Tuesday was another big primary day for the country, and now that the dust has settled, some high publicity races are finally clear heading into the 2014 general. Others, oddly enough, are just as murky as they were before votes were cast.
Mississippi still has no idea who their GOP Senate nominee will be, as current incumbent Thad Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel head into a run off vote after tying in the primary. A second vote will be held on June 24, and Sen. Cochran is urging those across the state to vote, regardless of their party, noting that every vote counts.
Every vote literally does count, it seems, and that may have gotten McDaniel’s campaign team into a bit of trouble on election night when somehow a group of them were allowed into the courthouse in the very early morning, and then got locked inside. The staff won’t say what they were doing in there or why they wanted access, but the fact that the courthouse was home of the ballots for the night has led to an investigation of the mysterious escapade.
The folks from the McDaniel team weren’t the only ones talking to the police on election night. In South Dakota, Republican Annette Bosworth not only lost the endorsement for Senate, but ended up arrested for perjury and filing false election documents, having claimed that she was collecting signatures to get onto the ballot when in actuality she was on a mission trip to the Philippines.
Bosworth claims the charges are “political intimidation” and that she never meant to deceive anyone. Bosworth received very little of the vote, and instead the nomination went to former Governor Mike Rounds, who will be facing off against Democrat Rick Weiland for an open seat due to the retirement of Democrat Tim Johnson.
In California, a number of races are settled, including a highly publicized battle for a state Senate seat that reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke ran for. Fluke ended up in second place in what is referred to as a “jungle primary” (meaning the top two finishers face off in a general, regardless of party affiliation), which conservatives are lauding as a loss because obviously, if she were so great, why didn’t she get first?
Fluke wasn’t the only big name on a ballot in California, either. Orly Taitz, known as “Queen of the Birthers” thanks to her endless campaign against President Barack Obama and her utter conviction that his birth certificate is a fake, ran for state Attorney General, and she came in second to last place. Sadly enough, that means that 90,000 Californians still voted for her, about 3 percent of the vote.
There weren’t a lot of women candidates up in the Senate races this primary day, but one did come out a nominee — Iowa Republican Joni Ernst. Ernst made the national radar for her campaign ad about castrating pigs on the farm, which apparently is a strength we now look for in our politicians. Ernst has the backing of the Susan B. Anthony List, the Republican anti-abortion PAC that also will support pro-life women candidates when one is running, and will be vying against Democrat Bruce Braley for Democratic Senator Tom Harkin’s seat.
Although some states still have time before their late summer primaries, which mostly fall in August, Senate races are definitely shaping up into their final form. The question as we head into summer will inevitably be will we see another GOP sweep like 2010, or will Republicans step on their own feet and lose their chance to flip the chamber, just like they did in 2012?
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