Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | Joe Biden | Voting Rights | primary | election | kentucky

Trump, Biden, McConnell Roll in Primaries; AOC Leads in NY

senate majority leader mitch mcconnell speaks during a senate republicans briefing
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Bill Clark/AP)

Tuesday, 23 June 2020 08:54 PM

As the favorites rolled in Kentucky – including President Donald Trump, presumptive Democratic presidential primary nominee Joe Biden, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. – final New York state primary results might not come until July.

New York state sought to determine the fate of progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other U.S. House members, testing the strength of the Democratic Party's left wing behind the moderate top of the 2020 ticket in Biden. Biden was already been declared the winner in the New York primary Tuesday night.

Ocasio-Cortez, the 30-year-old progressive firebrand better known as AOC, faces a challenge in her New York City district from former CNBC television anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, 53, backed by the conservative-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce. AOC held an early leader in a race still too close to call.

Tuesday's nominating contests in New York, Kentucky and four other states also feature progressives challenging older, establishment Democrats at a time of a national reckoning with racial injustice following the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, while in Minneapolis police custody.

New York officials said results Tuesday night after polls close would not include returns from absentee ballots, which were requested in record numbers during the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots were also outstanding in Kentucky, but the winners are already determined statistically secured.

In a congressional district neighboring Ocasio-Cortez's, Jamaal Bowman, 44, a middle-school principal, is mounting a strong challenge to Representative Eliot Engel, a 31-year House veteran who chairs the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as well as Ocasio-Cortez have endorsed Bowman, while Democratic Party stalwarts, such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the party's 2016 presidential nominee, have rallied around Engel.

The progressive movement suffered setbacks at the national level earlier this year when former Vice President Biden won the party's race to take on President Trump in November's election, with dominant wins over Warren and Sanders in the state-by-state nominating contests.

The left wing of the Democratic Party is now taking its battle to down-ballot primary races with new energy and purpose, bolstered by growing calls for ending racial injustice and inequality in the aftermath of Floyd's death.

House Democrats – progressives and moderates – are expected to band together later this week when they vote to pass sweeping legislation on police practices. But there appeared to be little support in Congress for calls to "defund" police departments, as some on the left sought.

Kentucky's Democratic Senate primary is one of the most interesting races on Tuesday. Amy McGrath and Charles Booker are competing to take on McConnell in November. The race was too early to call at poll close.

Virginia Republicans have picked Daniel Gade to be their nominee and face off against incumbent Mark Warner for a Senate seat later this year.

Gade won a low-key primary Tuesday against two other opponents. Gade raised by far the most money and has the highest profile of the three.

Virginia was once a hotly contested swing state where Senate elections were decided by small margins. But the state has swung solidly blue in the Trump era as voters in the state’s growing suburbs reject the president’s agenda. Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in more than a decade.

Gade is a retired Army officer who was seriously injured in Iraq in 2005, losing a leg after his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.

Gade advised President George W. Bush on military and disability issues and was President Donald Trump’s appointee to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but withdrew his nomination after a lengthy delay in the Senate over his confirmation.

Gade previously taught at West Point and now teaches at American University.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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As the favorites rolled in Kentucky, including President Donald Trump, presumptive Democratic presidential primary nominee Joe Biden, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., New York state primary results might not come until July.
primary, election, kentucky, new york, mitch mcconnell, alexandria ocasio-cortez
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 08:54 PM
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