Kansas voters will get to weigh in Tuesday on a right-wing food fight as part of a Congressional House race, while in neighboring Missouri the son of former Attorney General John Ashcroft seeks to follow in his father's footsteps.
In all, four states are holding primary elections Tuesday, with Kansas, Missouri, Michigan and Washington voters taking to the polls.
One Kansas race drawing national attention is a contest for the state's 4th District congressional seat between incumbent Republican Mike Pompeo and challenger Todd Tiahrt.
Pompeo, backed by powerful food and agriculture companies, recently introduced a federal law that would nullify state efforts to require labeling on foods made from genetically modified crops.
Laws mandating such labeling are being pursued in several states, and Tiahrt has found support in colliding with Pompeo over the issue.
"Tiahrt appears to be running a 'scorched earth' policy of attacking many traditional Republican donors and supporters in an effort to paint himself as a populist," said Michael Smith, associate professor of political science at Emporia State University.
Also in Kansas, Republican Senator Pat Roberts finds his 47-year career in Congress in jeopardy as polls show challenger and Tea Party champion Milton Wolf, a physician who says he wants to repeal "Obamacare" and "save the Republic," is closing in. Roberts has countered that Wolf is not to be trusted as he faces a state ethics inquiry.
Across the state line, voters in Missouri will have a say on whether John "Jay" Ashcroft, whose father John Ashcroft was Attorney General and a U.S. senator, moves forward to the November general election. Ashcroft is facing attorney Jack Spooner in the state's 24th senate district Republican primary.
In Michigan, the Republican primary features incumbent U.S. Representative Justin Amash and challenger Brian Ellis. Amash is a Tea Party favorite and member of a rebel group of House conservatives known for their resistance to compromise, while Ellis is the head of an investment firm who bills himself as "West Michigan Nice" for his collaborative style.
In Washington state, retired Microsoft engineer Pedro Celis is taking on businessman and perennial candidate "Mike The Mover," formerly known as Michael Shanks, to represent the 1st Congressional District. Celis, former chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, is expected to easily win the primary to face off in November against the incumbent Democrat, U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene.
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