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Primary voters in 5 states set the stage for fall gubernatorial races

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May 20, 2014: Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf gestures as he speaks to supporters during a primary election night watch party in York, Pa. (ap)

Democratic voters hoping to unseat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania chose millionaire businessman Tom Wolf to challenge him in November, in one of five states that held gubernatorial primaries Tuesday.

Wolf beat U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty for the nomination.

Corbett and his lieutenant governor, Jim Cawley, were unopposed in the GOP primary.

Wolf's victory capped a months-long TV courtship of voters as he poured $10 million of his own money into his campaign, making him a household name and leaving his competitors struggling to chip away at his early advantage.

Corbett, elected in 2010 largely on his reputation as the state's corruption-fighting attorney general, has been saddled with low job-approval ratings.

Meanwhile in Georgia, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal easily beat two challengers to win the Republican nomination, allowing him to run for re-election against former President Jimmy Carter's grandson.

Unofficial tallies showed Deal with a huge majority over former Dalton Mayor David Pennington and State Schools Superintendent John Barge.

Democrats are hoping state Sen. Jason Carter, grandson of the 39th president, can mount a serious challenge to Deal in a state where a Republican now holds every statewide office. Carter did not face a serious challenger in the Democratic primary.

In Arkansas, voters selected former congressmen to vie to replace the term-limited Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson were Tuesday's primary winners.

In Oregon, Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and Dennis Richardson easily won their respective primaries Tuesday, setting up a fall gubernatorial race in which Cover Oregon figures to be a key issue. The failed rollout of the state's health insurance exchange gives Richardson an opportunity in a state that hasn't elected a Republican governor since Vic Atiyeh in 1982. Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed state records for a grand jury investigation of the health insurance website. The state paid its independent contractor, Oracle Corp., $134 million in federal money to build what turned out to be a glitch-filled site.

In Idaho, two-term Republican Gov. Butch Otter  held off a close challenge from state Senate Majority Caucus Chairman and tea party favorite Russ Fulcher in the Republican primary. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, Otter led Fulcher 52 percent to 43 percent. The other two GOP candidates, Harley Brown and Walter Bayes combined to received the remaining 5 percent of the vote. 

Otter will face millionaire businessman and Boise School Board Chairman A.J. Balukoff, who easily beat Terry Kerr to win the Democratic nomination.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.