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What to Watch Elsewhere in Arizona Michigan Primary Elections

In Missouri, scandal-plagued former governor Eric Greitens is attempting a political comeback. In Michigan, a crowded field of Republican gubernatorial candidates includes a man charged with the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. In Arizona, a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement is running for the US House of Representatives.

These are some of the most notable contests in Tuesday’s primary, being held in six states.

Arizona, narrowly won by Democrat Joe Biden in 2020, is a top destination for former President Donald Trump, who tried unsuccessfully to reverse his defeat. He has backed a list of candidates up and down the ballot who have furthered his false claims of a stolen election.

Trump has also been focused on Republicans in the 10th House of Representatives, who voted to impeach him over the January 6 riot. Three of them are on the ballot Tuesday in Washington State and Michigan, as are two members of the squad, Democrats Cori Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Meanwhile, Kansas voters could pave the way for the Republican-controlled Legislature to further limit or ban abortion if they agree to a proposed state constitutional amendment. It is the first referendum by a state on abortion policy since the US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade lifted in June.

Ohio is also holding a state legislative primary on Tuesday, three months after its statewide and congressional contests — a split system that resulted from legal wrangling over redistribution.

Something to see:

ARIZONA

Trump’s backed candidates in Arizona all have one thing in common: They have been loud in spreading misinformation about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, despite election officials and Trump’s own attorney general saying there is no credible evidence that the race is tainted.

In the gubernatorial race, Trump has endorsed former television news anchor Kari Lake, who has said she did not confirm Arizona’s 2020 election results. Lake meets businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, who is joined by former Vice President Mike Pence and the outgoing governor. Doug Ducey.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a staunch supporter of the 2020 election, is heavily favored to win the Democratic nomination for governor.

In the Republican primary for the US Senate, Trump has endorsed tech investor Blake Masters as a candidate who will run against Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly in the fall. Masters, whose campaign was funded by billionaire Peter Thiel, has called for a reduction in legal immigration and championed the baseless “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, claiming that Democrats are trying to “replace Americans who were born here.”

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, another Senate candidate, has been saddled with lackluster fundraising and fierce criticism from Trump, who says Brnovich has done little to advance his allegations of voter fraud. Another frontrunner, Jim Lamon, the founder of a solar energy company, has touted his experience as a military veteran and entrepreneur.

The Republican primary for secretary of state includes Trump-backed lawmaker Mark Finchem, a state official who has worked to reverse Trump’s 2020 defeat; Rep. Shawnna Bolick, who introduced a bill that would allow lawmakers to ignore election results and choose their own presidential electors; and State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who has long pushed for an overhaul of electoral laws. The GOP establishment has rallied in the running for ad executive Beau Lane.

Ron Watkins, who has ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory, is considered an outsider in his house run. Watkins, a Republican, served as the longtime administrator of the online forums that became home to the anonymous “Q.” The conspiracy theory revolves around the baseless belief that Trump has been waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and that a group of satanic, cannibalistic child molesters are secretly ruling the globe.

In the state legislature, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified at a Jan. 6 hearing about Trump’s pressure to overturn the 2020 election, faces a Trump-backed candidate running for the state Senate want.

MICHIGAN

The Republican primary for governor was wild from the start, with five candidates thrown out of the ballot for not submitting enough valid nomination signatures.

Some of the remaining candidates have baggage that could hurt in a general election against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Real estate agent Ryan Kelley has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges after authorities said he rallied Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol. Businessman Kevin Rinke was sued in the 1990s for sexual harassment and racial discrimination — allegations he says are lies. Chiropractor Garrett Soldano was selling nutritional supplements he falsely claimed would treat COVID-19. Trump-backed businesswoman Tudor Dixon has previously starred in low-budget horror films, including a zombie biting off a man’s genitals.

All candidates falsely say there was fraud in the 2020 election, with Dixon, Kelley and Soldano saying the election was stolen by Trump.

Republican Rep. Peter Meijer is hoping to keep his seat after voting to impeach Trump. The former president has endorsed businessman and missionary John Gibbs, who worked in the Trump administration under Housing Secretary Ben Carson.

MISSOURI

Greitens’ political career appeared to be over when he resigned as governor in 2018 after admitting to an extramarital affair and allegations of extortion and campaign finance violations. On Tuesday, the former Navy SEAL officer has a chance to redeem the seat from retiring GOP US Sen. Roy Blunt in his Republican primary.

Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler are the frontrunners in a packed 21-strong GOP field that also includes U.S. Rep. Billy Long and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney who, along with his Ms. Guns Against Race directed at injustice protesters who ventured onto her private street.

Trump did not support the race, although he excluded Hartzler.

The GOP winner in Missouri, a solid Republican state, is preferred in November. But Republican leaders have long feared that Greitens — his ex-wife has also accused him of molestation, allegations Greitens has called “baseless” — could win the primary but lose the general election.

On the Democrat side, the nomination appears to be winning between Lucas Kunce, a Navy veteran and self-proclaimed populist, and Trudy Busch Valentine, an heiress to the Busch beer fortune who has largely self-funded her campaign.

WASHINGTON

Two members of the Republican House of Representatives from Washington state who voted to impeach Trump face key challengers backed by him.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who has been in Congress since 2011, has said she voted to impeach because she was “constitutionally committed” to the former president’s complaints about the 2020 election result.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a congressman since 2015, said he cast the ballot to impeach Trump with instigating and refusing to immediately stop the Jan. 6 riot. Among his challengers is Loren Culp, a Trump-backed former small-town police chief who refused to cede the 2020 gubernatorial race to Democrat Jay Inslee.

In Washington, the top two voters in each race, regardless of party, advance into November.

KANSAS

Voters will decide whether to approve an amendment to the state constitution that could allow lawmakers to restrict or ban abortion, despite the state Supreme Court ruling in 2019 that access to abortion is a fundamental right. It is the first abortion referendum by a state since the Roe v. Calf.

In statewide races, Republican Kris Kobach is running for attorney general as he seeks a political comeback after losing in the gubernatorial and US Senate races in previous years. Kobach, the state’s former secretary of state, served as deputy chair of a short-lived Trump commission on voter fraud after the 2016 election.

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Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix; Sara Burnett in Chicago; Jim Salter in O’Fallon, Missouri; Chris Grygiel in Seattle; and John Hanna of Topeka, Kansas; contributed to this report.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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For full coverage of the midterms, follow AP at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter. https://twitter.com/ap_politics

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

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