Here’s a quick cheat sheet on yesterday’s primary results:
KANSAS: In the race for the Senate seat being vacated by Sam Brownback (R), who is running for governor, polls showed Rep. Jerry Moran with a sizable lead over fellow Republican congressman Todd Tiahrt. But when all the votes were counted, Moran eked out a narrow 49-45 percent victory. Tiahrt had the Facebook backing of Sarah Palin as well as many social conservative and anti-abortion groups, and said all along that his grass roots supporters would make the difference. They almost did. Moran is now the prohibitive favorite in November against Lisa Johnston, an assistant dean at Baker University, who won the Democratic primary. No Democrat has won a Kansas Senate race since 1932.
To no surprise, Brownback was the easy winner in the GOP gubernatorial primary and is favored in November against Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland. Assuming he wins, he will be the sixth sitting senator to be elected governor in the past half-century or so. (Texas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison attempted it earlier this year but came up short in the GOP primary.) Mark Parkinson, a Republican-turned-Democrat who became governor when Kathleen Sebelius (D) quit last year to join the Obama Cabinet, did not run.
There will be new members of the House in at least three of the state’s four districts; in addition to Moran and Tiahrt, Rep. Dennis Moore (D-3rd) is retiring. House results:
1st CD: Jerry Moran (R) left to run for Senate. The GOP nomination in this overwhelmingly Republican district went to state Sen. Tim Huelskamp, who triumphed in a field that included state Sen. Jim Barnett, the GOP gubernatorial nominee against Kathleen Sebelius (D) in 2006.
2nd CD: Freshman Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R) overcame a primary challenge from state Sen. Dennis Pyle. She is a clear favorite in November against Dem nominee Cheryl Hudspeth.
3rd CD: Dennis Moore (D) retiring. His wife, Stephene Moore, a registered nurse, won the Democratic primary. She will face state Rep. Kevin Yoder, who won a nine-way GOP primary with 45 percent of the vote. Republicans have targeted this seat, which Dennis Moore has held since 1998.
4th CD: Todd Tiahrt (R) left to run for Senate. The next congressman here will likely be businessman Todd Pompeo, who narrowly won a contentious Republican primary. Democrats insist the bad blood on the GOP side will assist their nominee, state Rep. Raj Goyle.
MICHIGAN: A political outsider won the Republican primary for governor. Rick Snyder, the former president of Gateway Computers whose TV ads identified him as “one tough nerd,” finished first in a contest that included Rep. Pete Hoekstra, state Attorney General Mike Cox, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and state Sen. Tom George. Snyder, who supports abortion rights, will square off in November with another pro-choice candidate, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. Bernero, with the strong support of labor unions, easily defeated state House Speaker Andy Dillon, who opposes abortion, in the Democratic primary. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) is term-limited.
House races of note:
1st CD: Bart Stupak (D), who played a crucial role in the passage of the health care bill, retiring. The Democratic nominee is state Rep. Gary MacDowell but the identity of the GOP winner is still uncertain; the primary between state Sen. Jason Allen and surgeon Dan Benishek is dead even.
2nd CD: Pete Hoekstra (R) left to run for governor. Bill Huizenga, a former state representative who also once worked for Hoekstra, squeaked out a victory in the Republican primary over Jay Riemersma, a former NFL player who works for the Family Research Council. Huizenga takes on college professor Fred Johnson (D) in November.
3rd CD: Vern Ehlers (R) retiring. Ehlers had endorsed former Kent County Commission chair Steven Heacock as his successor, but the Republican nomination in the safe GOP district went to state Rep. Justin Amash.
7th CD: Tim Walberg, a Republican congressman who was unseated two years ago by Mark Schauer (D), won the GOP primary for the right to face Schauer in a rematch this fall.
9th CD: Rocky Raczkowski, the GOP nominee against Sen. Carl Levin (D) in 2002, won the Republican nomination to face freshman Democrat Gary Peters.
13th CD: This was the big one, and it was a surprise. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was unseated in the Democratic primary by state Sen. Hansen Clarke. The issue in the contest was less about the congresswoman and more about her son – former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick – who was removed from office and went to prison in 2008. She becomes the fourth member of the House to be denied renomination this year – following Reps. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) and Bob Inglis (R-S.C.). Interestingly, she came to Congress herself in 1996 by defeating an incumbent Democrat in the primary: Barbara-Rose Collins, who had ethics problems of her own. The seat is solidly Democratic.
MISSOURI: The Senate race to succeed retiring four-term Republican Kit Bond will be between Rep. Roy Blunt (R), a former House majority leader, and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D), whose brother is currently a member of Congress, her late father served as governor, and her mother briefly served in the Senate.
A referendum on exempting Missouri from the new federal health care law passed overwhelmingly but is expected to be challenged in the courts. NPR's Scott Hensley sums up what happened here.
One House race of note:
7th CD: Roy Blunt (R) left to run for the Senate. The Republican nomination went to Billy Long, a former radio talk show host. He will be the heavy favorite in the general election against Democratic nominee Scott Eckersley.