A number of congressional and gubernatorial primaries are happening in different areas of the country today. Below are a sampling of some of the races to watch for.
Attorney General Bill McCollum, a former congressman who ran for Senate in 2004 will have a final showdown against Rick Scott, a hospital executive whose chain of hospitals were fined for fraud during his time there. The winner of the Scott v. McCollum race will challenge Democrat Alex Sink in the general.
Congressman Kendrick Meek will have to beat billionaire Jeff Greene, if Mr. Meek wants to make it to the general and participate in a three-way race with Republican Marco Rubio and Independent Charlie Crist. Mr. Greene, a businessman who made his money from betting against subprime mortgage loans (h/t MSNBC), is not expected to beat Congressman Meek, but Mr. Meek may only prove to be a spoiler to Mr. Crist, governor of Florida and a former Republican.
GOP PRIMARY/ 5th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
As a result of Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite’s retirement, conservative activist Jason Sager takes on Hernando Sheriff Richard Nugent in the GOP primary. This primary has gotten pretty nasty. Mr. Nugent has gone after Mr. Sager’s activism by attacking conservative groups Protest Warrior and parody street theater troupe Communists for Kerry. Supporters of Mr. Sager have pointed to Mr. Nugent’s past support of the Assault Weapons Ban and accused the sheriff for being too moderate. One thing is for sure, Mr. Sager is the more passionate of the two candidates.
The contentious primary between Republican Senator John McCain and former Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth will be decided tonight. Conservatives used the primary this year to hammer McCain for cutting deals with Democrats in the Senate along with proposing past legislation that was antithetical to conservative causes like campaign finance reform and comprehensive immigration reform.
GOP PRIMARY/ 3rd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
As a result of Rep. John Shadegg’s retirement, a GOP primary has brought out former vice president Dan Quayle’s son, Ben, gun slinging state senator Pamela Gorman, Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker, and state senator Jim Waring. This primary has made some waves as a result of some interesting campaign ads made by both Mr. Quayle and Ms. Gorman.
GOP PRIMARY/ 8th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, is eyeing a Republican primary between former state senator Jonathan Paton and Iraq War Vet Jesse Kelly. Ms. Giffords sits in a district that was won by Senator John McCain, a Republican. National Review’s Jim Geraghty points out that Ms. Giffords was one point Mr. Paton in a Mid-July poll.
GOP RUNOFF/ 2nd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
There are two Congressional House districts where Republicans will vote in runoffs. In the July 27 primary, Charles Thompson, Jr. garnered 34 percent, while Daniel Edmonds picked up 28 percent. The winner of the runoff will take on Rep. Dan Boren, a conservative Democrat.
GOP PRIMARY/ SENATE
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will see how much power she still wields in her home state. She is backing Joe Miller in the Senate primary against incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican. The Alaska Dispatch shows Ms. Murkowski leading her primary challenger.