WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Seven U.S. states hold congressional primaries on Tuesday, some of which were delayed by the coronavirus. Voting for members of Congress will take place in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Rhode Island. Here are details of some of the more interesting races:
NEWCOMER CHALLENGES DEMOCRATIC LEADER HOYER IN MARYLAND
A 29-year-old political neophyte, Mckayla Wilkes, is taking on House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has represented Maryland’s fifth district southeast of Washington D.C. for nearly four decades. Wilkes is running on a progressive campaign supporting Medicare for All and reparations for descendants of slaves.
STEVE KING FIGHTS FOR POLITICAL LIFE IN IOWA
Representative Steve King, who has a history of making racially charged remarks, is fighting for his political life in a five-way primary House race in northwest Iowa after mainstream Republicans have abandoned him.
IOWA DEMOCRATS LOOK FOR CHALLENGER TO SENATOR ERNST
Four Democrats are competing for the nomination to challenge Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, considered one of the more politically vulnerable senators this year. The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm endorsed Theresa Greenfield, who heads a real estate company.
FORMER HEAD OF NAACP SEEKS TO KEEP BALTIMORE SEAT
Democrat Kweisi Mfume recently won a special election to complete the term of the late congressman Elijah Cummings. Now Mfume is running again in the primary for a full two-year term in Maryland’s 7th House district, which includes part of Baltimore.
Mfume held the seat for 10 years before becoming the director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is batting over a dozen Democrats, including state Senator Jill Carter and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who was married to Cummings.
CONSERVATIVE NATIVE AMERICAN SEEKS REMATCH IN NEW MEXICO
A conservative Republican member of the Cherokee Nation, Yvette Herrell, narrowly lost New Mexico’s sprawling second House district to Democratic Representative Xochitl Torres Small in 2018. Now Herrell wants a rematch.
But first she will have to beat Claire Chase and Chris Mathys in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
LOCALS BATTLE EX-SPY FOR NEW MEXICO SEAT
Valerie Plame, a former CIA operative, has raised over $2 million dollars, more than anyone on the ballot in New Mexico’s third district, where the House seat is open because the current Democratic congressman is running for Senate.
Plame moved to Santa Fe over a decade ago after her cover was blown by officials in former President George W. Bush’s administration.
There are six other Democratic candidates, and local lawyer Teresa Leger Fernandez had a comfortable lead over Plame in one poll. Santa Fe district attorney Marco Serna is also in the race.
LARGE FIELD VIES TO REPLACE DEMOCRAT IN INDIANA SUBURBS
The mayor of Hammond, Indiana, Tom McDermott, has raised more campaign cash than anyone among the 14 Democrats and six Republicans clamoring to replace retiring Democratic Representative Peter Visclosky in Indiana’s first congressional district.
But Visclosky, who has held the House seat for over three decades, endorsed North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan. Democratic State Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon and 2018 secretary of state candidate Jim Harper are also running in this solidly Democratic district.
TRUMP BECOMES AN ISSUE IN INDIANAPOLIS AREA
Twenty candidates from both parties are seeking to replace Representative Susan Brooks, a moderate House Republican who is retiring in Indiana’s fifth district, which includes north Indianapolis.
The political arm of the conservative Club for Growth has endorsed state Senator Victoria Spartz in the Republican primary. Its ads questioned whether two other Republican candidates, Beth Henderson and Carl Brizzi, are loyal to President Donald Trump.
Democratic contenders include Christina Hale, a former candidate for lieutenant governor, and Dee Thornton, who ran against Brooks in 2018.
Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker