Primary Day (May 22): Elections Set For Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia – What To Watch For
Four states are set to hold primary elections and runoffs on Tuesday — Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas — and here is what voters should look out for before heading to the polls.
Primary Day May 22: Who’s Running, When Polls Close
Primaries will take place in the first three states, while Texas will hold runoffs for races in which no candidate earned a majority of votes in the primary in March.
In Kentucky and Georgia, polls close statewide at 7 p.m. EST and in Arkansas they are open until 8:30 p.m. EST. In Texas, polls close at 9 p.m/ EST. Some results in Texas and Kentucky may come around one hour early, as certain districts in those states are located in the Eastern Time zone.
In Arkansas, the Second Congressional District is up for grabs. Democrats are hoping to unseat current Republican Rep. French Hill. However, one of the four Democratic candidates must win more than 50 percent of the vote in order to avoid a runoff there on June 19. State Rep. Clarke Tucker is the Democrat considered to pose the strongest threat to Hill in the primaries and possibly in November’s midterms. President Donald Trump won this Arkansas district — which has generally leaned Republican – by 11 points in 2016.
In Kentucky’s sixth district, the Democratic primary is on to challenge GOP Congressman Andy Barr. Competing in this race are former U.S. Marine Amy McGrath and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.
McGrath has reportedly been painting Gray as the establishment candidate throughout her campaign. Gray, who is openly gay, won the district during his losing 2016 Senate run against sitting Republican Rand Paul.
In Georgia’s 6th, Republican Congresswoman Karen Handel — who narrowly beat Democrat Jon Ossoff last year — is running for a full term in the GOP-leaning district.
Three Democrats are looking to challenge Handel in the midterms. First, there’s former local television news anchor Bobby Kaple, who according to Roll Call has garnered support from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer as well as the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, and from veteran Georgia politicians like former Gov. Roy Barnes.
Then, there’s immigrant businessman Kevin Abel, who has challenged Trump on immigration.
Finally, activist Lucy McBath — the only African-American and woman in this Democratic race — is also competing but has struggled with fundraising. However, she has received backing from the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. McBath has a personal connection to gun violence, as her son was shot in killed in Florida in 2012. She has also earned support from EMILY’s List, a Washington, D.C.-based PAC whose objective is to help elect pro-choice Democratic women.
Also in Georgia, two Staceys are facing off in the Democratic gubernatorial primary to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.
There’s 44-year-old Stacey Abrams, who could become the state’s first black female governor, who has received support from several major individuals and organizations, from EMILY’s List and other pro-women groups, to African-American groups, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Abrams previously served as the Minority Leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives. Challenging her will be Stacey Evans, another former Democratic Congresswoman from the state.
In Texas, five open seats are hosting Republican runoffs on Tuesday.
In the sixth, Ron Wright — a former staffer to retiring Congressman Joe Barton — is facing Navy veteran Jake Ellzey.
In the 21st, Chip Roy — a former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz — will take on businessman Mike McCall.
In the 27th, Michael Cloud — a former Victoria County GOP chairman — is up against Bech Bruun, a former chairman of the state Water Development Board.
The fifth open-seat runoff will be in the second district, where state Rep. Kevin Roberts will face Navy veteran Dan Crenshaw.
Democratic primaries in Texas include one in the Houston-area seventh district, where activist Laura Moser will take on lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.
Former NFL player and Barack Obama administration official Colin Allred is also running in the 32nd district against another Democrat, Lillian Salerno.