Submitted by Avelino Maestas on
It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means: primary election day! Voters in West Virginia are headed to the polls for both the Democratic presidential primary AND the congressional primaries and Nebraska voters get to vote in their congressional primaries in addition to the already decided GOP presidential primary. As always, Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project has the low down on the competitive congressional primaries:
In Nebraska, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) is retiring and both parties are fielding candidates to succeed him. The seat is not expected to swing Democratic, but that hasn’t stopped four Democrats from stepping to the plate. The front-runner is Scott Kleeb, who unsuccessfully ran for the state’s 3rd congressional district in 2006. His rival today is former Republican Tony Raimondo, who’s running as a "moderate".
The winner will likely face former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in the November general election. Johanns left his post in the Bush Administration after Hagel announced his retirement, prompting two other Republicans to bow out of the race. That left Pat Flynn, an investment advisor who claims he’s running “against the RNC.”
Republicans have a much better shot at retaining Hagel’s seat than in other senate races where Republicans are retiring, including neighboring Colorado, where Sen. Wayne Allard is stepping down.
The incumbents in Nebraska's three congressional districts – Republicans Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry and Adrian Smith - are expected to cruise to victory in their primary races. While the state's voters generally trend Republican, the most competitive race is in Terry’s 2nd district, where Democrats Richard Carter and Jim Esch are facing off for the nomination.
The West Virginia outlook is almost a mirror reflection of Nebraska: the Senate race features a safe incumbent, Jay Rockefeller (D), while most of the primary action is centered on the 2nd congressional district, where several Democrats are vying for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. The strongest two are Anne Barth, who has the advantage institutional support: she’s a former staffer for Sen. Robert Byrd, an elder in the Democratic Party; and Richard Robb, another Republican-turned-Democrat who made waves in 2004 by threatening to throw his West Virginia Electoral College vote to John Kerry rather than George W. Bush) and Thornton Cooper.
In the first district, Rep. Alan Mollohan has a free ride to another term in the House; he has no opponents in the primary and the GOP won’t field a candidate at all. In the third, the November match-up is basically set: Republican nominee Marty Gearheart is challenging Democrat Rep. Nick Rahall, who is also unopposed in today’s primary.