Rob Astorino and Harry Wilson.

Five other GOP primary races to watch include Republicans who supported the bipartisan Jan. 6 commission last year -- Rodney Davis in Illinois, John Curtis and Blake Moore in Utah, Stephanie Bice in Oklahoma and Michael Guest in Mississippi.

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