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Roger Marshall bests Kris Kobach in Kansas GOP race, plus other key takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries

WASHINGTON – The first primaries of the month took place Tuesday.

And the results are still slowly coming in. Michigan, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri and Washington all held primaries Tuesday.

In Kansas, Rep. Roger Marshall won the GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Pat Roberts.

Marshall’s main competitor was former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach. In the past several weeks, the race tightened between the two after a super PAC with links to Democrats spent $5 million boosting Kobach and slamming Marshall. 

Marshall’s victory is also a win for Republicans who feared that if Kobach won the primary, it could possibly leave room for the Democrats’ candidate to win in the general election in November. In 2018, Kobach as the GOP nominee for Kansas governor lost the race to Democrat Laura Kelly. 

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However, a Democrat hasn’t won a Senate race in Kansas in 88 years.

Marshall, who represents Kansas’s 1st Congressional District, was endorsed by Roberts and has the support by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. 

Marshall will go on to compete against Democrat Barbara Bollier, who won her primary Tuesday evening. Bollier is a state senator who left the Republican Party in 2018.

Here are some other key takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries:

Race remains tight between Rep. William Lacy Clay and progressive challenger Cori Bush

Incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay holds a small lead over Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist, in the Democratic primary for Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.

However, the race has not been called yet.

With 69% of the precincts reporting results, Bush is at 47.7% and Clay is at 46%.

The race between the two comes amid nationwide protests against systemic racism, as well as upsets from progressive candidates beating moderate incumbents in primaries, such as Jamaal Bowman, a progressive candidate for New York’s 16th Congressional District, who defeated Rep. Eliot Engel, a 16-term incumbent. 

Bush, who became a political activist following the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and is backed by Justice Democrats, who helped elect progressive candidates like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. 

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Clay, who was first elected in 2000, replaced his father, Rep. Bill Clay Sr., who served that district from 1969 to 2001 and helped create the Congressional Black Caucus. Clay Jr. received endorsements from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as well as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In 2018, Clay and Bush went head-to-head in the Democratic primary. But Clay ended up victorious. It’s unclear how the results will play out this time around though, as Bush had more money and a more robust campaign.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib primary results still unclear

Results for the Democratic primary for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District are slowly trickling in.

Incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib is facing off against Brenda Jones, the Detroit City Council president. 

Jones jumped into the primary race in late March. Since entering the race, Jones has trailed in fundraising. She also announced in early April that she had tested positive for COVID-19. 

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This isn’t the first time Tlaib faced off against Jones. Tlaib during the 2018 midterms won the six-way primary race by less than 1,000 votes, with Jones finishing a close second. 

Tlaib has been considered one of the most vulnerable members of the “Squad” for reelection. In July, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is also a member of the “Squad” — a group of progressive congresswomen elected in 2018 — bested her own primary challenger last month.

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