Oz, McCormick could face Pennsylvania recount; Cawthorn defeated in NC: live primary results

·29 min read

One of the most anticipated races of this week's midterm primary elections is still without a result.

While Tuesday's big primary day ended in the defeat of controversial Rep. Madison Cawthorn in North Carolina and win of controversial GOP candidate Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania's GOP gubernatorial race, the Keystone State may be headed toward a recount for the GOP Senate primary featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Oz, backed by former President Donald Trump, and businessman David McCormick, were separated by less than 1 percentage point, with conservative commentator Kathy Barnette in third, for the Pennsylvania GOP Senate nomination.

The winner faces Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that he suffered a stroke just a few days ago.

What to know: 6 midterm election takeaways: The 'Big Lie' won't die and what Cawthorn's loss means in NC

In western North Carolina, Cawthorn, plagued by ethics complaints and embarrassing videos, conceded a close race to state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who had the backing of prominent state Republicans who disliked the incumbent.

Party feuds mark races in Idaho – the Republican governor faces the Republican lieutenant governor – and Oregon, where two well-funded Democrats face off for nomination in a newly created congressional district,

What is a primary election?: What to know about open and closed congressional primaries

Mastriano, Trump ally and election denier, enters PA governor's race as underdog

Donald Trump backer Doug Mastriano is now one of the nation's most well-known 2020 election protesters, but he enters the 2022 governor's race in Pennsylvania as a distinct underdog.

Even as Mastriano easily won the Republican nomination in a Tuesday primary, Republicans across Pennsylvania and the nation said he is too extreme to win a general election against Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro.

The Cook Political Report noted that the chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Party tweeted out a recent poll showing that "nearly a quarter of swing Republican voters would switch to support" Shapiro if Mastriano was in fact the GOP nominee.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, a Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, speaks at a primary night election gathering in Chambersburg, Pa., May 17.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, a Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, speaks at a primary night election gathering in Chambersburg, Pa., May 17.

After Mastriano's win, The Cook Political Report switched its rating of the Pennsylvania governor's race "from Toss Up to Lean Democratic."

The Republican Governors Association, meanwhile, sent out a statement that berated Shapiro more than it promoted Mastriano. The statement said "the RGA remains committed to engaging in competitive gubernatorial contests where our support can have an impact in defending our incumbents and expanding our majority this year.”

Mastriano himself is predicting victory.

– David Jackson

Dr. Oz vs. Dave McCormick: Still looks like a recount in Pennsylvania

Television doctor Mehmet Oz has taken an oh-so-slight lead over former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, but the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania still looks headed for a recount.

Pennsylvania law require statewide recounts when the top candidates finish within 0.5 percentage points of each other; with 95% of the vote counted, Oz led McCormick by 31.3% to 31.1%.

Both candidates are insisting that every vote be counted, including mail-in ballots.

"We can see the path ahead," McCormick told supporters.

This could take days.

– David Jackson

The day in photos: Voters head to the polls for primary elections in five states

Establishment Dem defeats activist in Kentucky House race

An establishment-backed state lawmaker won the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s only Democrat-held U.S. House seat Tuesday, defeating an activist who drew national attention during protests over the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Morgan McGarvey, the top Democrat in the Kentucky Senate, defeated state Rep. Attica Scott, a former Louisville council member.

McGarvey held a big fundraising advantage and an endorsement from incumbent U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, the House Budget Committee chair who is retiring after 15 years in the seat. McGarvey, an attorney, was also endorsed by several state lawmakers and labor unions.

Scott, a Black woman, was arrested during 2020 protests over Taylor’s death. But she was also called a “fraud” by Taylor’s mom, who suggested that those involved in the protests were raising money off her daughter’s name.

Louisville — the state’s largest city — remains a Democratic stronghold while most of Kentucky is solidly Republican.

-- Associated Press

Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara to face state Sen. Chuck Edwards in November

Local official Jasmine Beach-Ferrara defeated five other candidates in North Carolina’s Democratic House primary for the 11th Congressional District.

The LGBTQ activist and ordained minister will run against state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who defeated GOP incumbent Rep. Madison Cawthorn in the Republican primary.

In a phone interview with the Citizen Times, a USA TODAY Network paper, Beach-Ferrara said she's "honored to be the Democratic nominee for Congress."

The GOP is favored to win the district.

— Mabinty Quarshie

Idaho Gov. Brad Little defeats Trump-endorsed challenger

Idaho Gov. Brad Little defeated his Trump-endorsed challenger, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, in the state's GOP gubernatorial primary.

Little has been ahead in the polls and favored to win, but McGeachin gained far-right support throughout the race.

The race has been a test of former President Donald Trump’s power in the party up against a more traditional Republican in Little.

-- Candy Woodall

Abortion: Idaho governor signs abortion ban modeled on Texas law

Idaho Gov. Brad Little defeated his challenger on the right in his party's primary.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little defeated his challenger on the right in his party's primary.

Recount possible in Pennsylvania battle between Oz and McCormick

Pennsylvania's election rules require an automatic recount if statewide candidates finish within 0.5% of each other.

As midnight struck, the margin was less than that 0.5% in the Republican Senate primary between Dr. Mehmet Oz and businessman David McCormick.

Both Republican Senate contenders exuded confidence in remarks to supporters, but warned them that votes will have to be counted throughout Wednesday morning,

– David Jackson

Who is Dr. Oz?: What to know about Trump-endorsed ex-TV show host running for Pennsylvania Senate

Who is Dave McCormick?: Former hedge fund executive running for Senate in Pennsylvania

Incumbent Crapo wins GOP Senate primary in Idaho

Republican Sen. Mike Crapo has won the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Idaho.

Crapo is seeking a fifth term and will be heavily favored in November in the conservative state.

The last time Democrats won a U.S. Senate election in Idaho was 1974.

Crapo was an attorney before he entered politics and previously served in the U.S. House and the Idaho Legislature. He is currently the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.

-- Associated Press

A progressive and four-term senator claim victory in Oregon

Former Oregon state House Speaker Tina Kotek, a progressive, won the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday, defeating state Treasurer Tobias Read. The GOP race had not been called just before midnight.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chair of the Senate Finance Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chair of the Senate Finance Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Incumbent Ron Wyden easily won the state’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

Wyden is seeking his fifth term in the Senate and is expected to win the reliably blue state in November.

– Candy Woodall

Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary still close

As midnight neared, the Pennsylvania GOP Senate race between Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick remained uncalled – and could trigger an automatic recount.

"Unfortunately, we're not going to have resolution tonight," McCormick told supporters shorty after 11:35 p.m.

Dr. Oz and McCormick were within 0.5% of each other, the figure that would trigger an automatic recount.

Oz had the Donald Trump endorsement, but some Pennsylvania Republicans questioned the television doctor's commitment to conservatism and went for one of the other candidates.

Kathy Barnette, a commentator who is popular in conservative media, raced up pre-election polls in the weeks after Trump's endorsement of Oz. She she lagged in third place behind Oz and McCormick.

McCormick, who led the race for hours, had support from former Trump officials like ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He also self-funded a campaign with a notable voter turnout operation.

Oz predicted ultimate victory, but told his backers: "We're not going to have a result tonight."

The Republican nominee winner takes on Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

-- David Jackson 

Black candidates make history in Kentucky, Pennsylvania primaries

At least two Black Democrats are making history after Tuesday's primary elections in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Former state Rep. Charles Booker became the first Black person in Kentucky to win a Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate — and any statewide office.

“If anybody tells you that ceilings can’t break, tell them: ‘Look at Kentucky,’” he told supporters Tuesday night, according to the Courier Journal.

In Pennsylvania, state Rep. Austin Davis won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. If he wins in the fall, Davis would become Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor.

“I stand on the shoulders of my parents — a union bus driver and a hairdresser,” Davis said in a statement Tuesday. “Because of them, I was a first-generation college graduate. Because of them, we’re going to elect Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor.”

— Candy Woodall

Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters after his victory in the Kentucky primary in Louisville on May 17.
Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters after his victory in the Kentucky primary in Louisville on May 17.

Cawthorn concedes to Edwards in NC primary

First-term U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn has conceded to North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards in the Republican congressional primary, the Associated Press reported. The AP called the race shortly after.

Edwards was endorsed by Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in March after Cawthorn prompted criticism from Republican leaders for claiming that lawmakers in Washington use cocaine and hold orgies.

More recently, Cawthorn attempted to bring a loaded gun through a Charlotte airport.

— Mabinty Quarshie and Associated Press

Previously: GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn cited for loaded handgun at Charlotte, N.C., airport

Newly nominated Doug Mastriano claims victory

New Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano claimed victory by denying accusations – including some from fellow Republicans – that he is too extreme to win a fall election.

"We all love freedom," Mastriano told supporters, saying that people who believe in things like abortion rights and mask mandates are the real extremists.

Citing Bible scripture, Mastriano also told the crowd: "God is good."

Mastriano now faces Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro, who denounced the Republican candidate as "a dangerous extremist."

In a written statement, Shapiro said Mastriano "wants to ban abortion without exceptions, restrict the right to vote and spread conspiracy theories, and destroy the union way of life."

-- David Jackson

Previously: Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano running for governor: What we know about his ties to Jan. 6

Outspoken Trump backer Mastriano nominated for governor of Pennsylvania

Doug Mastriano, a Donald Trump backer and outspoken "election denier," won the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania, despite warnings from some GOP members that he is too far right to win a general election.

Mastriano, who worked aggressively to try and reverse Trump's loss to President Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, defeated a field of Republicans who had argued that he was too extreme for most Pennsylvanians.

A state senator and a retired Army colonel, Mastriano was spotted near the U.S. Capitol during the pro-Trump insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, though he said he never entered the building.

His opponent in the fall gubernatorial election in Pennsylvania will be Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who won the Democratic primary unopposed.

Mastriano defeated a Republican field that included former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, whom Trump had endorsed in a 2018 U.S. Senate race. The GOP race also featured former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, whom Trump endorsed against by saying he did not try hard enough to overturn the 2020 election.

In the campaign's closing days, Barletta urged other GOP candidates to unite behind him against Mastriano, saying "it is important for Republicans to get behind one candidate who can win a nomination and then actually beat Josh Shapiro in November."

In his endorsement of Mastriano, Trump stressed his post-election efforts. He said Mastriano "has been with me right from the beginning, and now I have an obligation to be with him."

– David Jackson

Fact check: Joe Biden legally won presidential election, despite persistent contrary claims

Biden responds to Fetterman win

President Joe Biden said Tuesday night electing John Fetterman to the U.S. Senate would be “a big step forward for Pennsylvania’s working people.”

He also waded into the waters of the Senate GOP primary and repeated a phrase he’s shared in recent weeks, asserting that the current Republican Party is “not your father’s GOP.”

“They have fought a malicious, chaotic primary campaign to be the most extreme,” Biden said.

“And they have shown people their authentic selves – that whoever emerges will be too dangerous, too craven, and too extreme to represent Pennsylvania in the United States Senate.”

-- Candy Woodall

John Fetterman wins Dem nomination for U.S. Senate

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke and subsequent surgery to implant a pacemaker, won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

Fetterman has polled double-digits ahead of the competition for months and attracted more than 200,000 individual donors throughout his campaign—the most of any candidate in either party in the state’s U.S. Senate race.

Despite his lead throughout the campaign, questions mounted in recent days about whether a recent stroke would change the trajectory of the race. Voters answered those questions Tuesday when they delivered a win for Fetterman and put his name on the ballot in November.

— Candy Woodall

Who is John Fetterman?: Pennsylvania's unconventional lieutenant governor running for Senate

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania, greets people at a campaign stop May 10 in Greensburg, Pa.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania, greets people at a campaign stop May 10 in Greensburg, Pa.

The Roe v. Wade decision could upend the midterms

The blockbuster leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision jolted a midterm election season already underway.

Democrats believe public opinion is on their side, and President Joe Biden set out to frame the potential Roe decision as the latest example of an extreme "ultra MAGA agenda."

Republican strategists said the midterms will ultimately be a referendum on the past two years of Democratic control, with voters more concerned about rising inflation and an influx of migrants at the southern border.

Read the whole story here: The Roe v. Wade decision could upend the midterms. Here's where it might matter most

-- Joey Garrison

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Penn. Republicans seek voting extension

Pennsylvania Republicans in Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, are in court to seek a voting extension, according to the Associated Press.

The county is Pennsylvania’s second-largest population base, and multiple precincts there ran out of ballots.

Lancaster County, another large county in Pennsylvania, earlier reported that at least 21,000 mailed ballots could not be read because of a printing error. They will take several days to process.

-- Candy Woodall

Midterms: In 2022 midterms, a new 'Big Lie' battleground: secretary of state elections

Results: Josh Shapiro wins Democratic nomination for governor of Pennsylvania

Attorney General Josh Shapiro won the Democratic nomination for governor of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, according to CNN and NBC. He ran unopposed.

Shapiro tweeted earlier in the day that he has COVID and was unable to appear in public on primary day.

The Republican governor's race in Pennsylvania was too close to call in early voting

-- David Jackson

A first for the AAPI community in Pennsylvania

The primary election Tuesday marked a first for the Asian American community in Pennsylvania.

For the first time, voting materials were offered in Chinese in Philadelphia. It was the first time Asian language appeared on any Pennsylvania ballot.

Voters were previously able to vote in English and Spanish only.

-- Candy Woodall

Results: Cheri Beasley wins North Carolina Democratic Senate primary

Former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Cheri Beasley easily won the Democratic primary to replace retiring GOP Sen. Richard burr’s Senate seat Tuesday.

Beasley’s top competitor state Sen. Jeff Jackson dropped out the race last year and threw his support for her. Beasley has also consistently out fundraised both Republican and Democratic candidates. She raised over $3.6 million in the first three months of this year, according to her campaign.

If Beasley is elected in the general election in November, she will be the Tarheel State’s first black senator.

-- Mabinty Quarshie

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, second from right, visits with voters outside a polling location on May 17, 2022 in Troy, North Carolina. North Carolina is one of several states holding midterm primary elections.
North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, second from right, visits with voters outside a polling location on May 17, 2022 in Troy, North Carolina. North Carolina is one of several states holding midterm primary elections.

Results: Rep. Ted Budd wins North Carolina GOP Senate primary

Republican Rep. Ted Budd bested 14 opponents including former Gov. Pat McCrory and state Rep. Mark Walker to win North Carolina’s open Senate primary seat Tuesday night.

Budd’s victory, called by the AP shortly after polls closed, is another notch in Donald Trump’s endorsement belt. The former president endorsed Budd nearly a year ago.

McCrory was painted as a Republican in name only by the conservative Club for Growth. He is also most-known for signing North Carolina’s bathroom bill" in 2016, which prohibited trans people from using restrooms that matched their gender identity.

Budd will likely face Democrat Cheri Beasley in the general election in November.

— Mabinty Quarshie

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC)  joins fellow Congressional Republicans for a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House May 08, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) joins fellow Congressional Republicans for a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House May 08, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Kentucky election : Rand Paul wins re-nomination as U.S. senator

The first call of the night has been made, and it is not a shock: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has won re-nomination.

The Republican incumbent is also favored to win the general election in the fall.

Paul defeated five little-known challengers in the Republican primary Tuesday, and the Associated Press called the race just ten minutes after all the polls closed.

Paul will be opposed by Charles Booker, an unsuccessful 2020 Senate candidate who won the Democratic primary in Kentucky on Tuesday.

-- David Jackson

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.

Fetterman says surgery was successful

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic frontrunner in the U.S. Senate primary race, said Tuesday evening his medical procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator was successful.

“We got the all-clear that it was successful, and that I’m on track for a full recovery,” he said in a statement. “Thank yinz for the well-wishes – it means the world to me. Now back to resting + recovering!”

Fetterman shared the update on his health an hour and 40 minutes before the polls closed in Pennsylvania.

-- Candy Woodall

Celebrities? Outsiders?: Oz, Fetterman (and Trump) put fame to the test in Pennsylvania primary

U.S. Penn. Senate race will be a “toss up” regardless who wins primary, analyst says

The U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania will be a “toss up” regardless of who wins the Democratic and Republican primaries Tuesday, an analyst said.

And if there are any changes, the political pendulum is more likely to swing toward “leaning Republican” than “leaning Democrat,” especially if Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wins the Democratic nomination, J. Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, said Tuesday.

“Short answer is we’ll see how the cards fall after the primary, but Leans R seems a likelier potential move than Leans D, *if* we had to change it,” he said on Twitter.

Pennsylvania is always a major battleground and one of the most consequential states in midterm and presidential elections. It’s the state that delivered President Joe Biden the White House in 2020 and helped to send a record number of women to Congress in 2018. This year, the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania could determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress in 2023.

In addition to Pennsylvania, Sabato’s Crystal Ball has three other states rated as “toss ups” in the 2022 U.S. Senate race: Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.

Though Sabato’s Crystal Ball has predicted Republicans to win the majority of U.S. Senate races, forecasters there said outlooks in Arizona and Pennsylvania are admittedly “murkier.”

-- Candy Woodall

When do the polls close?

This primary Election Day is the first this cycle to cover several time zones, so results will roll in through the night.

Kentucky's polls close first, at 6 p.m. local time (with the state divided in half by time zones, that means polls will close at both 6 and 7 p.m. ET). That's followed by North Carolina at 7:30 p.m. then Pennsylvania at 8 p.m.

In the Mountain Time Zone, Idaho's polls close at 8 p.m., or 10 p.m. ET.

And on the West Coast, Oregon's polls close at 8 p.m. PT, or 11 p.m. ET.

– Katie Wadington

Some Pennsylvania ballots could take longer to read

At least 21,000 mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania are unreadable and will take several days to process, officials in Lancaster County said.

That’s a significant amount in a state with a crowded field of contestants and the lower turnout that tends to accompany primary elections.

A printing error is the cause of the problem and seems to only be affecting ballots in Lancaster County, where voters are choosing candidates to compete for governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate.

Out of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Lancaster County is the sixth most populous.

It will take election workers there days to redo the ballots that can’t be read by machines.

“Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” County Commissioner Josh Parsons said during a news conference. “But because of this, we're not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us.”

-- Candy Woodall

Gallery: Voters head to the polls for primary elections in five states

Pennsylvania's Fetterman to undergo medical procedure

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a front runner for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, will undergo a medical procedure to receive a pacemaker with a defibrillator.

The pacemaker will help to protect his heart and treat the atrial fibrillation that led to his stroke, his campaign said Tuesday.

It is a “standard procedure” used to regulate heart rate and rhythm, according to the campaign.

“He’s doing great and will have a full recovery,” his wife, Gisele Fetterman, said to USA TODAY Tuesday afternoon.

John Fetterman said in a statement Sunday he went to the hospital Friday, where he was treated for a stroke. He remains hospitalized at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, but said doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Fetterman said his stroke was caused by a blood clot from his heart being in an irregular rhythm for too long.

The doctors quickly treated him and removed the clot, effectively reversing the stroke, he said. Fetterman added that he suffered no cognitive damage.

He cast his vote Tuesday from his hospital room using an emergency absentee ballot.

-- Candy Woodall

Celebrities? Outsiders?: Oz, Fetterman (and Trump) put fame to the test in Pennsylvania primary

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary a contrast in styles

The Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat pits a pair of politicians building different kinds of support.

Pittsburgh-area Rep. Conor Lamb has built a wave of support among his party’s elected officials in Pennsylvania. The state’s Democratic Party backed him in the primary alongside throngs of elected Democrats.

But Lamb has trailed Lt. Gov. John Fetterman substantially in the public polling done on the race. A former steel town mayor, Fetterman unseated an incumbent in 2018 to become the state’s lieutenant governor.

Fetterman has largely eschewed endorsements from the state’s top Democrats while rising to the top of the polls. He has fended off attacks from Lamb and other candidates in the race that he is extreme.

The other candidates in the race all have polled in the single-digits.

– Rick Rouan

Who is John Fetterman?

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s storied rise through politics may reach a new milestone today as he enters the Democratic Senate primary a heavy favorite. The 6 foot 9 inch Fetterman whose preference for collared work shirts over suits first drew national attention for his role as mayor of Braddock, a hollowed-out steel town he is credited with reviving.  What to know about Fetterman.

Who is John Fetterman?: Pennsylvania's unconventional lieutenant governor running for Senate

John Fetterman arrives at the Holy Hound Tap Room in downtown York, Pa., Thursday, May. 12, 2022.
John Fetterman arrives at the Holy Hound Tap Room in downtown York, Pa., Thursday, May. 12, 2022.

Who is Conor Lamb?

Voters have picked Democratic House Rep. Conor Lamb over a Republican opponent three times. Lamb flipped a Republican House seat blue in a 2018 special election. His experience in Congress and prior election victories in Pennsylvania have made him the preferred candidate of major organizations like the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Democratic Party. Still, Lamb has lagged in the polls behind Fetterman and will need to defy expectations to become his party’s nominee. What to know about Lamb.

ELECTION HIGHLIGHTS: Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, Madison Cawthorn in NC, plus Idaho and more

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., speaks before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally, Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C.
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., speaks before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally, Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C.

Cawthorn faces primary challenger backed by Tillis in crowded field

GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who has run afoul of his party's leadership during his first term in Congress, now faces a jumbled primary field that includes a candidate with the backing of one of North Carolina's top Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis endorsed Cawthorn's most well-funded primary opponent, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, in March. The endorsement came shortly after Cawthorn was scolded by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy over Cawthorn's claim on a podcast that members of Congress were engaging in cocaine-fueled orgies.

At 26, Cawthorn is the youngest member of Congress. He has faced criticism for trying to bring a gun through airport security and for charges of driving with a revoked license.

– Rick Rouan

More: N.C. Rep. Madison Cawthorn: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a 'thug'

North Carolina primaries set up general election battleground for Senate control

The candidates who emerge from North Carolina's major party primaries for U.S. Senate will be on the frontline in the fight for control over the upper chamber.

Former President Donald Trump is backing Rep. Ted Budd, who has surged ahead of former Gov. Pat McCrory, former Rep. Mark Walker and a host of other candidates in Republican primary polls. 

The winner is likely to face former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, who is running in a large field of Democrats. Beasley has been amassing a war chest to help propel her in the primary and general elections.

Trump narrowly edged out President Joe Biden in North Carolina in the 2020 election. The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball both rate the seat as "leans Republican."

- Rick Rouan

KENTUCKY'S PRIMARY: What's new and what to watch for in Kentucky's 2022 primary election

Voters drop off ballots ahead of the election at Marion County Health and Human Services in Salem, Ore. on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Voters drop off ballots ahead of the election at Marion County Health and Human Services in Salem, Ore. on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Governor's races in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Idaho

Three states — Pennsylvania, Oregon and Idaho — will on Tuesday select their party's candidates for governor.

In Pennsylvania, just one Democrat is seeking to take the spot of incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Leading the Republican primary is state Sen. Doug Mastriano, whose efforts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Trump and ties to QAnon have raised concerns both in and outside the party. He currently leads the nine-person field by an average of 10 points, according to Real Clear Politics' latest polling.

Oregon's gubernatorial race is a crowded field. An astonishing 15 Democrats and 19 Republicans are running to replace incumbent Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who is term-limited. A gubernatorial race hasn't been this unsettled since 2002, when three viable candidates each from both sides of the aisle battled it out in the two primaries, the Salem Statesman-Journal reported.

And in Idaho, a bitter civil war stirs between sitting Gov. Brad Little and sitting Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who will face off in the state's Republican primary Tuesday. The governor and lieutenant governor of Idaho don't run for office on a joint ticket, according to the Idaho Capital Sun. On the Democratic ballot is only Stephen Heidt, an English as a Second Language teacher at Idaho’s state prisons who filed his candidacy the day before the state deadline, the Idaho State Journal reported.

– Ella Lee

Midterms: Election workers faced new threats after 2020 election. Experts fear it will drive them away

Big race for Wyden's Senate seat in Oregon

There are 10 candidates in the running to get the job of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., including the incumbent.

In Oregon's Republicans primary, seven candidates in the hunt. The contest will pit political novices against several candidates who have run for or held public office before. The winner of the Republican primary will be qualified for the general election in November.

That winning candidate will face the winner of the Democratic primary.

Three candidates, including Wyden, are competing in the Democratic primary.

– Adam Duvernay, The Register-Guard

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) speaks at the Senate Finance Committee hearing at the US Capitol on February 25, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) speaks at the Senate Finance Committee hearing at the US Capitol on February 25, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Trump influence on the ballot in Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary

Former President Donald Trump's hold over the Republican Party again will be tested in Pennsylvania's GOP primary for an open U.S. Senate seat.

Trump endorsed celebrity television star and surgeon Mehmet Oz, also known as Dr. Oz, in the race over Dave McCormick, a former hedge fund manager, and conservative political commentator Kathy Barnette.

Oz is trying to capture some of the same magic from Trump's backing that propelled author J.D. Vance from his middling showing in polls to winning a crowded race for Ohio's GOP Senate primary.

A Fox News poll released May 10 showed a tight three-way race in the GOP primary. Oz still had a small lead over McCormick in the poll, 22% to 20%, but Barnette was surging. After capturing only 9% in a March survey, Barnette was up to 19% in the latest Fox poll.

After the poll was released, Trump released a statement saying Barnette didn't have a chance to win the general election but praised her as having "a wonderful future in the Republican Party" if she goes on to win the primary.

– Rick Rouan

Analyst: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette is surging in the polls because top contenders David McCormick and Mehmet Oz spent months tearing each other down in negative campaign ads. (May 13)
Analyst: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette is surging in the polls because top contenders David McCormick and Mehmet Oz spent months tearing each other down in negative campaign ads. (May 13)

Who is Mehmet Oz?

Donald Trump tapped TV host Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, to be his candidate in the Senate race in Pennsylvania. Oz hopes Trump’s influence will come to bear in the same way it did in the Ohio Senate race, where the former president lifted conservative commentator and political outsider J.D. Vance from the middle of the pack in the polls to the GOP primary victory. But Oz is far from a comfortable favorite. He hasn’t managed to put much distance between him and his opponents in the polls in what has come down to a three-way race. What to know about Oz. 

– Orlando Mayorquin

Who is Dr. Oz?: What to know about Trump-endorsed ex-TV show host running for Pennsylvania Senate

Mehmet Oz, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, takes part in a forum in Newtown, Pa., Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Mehmet Oz, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, takes part in a forum in Newtown, Pa., Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Who is Kathy Barnette?

Kathy Barnette’s late surge alarmed many in the GOP, including Trump, who in a statement last week said he believed Barnette could not win a general election. Now the previously little-known conservative commentator is in a virtual three-way tie atop the polls heading into today’s primary. What to know about Barnette.

– Orlando Mayorquin

Who is Kathy Barnette?: The GOP candidate surging late in Pennsylvania Senate race

Who is Dave McCormick?

A former George W. Bush administration official, McCormick had spent the earlier part of the race jockeying with Oz for Trump’s endorsement. A bid that ultimately failed. Nonetheless, McCormick, who headed a hedge fund before his Senate run, has tried to assure voters that he is the closest aligned to Trump’s “America First” agenda. What to know about McCormick.

– Orlando Mayorquin

Who is Dave McCormick?: Former hedge fund executive running for Senate in Pennsylvania

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In Kentucky, eyes on races for Yarmuth, Paul congressional seats

The headliners of Kentucky's congressional races this year are the competition to succeed U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, who's retiring, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's reelection bid.

At the primary level, though, politicos don't expect to see any big upsets.

"It's kind of a sleepy primary," Secretary of State Michael Adams said of Kentucky's congressional races this year.

Paul is a lock to win his primary, and Democrat Charles Booker of Louisville is likewise expected to sail through his own.

In Yarmuth's district, Democrats Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey and state Rep. Attica Scott are vying for the open seat.

– Morgan Watkins, Louisville Courier-Journal

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34 candidates for Oregon governor's mansion

In one of the most competitive Oregon gubernatorial primaries in decades, 34 candidates from both sides of the aisle will find out after Tuesday night who will move on to November's general election with a chance to secure Oregon's governorship.

A Republican hasn't held the state's top elected office in 35 years, but most of the 19 candidates have said this year could represent a perfect storm for the Oregon GOP. There are growing conspicuous problems in the state (such as homelessness) and rising daily expenses due to national inflation they can try to pin on Democrats, as well as the historical advantage the out-of-power party has during a midterm election and the unknown impact of nonaffiliated candidate, former Sen. Betsy Johnson.

State political analysts believe the top candidates in the race on the Republican side are: conservative writer Bridget Barton, former Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, tech CEO Jessica Gomez, Salem oncologist Dr. Bud Pierce, Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam and former Oregon Rep. Bob Tiernan.

On the Democratic side, former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read lead a field of 15 candidates. They both have been deeply engaged in Oregon politics for years, but say the problems the state faces now can be attributed to failures outside of their control.

They contend their particular backgrounds and understanding of how state government functions have prepared them to lead Oregon.

– Connor Radnovich, Salem Statesman-Journal

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Primary election results: NC, Pennsylvania, Kentucky live coverage

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