The Latest: Housley wins GOP primary for Franken Senate seat

Published 08-15-2018

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin (all times local):

9:42 p.m.

Minnesota state Sen. Karin Housley has easily won the state's Republican primary in a race to finish the last two years of Al Franken's Senate term.

Housley faced no major challengers when launching her campaign in the days after Franken announced his resignation over allegations of sexual misconduct.

His departure unexpectedly put a Democrat-held seat in play, complicating the party's hopes of retaking the Senate. But Minnesota hasn't yet appeared as a top pick-up target for Republican groups.

Sen. Tina Smith was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to replace Franken in January. She won Tuesday's Democratic primary for the seat.

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9:40 p.m.

A celebrated teacher has defeated the party-endorsed candidate in the Democratic primary for a Connecticut U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who acknowledged mishandling sexual harassment complaints in her Washington, D.C., office.

In Tuesday's primary, 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes bested former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman. If elected in November, Hayes would b

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9:40 p.m.

A celebrated teacher has defeated the party-endorsed candidate in the Democratic primary for a Connecticut U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who acknowledged mishandling sexual harassment complaints in her Washington, D.C., office.

In Tuesday's primary, 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes bested former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman. If elected in November, Hayes would become the first black woman elected to Congress from Connecticut.

The 45-year-old educator from Wolcott has attracted significant out-of-state political contributions and endorsements from unions and liberal organizations. She says there's an "appetite for change" among voters.

Recent campaign finance reports show Hayes leading Glassman and all three Re

A celebrated teacher has defeated the party-endorsed candidate in the Democratic primary for a Connecticut U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who acknowledged mishandling sexual harassment complaints in her Washington, D.C., office.

In Tuesday's primary, 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes bested former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman. If elected in November, Hayes would become the first black woman elected to Congress from Connecticut.

The 45-year-old educator from Wolcott has attracted significant out-of-state political contributions and endorsements from unions and liberal organizations. She says there's an "appetite for change" among voters.

Recent campaign finance reports show Hayes leading Glassman and all three Republican candidates in fundraising.

Esty abruptly announced in April she would not seek a fourth term. She apologized for not protecting her employees.

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9:35 p.m.

Sen. Tina Smith has won Minnesota's Democratic primary to finish the final two years of former Sen. Al Franken's term.

Smith took her spot in the Senate in January after Franken resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations. She was the state's lieutenant governor before Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to the seat.

She defeated several Democrats to clinch the party's nomination, including Richard Painter, the former GOP ethics attorney whose profile rose as a strident critic of President Donald Trump.

Smith is a longtime political operative in Minnesota.

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9:30 p.m.

Minnesota state Rep. Jim Newberger has won the GOP primary to take on incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (KLOH'-buh-shar).

Newberger beat three other candidates Tuesday but faces an uphill battle in November against the popular Klobuchar, who is seeking a third term in the Senate.

Klobuchar won her first two terms by at least 20 percentage points and has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2020.

Newberger, a paramedic from Becker, has served three terms in the Minnesota House.

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9:25 p.m.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has dispensed with a nominal GOP challenger as he awaits the winner of a crowded Democratic primary.

Walker is seeking a third term in office after a failed 2016 presidential run. Eight Democrats were seeking to challenge him in November.

Walker handily defeated his token opposition, Robert Meyer, who was not actively campaigning. Walker has amassed nearly $5 million and has already run more than a dozen television ads as he positions himself for the fall election.

Democrats are optimistic that this year presents their best chance ever to take down Walker. They've scored unexpected election victories in other races this year and polls generally show Republicans to be vulnerable.

In 2012, Walker became the first governor to ever defeat a recall election.

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9:20 p.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (KLOH'-buh-shar) of Minnesota has easily won a Democratic primary as she seeks her third term.

In a year marked by high-profile lawmakers losing primary challenges, Klobuchar had no serious opposition Tuesday.

Klobuchar is one of Minnesota's most popular politicians, winning her first two terms by at least 20 percentage points. She has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2020.

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9:15 p.m.

A former utility executive from Vermont has become the first transgender candidate to win a major political party's nomination for governor.

Christine Hallquist defeated three other Democrats en route to victory in Tuesday's primary.

The former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative says she's running because she feels she has the best plan to help Vermont residents get higher-paying jobs, provide health care for their families and better educate their children.

The 62-year-old Hallquist is part of a wave of LGBTQ candidates seeking higher office across the U.S.

Hallquist is being supported by The Victory Fund, a political action committee that backs LGBTQ candidates across the country. The committed labeled her a "game changer."

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9:10 p.m.

Vermont's Republican Gov. Phil Scott has won his party's nomination to run for a second term as the state's top executive.

Scott angered many people in the GOP base for supporting a series of gun restrictions but on Tuesday defeated Springfield businessman Keith Stern, a perennial candidate who described himself as a conservative Republican and campaigned on financial issues.

Scott based his first term as governor on the premise of making the state more affordable by helping to balance the budget without raising taxes or fees. He supported gun restrictions after what law enforcement authorities said was a narrowly averted school shooting.

Scott lost some voters with his gun stance but was supported by others who favored the restrictions.

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9:05 p.m.

Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is advancing to the November general election after facing no opposition from her own party.

She faces a tough re-election bid against one of two loyalists to President Donald Trump who are seeking to run against her. Baldwin is the only Democrat in a statewide office of importance in Wisconsin, and outside groups have already spent millions on television ads attacking her.

Baldwin's campaign has played up her work on moderate and core Wisconsin issues, including her buy-America plan that Trump supports and her work with Republican Sen. John McCain on lowering drug costs.

The Republicans battling to run against her are political outsider Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir. Polls show their race to be very close.

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9 p.m.

Polls have closed for primary elections in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Polling places across the two states shut their doors at 9 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. Local election officials are now counting the votes. Results will trickle in over the coming hours.

Primaries in both states included races for governor and Senate, and both Senate seats were on Minnesota's ballot because of a special election to finish Al Franken's term.

Key House races included the Wisconsin primary for the seat that currently belongs to House Speaker Paul Ryan and a Minnesota seat being vacated by Democrat Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress. Ellison is running for state attorney general amid domestic abuse allegations from an ex-girlfriend. He denies them.

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8:40 p.m.

Small-business owner Matthew Corey has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Connecticut and will face an uphill battle against Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.

In Tuesday's primary the Manchester Republican defeated Dominic Rapini, a national accounts manager for Apple computers.

Corey is a U.S. Navy veteran and owner of a Hartford pub and a window-washing business. He earlier unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson.

Corey has called for more investment in small businesses in low-income communities. He's also supportive of apprenticeship programs, corporate tax reform and a tax credit for home school parents.

As of July 25, records show Corey had raised about $31,000 in campaign funds compared with nearly $13.5 million for Murphy.

There was no primary on the Democratic side.

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8:30 p.m.

Businessman Ned Lamont has won the Democratic nomination for Connecticut governor, defeating Bridgeport mayor and ex-convict Joe Ganim.

Lamont's victory comes 12 years after he defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in a Democratic showdown, only to lose the general election when Lieberman ran as an independent. That race was seen as part of a national referendum on the Iraq War.

Lamont has said he'll "save Connecticut" from President Donald Trump's policies, whether it's the weakening of environmental standards or abortion access.

Lamont says he'll bring a businessman's approach to solving the state's fiscal woes. He supports unions and a higher minimum wage.

Ganim was elected Bridgeport mayor in 2015 despite serving seven years in prison for public corruption.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy decided against running for a third term.

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8:05 p.m.

Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has won Vermont's Democratic Senate primary but is expected to turn down the nomination and support the state's Democratic candidates, as is his practice.

In Tuesday's balloting, Sanders defeated little-known candidate Folasade Adeluola (foh-LAH'-shah-day ah-DAY'-loo-hoh-lah), who says she believes Vermont needs a full-time senator.

Sanders is thought to be considering a presidential run in 2020. He already is on Vermont's November ballot as an independent.

Under Vermont law he cannot appear on the November ballot as both a Democrat and an independent.

In his U.S. Senate races, in 2012 and 2006 he declined the nomination but accepted the formal endorsement of the state's Democratic Party.

Four little-known candidates were seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

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8 p.m.

Sen. Chris Murphy is advancing to the November election after sailing through the primaries without facing a challenger from his Democratic Party.

The first-term senator from Connecticut will face the winner of a two-man Republican primary featuring small-business owner Matthew Corey and Apple computer executive Dominic Rapini.

Polls in the state closed at 8 p.m. Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin are also holding primaries Tuesday.

Murphy's campaign has raised about $13.5 million, an amount that far exceeds the fundraising of each of his GOP rivals.

Murphy was first elected in 2012 and became a prominent advocate for gun control following the shooting massacre that year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that killed 20 first-graders and six educators. He has gained a higher profile lately through his outspoken criticism of the policies of President Donald Trump.

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7:30 p.m.

Early figures show voter turnout in Connecticut's primaries is low despite the large number of candidates vying to become their party's nominee in November.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says turnout was around 15 to 16 percent with 153 of Connecticut's 169 towns reporting as of about 3 p.m. Tuesday. That figure doesn't include the major cities.

Merrill says she ultimately expects about 20 to 25 percent of the state's roughly 1.2 million registered Democrats and Republicans will vote, similar to past primaries. Polls close at 8 p.m.

Unaffiliated voters are not able to vote in Connecticut's primaries.

The Republican primary for governor is expected to be particularly close, given that five candidates are vying for the nomination. Merrill predicts the winner could take as few as 20,000 votes.

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7 p.m.

The polls have closed in Vermont, where voters were picking nominees for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

Vermont and three other states, Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin, are holding primaries Tuesday.

In Vermont, Republican Gov. Phil Scott is facing a challenge from Springfield businessman Keith Stern.

Four Democrats are seeking the party's nomination to run for governor. They include a former utility executive who, if elected, would become the nation's first transgender governor, and a 14-year-old boy who is taking advantage of a quirk in state law that does not require gubernatorial candidates to be registered voters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is appearing on the Democratic ballot, even though he's already registered to run in November as an independent.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch is also facing a primary challenge.

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5:20 p.m.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says no major problems have been reported across the state as voters cast their ballots in the primary.

The commission says statewide turnout figures for Tuesday's elections are not available yet.

Wisconsin is among four states holding primaries Tuesday. Connecticut, Minnesota and Vermont are the others.

In Milwaukee, the Journal Sentinel reports that election officials are projecting turnout to be 25 to 30 percent of the city's registered voters, which is about 75,000 people. The turnout is about 10,000 more than the 2014 gubernatorial primary.

Democratic voters are choosing among eight candidates to challenge Gov. Scott Walker in November. Republican voters are deciding between Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

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2:25 a.m.

Democrats are fighting to beat back Republican gains across the Midwest as the 2018 primary season roars through Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Tuesday's primary contests for governor, the Senate and the House will test the strength of President Donald Trump's fiery coalition against the energy of the Democratic resistance among working-class voters.

Meanwhile, accusations of domestic violence involving the Democratic National Committee's deputy chairman, congressman and attorney general candidate Keith Ellison, could undermine the "blue wave" in Minnesota.

In all, four states including Vermont and Connecticut will host elections on Tuesday as the 2018 primary season nears its final chapter.

Democrats appear particularly motivated in Wisconsin, where eight candidates want the chance to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker. In Minnesota, former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants his job back.

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In a Friday, June 1, 2018 photo, Minnesota state Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary's Point, speaks to delegates at the Republican Party of Minnesota convention as her husband, NHL Hall of Famer Phil Housley, looks on in the Duluth, Minn., convention center. (Dave Orrick/Pioneer Press via AP) - The Associated Press


Marci Glaus holds her one-year-old son, Fredrick as she casts her vote during Wisconsin's primary election Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 in Roxbury, Wis.Democrats are fighting to beat back Republican gains across the Midwest as the 2018 primary season roars through Wisconsin and Minnesota, two states where President Donald Trump's appeal among working-class voters threatens to upend decadeslong political trends this fall and beyond. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Jan 3, 2018, file photo, Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., smiles after being administered the Senate oath of office during a mock swearing in ceremony with Vice President Mike Pence in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. The sudden downfall of Sen. Al Franken amid the rise of the #MeToo movement could set up a two-woman race for his seat, part of an unusual primary featuring both of Minnesota's Senate seats on the same ballot. Franken's successor, Democrat Tina Smith, and the endorsed Republican candidate, state Sen. Karin Housley, were heavy favorites in their respective races. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) - The Associated Press


People vote at Edison High School in northeast Minneapolis, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. It's Minnesota's busiest primary in recent memory, with races for governor, both Senate seats and three contested congressional races. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Thursday, July 12, 2018, file photo, four of the eight Democratic candidates for Wisconsin's governor, from left Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Mike McCabe, and Mahlon Mitchell stand on stage prior to a debate at the UWM MainStage Theatre in Milwaukee. Wisconsin's primary election will decide which Democrat challenges Republican Gov. Scott Walker this fall and whom Republicans back in a big-money race for U.S. Senate. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, File) - The Associated Press


Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman and former electric company executive, applauds with her supporters during her election night party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott speaks before signing a gun restrictions bill on the steps of the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt. Scott faces a challenge by Springfield businessman Keith Stern in the Aug. 14, 2018, Republican primary. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Thursday, July 12, 2018, file photo, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Ned Lamont, left, and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim wave at the end of debate in New Haven, Conn. Lamont is the party's endorsed candidate, while Ganim petitioned his way onto the Aug. 14 ballot. Democrats and Republicans go to the polls in the most crowded primary field in Connecticut's recent history, on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2016, file photo, Brenda Siegel, of Newfane, Vt., helps train volunteers to make phone calls for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders at his campaign headquarters in Keene, N.H. Siegel is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Vermont in the Aug. 14, 2018, primary election. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP, File) - The Associated Press


Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ethan Sonneborn, who is a 14-year old student, shakes hands with Martha Gagner, who works for a brewery catering his election night party, in Winooski, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. Sonneborn has taken advantage of a quirk in state law that doesn't require gubernatorial candidates to be registered voters. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this May 31, 2018, file photo, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks at a news conference in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota Democrats are settling a three-way battle for governor in a stacked primary election, while former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty is seeking to win back his old job on the Republican side. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Saturday, June 2, 2018, file photo, minutes after receiving the Republican Party endorsement for governor, Jeff Johnson pauses behind the stage, in Duluth, Minn. Johnson has been supportive of President Donald Trump. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this July 18, 2018, file photo, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asks a question at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing in Washington. Ellison decided to leave Congress for a chance to make a difference as his state's attorney general, but an ex-girlfriend's late accusation of domestic abuse clouded what had been his race to lose. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this March 12, 2018, file photo, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson speaks during an interview at the Capitol in St. Paul. Minnesota voters are confronting their busiest primary election in recent memory, with races for governor, both Senate seats and three congressional seats all on the ballot. The biggest unsettled question may be the Democratic primary to succeed Gov. Mark Dayton. U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Attorney General Lori Swanson and state Rep. Erin Murphy all have a path to victory entering Minnesota's primary on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) - The Associated Press