The Latest: Voters in 4 states deciding primary elections

Don Blankenship
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Tuesday’s primaries in four states (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Voters across four states that Donald Trump carried in 2016 are fanning out to decide primary elections.

In West Virginia, Tuesday’s primary includes races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and the Legislature. The big race to watch is the Republican primary for Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat. One of the candidates is Don Blankenship, who served prison time for a deadly mine accident.

Indiana voters are casting ballots in a three-way race for the Republican U.S. Senate seat nomination. Vice President Mike Pence’s brother Greg is hoping to get the Republican nod for an open congressional seat.

In Ohio, voters are choosing their gubernatorial nominees and a Republican U.S. Senate candidate.

And in North Carolina, voters are picking their parties’ nominees for dozens of legislative and congressional primary races.

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Noon

Donald Trump’s political action committee is airing ads in West Virginia urging Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to support his pick to run the CIA.

The ads paid for by America First are running as Republican primary voters decide Tuesday who will face the second-term Democrat in a fall election both parties see as critical to Senate control.

In the ad, CIA director nominee Gina Haspel is described as “a decorated intelligence officer admired by allies around the globe with bipartisan support.”

Haspel is acting director and would be the first woman to be confirmed. She has faced questions about involvement in the intelligence agency’s past program of detaining and brutally interrogating terrorism suspects.

The ad concludes: “Call Sen. Manchin. Tell him to support Gina Haspel for CIA director.”

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12:10 a.m.

Voters in the heart of Trump country are ready to decide the fate of Don Blankenship, a brash businessman and GOP outsider with a checkered past who is testing the appeal of President Donald Trump’s outsider playbook in one of the nation’s premiere U.S. Senate contests.

Voters across four states Trump carried in 2016 are deciding primary elections Tuesday. The stakes are high as the GOP braces for potential major losses this fall.

Trump warned Monday that a Blankenship win in West Virginia’s Republican primary would destroy the party’s chance of defeating Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November.

The retired coal executive was released from prison last year for his role in a mine explosion that killed 29 men. Blankenship says no one will tell West Virginians how to vote.

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