- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

There are some several state-level primary elections to keep an eye on Tuesday:

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House District 28: GOP House Speaker William J. Howell is facing a serious opponent for the first time in his 28-year political career. Tea party favorite Susan Stimpson, a former political protege of Howell’s, has accused the speaker of eschewing small-government ideals in favor of helping deep-pocketed special interests. Determined not to be upset like U.S. House Speaker Eric Cantor was last year, Howell has devoted significant time and money to the race. If Stimpson were to win, it would be a major victory for Virginia’s tea party movement.

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Senate District 10: Democrats are counting on winning this seat, left open by retiring Republican Sen. John Watkins, to help them retake control of the state Senate. The party’s preferred choice is Dan Gecker, a developer and a member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. If he loses to either Emily Francis or Alexander McMurtrie in the Democratic primary, it could upset the Democrat’s statewide plan.

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Senate District 24: Sen. Emmett Hanger is the only one out of four Republican lawmakers who publicly support expanding Medicaid who’s not retiring. He’s facing two tea party challengers, Dan Moxley and Marshall Pattie. If Hanger loses, it would likely make Medicaid expansion even less likely to pass the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

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Senate District 12: The four-way GOP primary to succeed retiring Henrico County Sen. Walter Stosch has turned nasty. Former Del. Bill Janis and Stosch-endorsed Siobhan Dunnavant have been trading accusations that the other is secretly hiding a liberal agenda. Dunnavant is winning the money race thanks in part to $100,000 worth of donations from Stosch. But Janis appears to be the favorite among registered business lobbyists, raising more money than any other candidate currently up for election from that group, according to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. Vincent Haley and Edward Whitlock round out the field.

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