Showdown in Georgia: What to know about the June 9 primaries

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Voters in five states are heading to the polls Tuesday as the end of the primary season draws near and the summer party conventions loom large as the next major events in the election cycle.

Voters in Georgia and West Virginia will vote in the Democratic presidential primary despite the fact that former Vice President Joe Biden garnered enough delegates in last week's elections to pass the 1,991-delegate threshold to clinch the nomination.

Biden now has 2,011 delegates. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who exited the race in early April, is the only other Democratic presidential candidate who got more than 100 delegates -- he has 1,047 to date.

But Georgia and West Virginia voters, like their counterparts in Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina, are also voting in state primary races Tuesday.

Here's what you need to know about Tuesday's primary races.


Georgia's top state offices are not up for reelection this year, but there's plenty to watch in the state's races for federal office.

Both of Georgia's U.S. Senate seats are considered "lean Republican," according to The Cook Political Report, and the publication also rates two of the state's U.S. House races as toss-ups.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for his Senate seat while several Democrats fight it out in a primary for the right to take him on come November. Jon Ossoff, who gained national celebrity as he lost the most expensive U.S. House race in history during a 2017 special election, is the frontrunner in that primary.


But the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC), which has been willing to play in primaries in 2020, did not endorse Ossoff, and some of his challengers appeared early in the race to be capable of putting up a strong challenge. Candidates besides Ossoff to watch in the primary to watch include Sarah Riggs Amico and Teresa Tomlinson.

There's no vote for the seat currently held by Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., as that race will feature a unique special election in November with all candidates from both parties facing off. If no candidate gets a majority, the race will go to a January run-off between the top two candidates that could potentially decide the majority in the Senate. That race is made even more competitive by the fact Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., is running an aggressive campaign for the seat, likely splitting GOP votes with Loeffler in November.

Meanwhile, Republicans are looking to claw back Georgia's 6th Congressional District after losing the suburban seat north of Atlanta in 2018. Former Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., is backed by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) as she seeks a rematch against incumbent Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., who won the district two years ago on a gun control platform.

And the state's 7th Congressional District is open with incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., set to retire at the end of his term.


Woodall won a nail-biter in 2018 against Georgia State professor Carolyn Bourdeaux, who is running again. But she faces former state legislators Zahra Karinshak and Brenda Lopez Romero, along with a handful of other candidates. On the Republican side, state Sen. Renee Unterman will face candidates including emergency room physician Rich McCormick, businesswoman Lynne Homrich and more.

West Virginia

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is up for reelection this year and her seat appears safe in the pro-Trump state. But she will have to fend off primary challengers Larry Butcher and Allen Whitt to make her renomination for the seat official.

The Democrats vying for her seat are state legislator Richard Ojeda, lawyer Richie Robb and Paula Jean Swearengin, who has previously associated with the far-left Justice Democrats.

The red state will also hold primaries for its attorney general's office and governor's office, both of which are held by Republicans running for reelection

There are no competitive 2020 House races in West Virginia, according to The Cook Political Report.


Nevada does not have any major statewide races on the ballot in 2020 or a U.S. Senate election. But there are two relatively competitive House seats up for grabs.


Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., is running to hold on to his seat, and will likely be able to beat the handful of Democratic primary challengers. Several Republicans are running for the seat, including Lisa Song Sutton, who according to her campaign website has been endorsed by Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and former Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian. Sam Peters, another candidate for the seat, lists former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and Ted Nugent among his backers.

Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., who represents a district that voted for Trump in 2016, faces a tougher reelection challenge than Horsford. She will likely beat out her two Democratic primary challengers, but will face a tough battle with whatever Republican makes it out of Tuesday's primary.

Republican Dan Rodmier, according to his campaign site, is backed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to unseat Lee. Rodmier is a former WWE wrestler. Also notable in the race is former Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz, an Army veteran.

Among the notable individuals to endorse Schwartz are Tarkanian and several former state officials.

North Dakota

North Dakota voters will select their candidates for governor and lieutenant governor on Tuesday. Republicans will choose between incumbents Doug Burgum and Brent Sanford on one ticket and Michael Coachman and Joel Hylden on another.


Democrats only have one choice on their ballot -- the labor-backed ticket of veterinarian Shelly Lenz and farmer Ben Vig.

There are no competitive House races in North Dakota.

South Carolina

Powerful Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is on the ballot in 2020, and The Cook Political Report rates his race as a "likely Republican." Graham is almost certain to breeze past his primary opponents. Jamie Harrison will be the Democratic nominee after the party cleared a path for him to cruise through the primary without a challenge.

Harrison, according to his campaign website, was the first black person to chair the South Carolina Democratic Party.

South Carolina voters will also vote in the primaries for a competitive House race. The Cook Political Report rates Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., as being in a toss-up race for reelection. The freshman Cunningham was part of the Democratic wave election in 2018 that gave the party its current House majority.

He doesn't face a primary challenger, but Republicans will have four candidates to choose from.


Businesswoman Kathy Landing is backed by a gaggle of conservative groups and leaders, including former South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint, R-S.C., and the House Freedom Caucus' political arm, according to her website.

State legislator Nancy Mace is considered the frontrunner. She is backed by McCarthy, indicating she is the favorite of the GOP establishment, and conservative Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, showing she can appeal to the more ideological wing of the party as well.

Landing and Mace are also competing against chainsaw carving artist Chirs Cox and Brad Mole, whose campaign emphasizes the values he learned as a preacher's son.