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Legislative Update

Senate. After a marathon vote-a-rama that lasted over 15 hours, from 11:30 p.m. on Saturday until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, 51-50, and has adjourned until 3 p.m. on Sept. 6.

House. The House is in recess but will convene on Friday to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. On Thursday, many members will be in Granger, Ind. for the funeral of Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who, along with two aides, died in a car crash on Aug. 3.

Political Update

This Week’s Primaries. Four states have primaries on Tuesday – Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. On Saturday, Hawaii will hold its primary. There is also a special election Tuesday in Minnesota where Republican Brad Finstad is expected to prevail over Democrat Jeff Ettinger for the 1st District seat of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R).

In Wisconsin’s 3rd District, Democratic Rep. Ron Kind is retiring, and Republicans are eyeing the seat as a possible pickup. Republican Derrick Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL, is running unopposed in the GOP primary. Four Democrats are running, with state Senator Brad Pfaff receiving Kind’s endorsement. In the Democratic Senate primary, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is the clear favorite to nab the nomination and challenge Republican Senator Ron Johnson in November.

In Vermont, Senator Patrick Leahy (D) is retiring, and Rep. Peter Welch is expected to win the Democratic primary and the general election. In the Democratic primary for Welch’s House seat, Leahy has endorsed his former staffer, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, while Senator Bernie Sanders (D) is backing state Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, who is leading in the polls.

Upcoming Primaries. Looking ahead, there are only four more primary dates before November:

  • Aug. 16 – Alaska and Wyoming primaries and Alaska special election to fill the seat of the late Republican Rep. Don Young.
  • Aug. 23 – Florida and New York primaries, Oklahoma runoffs, and New York special election to fill the 19th District seat of Rep. Antonio Delgado (D), who resigned to become lieutenant governor. Republican Marc Molinaro is polling ahead of Democrat Pat Ryan. In New York’s 17th District, Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney are competing for the nomination.
  • Sept. 6 – Massachusetts
  • Sept. 13 – Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island

Aug. 2 Primaries. In Republican primaries last week, one incumbent lost his race and another is in danger; both voted for President Trump’s impeachment. Rep. Peter Meijer lost the GOP race in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District to former Trump administration official John Gibbs. Meijer’s loss could boost chances for Democratic candidate Hillary Scholten to win the seat in November.

In Washington, the votes are still being counted in the race for the 3rd District seat now held by GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. The state uses a top-two primary system in which all candidates appear on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters move on to the general election in November, regardless of their party affiliation. Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is in first place, but as of Friday, Herrera Beutler was just 257 votes ahead of Republican challenger Joe Kent for the second slot. Kent has been gaining ground every day, and there are thousands of votes yet to be counted.

As for last week’s Democratic primaries, Rep. Haley Stevens bested Rep. Andy Levin in the 11th District of Michigan, where redistricting forced the two incumbents into the same race.

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