- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Voters in California headed to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of a San Francisco District attorney whose far-left approach has fallen out of favor with voters concerned about rising crime and public safety.

The effort to recall Chesa Boudin is among the slew of primary contests playing out across California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.

The results of the races will set the lineups for House and Senate races in November where Democrats are defending their slim majorities in Congress.

Mr. Boudin, elected in 2019, entered office vowing to bring progressive change, including on crime, and now finds himself on the brink of getting the boot from voters who are frustrated with his performance.

Voters also will put their stamp on the competitive race to succeed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was nominated as U.S. ambassador to India.

Rep. Karen Bass, a former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, and billionaire developer Rick Caruso, a Republican-turned-Democrat, are viewed as the frontrunners in the high-profile contest in which voters are weighing in on issues such as rising crime, homelessness and trash-strewn streets.

It is likely Ms. Bass and Mr. Caruso will advance to a final election runoff race in November.

The race to replace Ms. Bass in the 37th Congressional District features state Sen. Sydney Kamlager and former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry.

Rep. Michelle Steel, a Republican, is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Jay Chen in the 45th Congressional District.

In California’s 22nd Congressional District, Rep. David Valadao, one of the 10 House Republicans that voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, is fighting to win another term in a Democrat-friendly district.

Early reports indicate low voter turnout in California.

In Iowa, former Rep. Abby Finkenhauer is billed as the front-runner in a three-person race for the Senate Democratic nomination that also features retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken. 

The winner will face seven-term Sen. Charles Grassley in the November election. Mr. Grassley is favored to win another term.

Republican voters in Iowa also will nominate a candidate to run against Rep. Cindy Axne, who is viewed as one of the most vulnerable House Democrats. 

State Sen. Zach Nunn and financial planner Nicole Hasso are considered the frontrunners in the GOP primary.

In Montana, former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who served as interior secretary in the Trump administration, is running against four other Republicans in a contest for the new House seat representing the western part of the state.

New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski is seeking re-election in a newly drawn congressional district that leans more Republican. 

Former state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. is running for the Republican nomination and hoping for a rematch after losing in 2020.

Political observers, meanwhile, are keeping an eye on Rep. Steven Palazzo’s reelection push in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Dogged by questions about the potential misuse of campaign funds, the Republican has six primary challengers.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Steven Haugaard. Ms. Noem, a possible 2024 presidential contender, is expected to win.

Voters in New Mexico are set to nominate a Republican to run against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Mark Ronchetti, a former meteorologist who ran for the Senate in 2020, is thought to be the preferred pick of voters in a primary contest that also includes state Rep. Rebecca Dow, retired Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Greg Zanetti and Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block.

Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell is running for her political life in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. The newly drawn district that includes Las Cruces, Roswell and parts of Albuquerque is more Democratic.

Gabe Vasquez, a member of the Las Cruces City Council, is expected to win the Democratic nomination.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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