Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist to face off against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in November

WASHINGTON— Florida voters pick Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist to face off against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis

Crist, 66, previously served as the Sunshine State’s Republican governor more than a decade ago before switching his allegiance to the Democratic party in 2012. His primary challenger was 44-year-old Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

The pressure is on for Democrats to beat DeSantis this fall, who is allegedly laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential run.

— Ella Lee

WASHINGTON—Voters in Florida and New York head to the polls Tuesday to decide primary races in which at least one prominent Democratic House member will lose their seat.

Oklahoma voters will also cast their ballots in runoff primary elections. One of the biggest races will decide which candidate will finish out GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe’s term.

In New York, Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney are in a tense primary race for New York’s 12th Congressional District after a state court combined their two congressional districts.

And Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloneythe head of the party’s House campaign arm, battles progressive challenger Alessandra Biaggi for New York’s 17th Congressional District.

Democrats in Florida will decide which candidate will take on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. They’ll also select Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s challenger Tuesday night, with Rep. Val Demings the likely favorite to prevail.

Polls close in Oklahoma

Oklahoma polls closed at 8 pm ET, with vote counting beginning in three run-off elections.

The premier race Tuesday will determine whether a Republican candidate for the US House who once wrote that gay people are “worthy of death” and that “we would be totally in the right” to stone them will assume a seat in Congress.

—Ella Lee

Trump loyalists vie for GOP Senate nod in Oklahoma runoff

Two loyalists of former President Donald Trumpp who both have embraced his false claim that he won the 2020 election faces off Tuesday in a contest that will likely decide Oklahoma’s next US senator.

US Rep. Markwayne Mullin, a plumbing company owner, and TW Shannon, a former speaker of the Oklahoma House and a bank executive from Oklahoma City, were the top two vote-getters in June’s 13-candidate Republican primary, but neither topped the 50% threshold needed to win the nomination outright. Mullin, who topped the field with nearly 44% of the vote, earned Trump’s endorsement shortly after the primary.

Mullin and Shannon are seeking to replace retiring 87-year-old US Sen. Jim Inhofe, a fixture in Republican politics in Oklahoma since the 1960s who has held the US Senate seat since being elected in 1994. Inhofe is leaving before his six-year term is finished, so his replacement will serve for four years.

—Associated Press

Polls close in Florida

Florida’s polls are the first of the evening to close at 7 pm ET.

The races will determine the Democratic challengers of two Republican firebrands, Sen. Marco Rubio and the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis.

—Ella Lee

Special election in New York’s 19th Congressional District

Two county executives are competing to see who gets to serve in the US House of Representatives in New York’s 19th Congressional District until the end of the year.

The special election taking place Tuesday pits Republican Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, against his Ulster County counterpart, Democrat Pat Ryan.

The two hope to succeed former US Rep. Antonio Delgado, who vacated the seat earlier this year to become lieutenant governor.

The current 19th District, which will be realigned for the regular election in November to reflect US Census numbers, includes parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties, and all of Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties .

– Jeff Murray, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a media event regarding the 2022 Florida Python Challenge, June 16, 2022, in Miami.

Why is there no GOP primary in Florida’s Senate and governor’s races?

Four Florida Democrats will face off Tuesday to challenge Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for his US Senate seat this fall, and four other Democrats are vying for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ job.

But DeSantis and Rubio will face no opponents from their own party. There are no Republican primaries Tuesday for Florida’s gubernatorial or Senate races because no Republicans sought to challenge the well-known conservative firebrands who already hold the posts.

That’s not to say Republicans won’t turn out to vote, both in other state races and this fall. For the first time in modern history, the Sunshine State has more registered Republicans (5.2 million) than Democrats (5 million).

— Ella Lee

When do the polls close?

Polls in New York close at 9 pm ET. In Florida, polls close at 7 pm ET.

Oklahoma polls close at 7 pm CT (8 pm ET).

Florida election laws: In 2024 preview, new Florida laws for primary could make it harder to cast ballots

Oklahoma candidate once said gay people are ‘worthy of death’

OKLAHOMA CITY – Republican Scott Esk, 56, who faces Gloria Banister in Oklahoma House District 87, has made headlines lately for old Facebook comments he made in which he wrote gay people are “worthy of death” and “we would be totally in the right” to stone them.

He has defended the comments that he made in 2013, which surfaced when he unsuccessfully ran for a different House seat in 2014.

When contacted this week, Esk complained about a 2014 article about him in The Oklahoman that he called a “hit piece,” although he did not elaborate on the content of the story. Esk declined an interview about his campaign and directed The Oklahoman to videos he posted on his YouTube page.

– Carmen Formen, The Oklahoman

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NY Democratic primary a referendum on election deniers strategy

Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is facing a serious primary challenge Tuesday from a progressive-leaning state legislator who is calling him out for his role as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC, which is trying to defend its House majority this fall, has drawn criticism from multiple Democrats for buying attack ads in the Michigan Republican primary this year. The ads spotlighted a contender who denied the 2020 election results.

Maloney’s opponent, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, has blasted the strategy as out-of-touch for that and other reasons.

“Just weeks ago Sean Patrick Maloney asked for DCCC donations to protect Roe — and then used the money to prop up an anti-choice election denier in Michigan,” Biaggi said in an Aug. 16 tweets.

“Voters are tired of DC politicians demanding donations and lying about where the money will go.”

For this part, Maloney defended the game plan on ‘Meet The Press’ this past Sunday, saying how his “job is to win elections” for the party and that in the Michigan GOP primary the “weaker candidate” won giving Democrats a chance to pick up a seat this fall.

– Phillip M. Bailey

Who is Biaggi?: Alessandra Biaggi wants to win NY’s 17th District seat and has AOC’s backing. Who is she?

Who is Maloney?: Who is NY Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney? He’s got support from Bill Clinton, Pelosi

Florida’s tougher new election laws

Floridians will cast their primary ballots Tuesday under new voting restrictions a judge once said were designed “to target Black voters,” the first such federal election under the new law.

Voting rights advocates say the new rules make it harder to request and turn in absentee ballots and register voters as well as making it easier to challenge votes once cast. But supporters say the new rules are needed to combat voter fraud.

The primary will not only serve as a preview of presidential elections in 2024, but it will also test ideas about who should be able to vote, and how easily, in what has become one of the most electorally important states in the country.

For more about the election changes and their impacts, read here.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida primary results: Charlie Crist to face off against Ron DeSantis

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