*** Election Night Livewire *** Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Minnesota Vote in Key Primaries

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, shakes hands with former Sen. David Perdue at a Republican gubernatorial debate, Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (Miguel Martinez/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool)
Miguel Martinez/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool

Voters in Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and Arkansas are selecting their GOP and Democrat nominees in several hotly contested primary states on Tuesday, while voters in a key congressional district in Minnesota will select who will represent their parties in the seat the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) once represented.

Georgia’s banner race is the GOP governor primary, where incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp aims to fend off a primary challenge from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). Perdue, backed by former President Donald Trump in one of Trump’s highest profile intra-GOP fights to date, has trailed Kemp in many recent polls by significant margins but hopes that new voters not registering in polling data might make up the difference for him. The winner between Kemp and Perdue will face off against Democrat Stacey Abrams in November, as Abrams seeks to make her second bid for the governor’s mansion as the Democrat nominee official on Tuesday night while she runs uncontested in that party’s primary.

Trump has many other endorsements on the line in the Peach State, too, and faces several tough races where he has made his most aggressive slew of picks yet, from those in the Secretary of State race to contested congressional primaries to many other down-ticket races and more. Trump has also backed former NFL running back Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate here, and Walker is expected to easily win. Walker will face Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in November’s general election.

In Alabama, a three-way U.S. Senate primary will likely eliminate one contender as the other two advance to a runoff a month from now. Trump had previously endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in this race, but rescinded it later when he was performing badly in the polls against former chief of staff to outgoing Sen. Dick Shelby (R-AL) Katie Britt and veteran Mike Durant. Brooks has seen a resurgence in the polls, and Durant has fallen, to the point where Durant says he will back Brooks if he does not make the runoff with Britt. Both Britt and Brooks have run America First-focused policy oriented campaigns, both pledging to cut immigration levels into the United States if elected–and if these two end up in the runoff it could become a race to the right over the next month to see which one can outdo the other.

Texas has several interesting races to wrap up in runoffs, with Attorney General Ken Paxton aiming to fend off a primary challenge from George P. Bush. Bush, who has been much more like modern Republicans than others in his family, is still being hampered by the Bush family name–and this race comes after a series of missteps by former GOP president George W. Bush in recent days. Texans will also decide if Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) will survive to the November election or if he will lose his primary to a socialist. In Arkansas, Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) aims to fend off a pair of primary challengers who came at him despite his long history of strength on the issue of immigration. Boozman is expected to win, but how close this race is could say a lot about the future of the party. And in Minnesota, several Republicans are vying to replace the late Hagedorn and this race could also say a lot about the future of the party.

Follow along here for live updates as the results pour in from across the country. The polls close in Georgia at 7:00 p.m. ET, in some of Texas and all of Alabama at 8:00 p.m. ET, in Arkansas at 8:30 p.m. ET, and in Minnesota and the rest of Texas at 9:00 p.m. ET.

UPDATE 1:16 a.m. ET:

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won his primary outright on Tuesday, clearing a majority threshold to avoid a runoff, according to the Associated Press:

This completes a drubbing that Trump faced in many primaries in Georgia, a state he lost in many of the races in which he endorsed. While Trump struggled in Georgia, he has excelled in several other states nationwide–hitting perfect records in every other state in which had endorsements on the table on Tuesday.

UPDATE 12:40 a.m. ET:

Mike Collins and Vernon Jones are heading to a runoff in Georgia’s 10th congressional district:

While this one is closer than the 6th district primary, Trump’s pick Vernon Jones finished in second in this race too in the first round. The winner will be decided in the runoff in June.

UPDATE 12:16 a.m. ET:

On the GOP side of the Texas 28th district, rising star Cassy Garcia won the runoff and will be the GOP nominee who will face whoever wins in the still-too-close-to-call Democrat runoff between incumbent Cuellar and socialist challenger Cisneros.

At this stage, whoever wins the Democrat nomination will be badly damaged–whether it’s an outright socialist or an establishment Democrat connected to an FBI investigation as federal agents raided his home months ago–and Garcia is a rising star on the GOP side. Expect to hear more about her in the coming weeks and months.

UPDATE 12:13 a.m. ET:

Georgia’s 6th district is headed to a runoff, with Trump’s pick Jake Evans trailing by more than 20 points on election night:

Rich McCormick, with 44.5 percent of the vote with more than 95 percent reporting, has more than 20 points more than Evans’s 23.7 percent–and is much closer to 50 percent ahead of next month’s runoff.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m. ET:

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has declared victory in his race:

It has not been officially called yet, but Raffensperger has 51.9 percent of the vote as compared with 33.8 percent for his challenger Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) with 94 percent reporting. Assuming he stays above 50 percent, which seems likely at this stage, an outright Raffensperger victory without a runoff would be yet another loss for Trump in the Peach State–one that has not been kind to him this evening.

UPDATE 11:59 p.m. ET:

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp is actually outperforming Herschel Walker’s impressive Senate primary performance. Kemp is winning by more than 50 percent with very little left to count–at more than 73 percent of the vote–while Walker is just under 70 percent. That is slightly shocking as the best polls for Kemp had him at around 60 percent, whereas all polling had Walker as dominant as he has been in tonight’s primary. Kemp way over-performed expectations and simply smoked Perdue in this governor primary. This far-better-than-expected showing surely supercharges the governor as he heads into general election battle with Democrat Stacey Abrams, a rematch from their epic fight four years ago.

UPDATE 11:55 p.m. ET:

In Texas’s 28th district Democrat primary, Cuellar has pulled back out in front of Cisneros by about 500 votes with more than 95 percent reporting according to the New York Times.

UPDATE 11:47 p.m. ET:

Katie Britt and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) will advance to a runoff in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Alabama, the Associated Press projects:

The runoff will be next month. Both candidates have been running campaigns focused on America First issues, especially immigration. This will in all likelihood be a race to the right between the two of them.

UPDATE 11:39 p.m. ET:

In the 28th district Democrat primary in Texas, socialist Jessica Cisneros has pulled ahead of incumbent Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) by less than 400 votes with 93 percent reporting. This one is going down to the wire.

UPDATE 11:04 p.m. ET:

Mike Durant has conceded in the Alabama GOP U.S. Senate primary:

Katie Britt is leading the way with 45.4 percent of the vote–she would need to get over 50 percent to avoid a runoff, still a distinct possibility–and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is in second with 28.8 percent. If Britt fails to hit 50 percent, she and Brooks will face off later in June in a runoff.

UPDATE 10:46 p.m. ET:

With 56 percent reporting in Alabama’s U.S. Senate GOP primary, Katie Britt is far outperforming polls with about 45.3 percent of the vote. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), with 28.6 percent, is in second while Mike Durant is in third with 23.2 percent. Assuming Britt doesn’t surge past 50 percent in the late returns, this race is in all likelihood going to runoff between Britt and Brooks–and Durant has said he would endorse Brooks in such a scenario. Britt’s strong performance though makes her the clear favorite next month.

UPDATE 10:40 p.m. ET:

In the Texas 28th district Democrat primary, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) has now taken a 200-vote lead over his socialist challenger Jessica Cisneros with 87 percent reporting. Cuellar is at 50.3 percent and Cisneros is at 49.7 percent.

UPDATE 10:06 p.m. ET:

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) has won his primary, solidifying his position for very likely winning another term heading into November’s general election:

This is another win for former President Donald Trump as he endorsed Boozman early in this cycle.

UPDATE 9:42 p.m. ET:

Trump has lost another race in Georgia, according to the New York Times. His pick for Insurance Commissioner, Patrick Witt, has lost to incumbent John King. With 50 percent of the vote in, King has 71 percent to Witt’s 16 percent–and this one is over, per the Times.

UPDATE 9:37 p.m. ET:

With 49 percent reporting in Georgia’s Secretary of State GOP primary, incumbent Brad Raffensperger is no sure thing for reelection. He is currently hovering just about the runoff threshold, with 51 percent of the vote counted so far–he needs 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff–with Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) his closest challenger with 33.6 percent of the vote. If Raffensperger were to fall to a runoff, this would possibly be a consolation prize for Trump who is otherwise facing the biggest series of losses in the state so far this year that he has yet anywhere in America.

UPDATE 9:33 p.m. ET:

Paxton has won in Texas, defeating the Bush dynasty:

UPDATE 9:32 p.m. ET:

Sarah Huckabee Sanders wins the GOP nomination for governor in Arkansas, another win for Trump:

UPDATE 9:29 p.m. ET:

With the polls closed everywhere there are elections today, the first results are starting to stream in in Minnesota–and the widow of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Jennifer Carnahan, is significantly trailing her two other opponents in the GOP primary. Several Republicans were worried about Carnahan gaining traction, and are breathing a sigh of relief as these first results trickle in. It is still early, but it is not looking good for her.

UPDATE 9:25 p.m. ET:

With about 3 percent reporting in Alabama according to the New York Times, results are looking a lot like recent polling with Katie Britt at 47.5 percent, Mo Brooks at 27.9 percent, and Mike Durant at 21.6 percent. Still early there, and this could change. But assuming nobody breaks 50 percent, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff a month from now.

UPDATE 9:22 p.m. ET:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has won her primary in Georgia:

UPDATE 8:51 p.m. ET:

Incumbent Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has won his primary, according to the New York Times. He defeated Trump-backed John Gordon for the nod, another setback for Trump in Georgia.

UPDATE 8:48 p.m. ET:

With now 8 percent reporting in the GOP primary for governor in Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has exploded her lead to more than 60 percent. She is well on her way to a very likely victory.

UPDATE 8:47 p.m. ET:

With 2 percent reporting in Arkansas’s GOP governor primary, as expected, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has moved way out front into first place leading now by nearly 20 percent.

UPDATE 8:42 p.m. ET:

The polls are closed in Arkansas and the first results are pouring in there. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) has a healthy early lead in his primary. Sarah Huckabee Sanders–the Trump-backed former White House press secretary who is also the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee–trails in her primary early, but it is early and expect that to change soon.

UPDATE 8:36 p.m. ET:

It is now official in Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp has won the GOP primary and defeated Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), handing Trump yet another loss for the scoreboard this year:

UPDATE 8:35 p.m. ET:

With 68 percent reporting now in the Texas 28th congressional district Democrat primary, things have considerably tightened. Socialist Jessica Cisneros, with 51.9 percent, leads incumbent Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)–who has 40.1 percent–by less than a thousand votes. This one is going down to the wire.

UPDATE 8:31 p.m. ET:

Trump-backed incumbent Ken Paxton is dominating George P. Bush in the Attorney General race in Texas. With 31 percent reporting, Paxton has 66.5 percent compared to Bush’s 33.5 percent. Tough night for the Bush family.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m. ET:

The very first handfuls of votes are coming in in Alabama, with Katie Britt out front with an early lead and Mo Brooks in second place and Mike Durant in third place. There are less than 100 votes counted so far, so it’s very early there.

UPDATE 8:28 p.m. ET:

Vernon Jones has pulled into second place now in the 10th district in Georgia but is still well behind there, trailing Mike Collins by more than 10 percent.

UPDATE 8:14 p.m. ET:

The first votes are coming in in Texas, too, and in the 28th district with 28 percent reporting incumbent Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is in very serious trouble. His socialist opponent Jessica Cisneros have a several thousand vote lead of 85 percent to Cuellar’s 15 percent. It’s still early there but could be very problematic for Cuellar–and for Democrat efforts to hold this district in November.

UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:

Trump-backed picks in Georgia House primaries are also struggling in early returns as in both the sixth and tenth districts Trump’s candidates trail as of now. In the sixth, Jake Evans–Trump’s pick–is down at 27.8 percent, trailing Rich McCormick, who has 38.6 percent, by more than 10 points with 4 percent reporting. With 19 percent reporting in the tenth district, Trump’s pick Vernon Jones is in third place with 16.1 percent. Mike Collins has 31.9 percent and David Curry has 18.6 percent there.

UPDATE 8:05 p.m. ET:

The polls have closed in Alabama and part of Texas, and others are calling Kemp the winner in Georgia’s governor race t

Still no formal call there yet, but looking very likely that Kemp will win.

UPDATE 8:01 p.m. ET:

Herschel Walker has won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia, as expected. This is a win for former President Donald Trump, who endorsed him early after encouraging Walker to run. Trump’s early backing kept other potential contenders for this seat at bay and out of this race. Walker’s win was decisive and comes with just 15 percent reporting in this primary:

UPDATE 7:59 p.m. ET:

With 16 percent reporting now, and Kemp’s lead growing–he is at 74.3 percent and Perdue is at 21.4 percent–some are already calling the election for Kemp:

While the Associated Press and the networks have not yet called it, it is looking like a very big night for Brian Kemp.

UPDATE 7:57 p.m. ET:

Kemp is maintaining his commanding lead with 11 percent reporting now, with 72 percent of the vote compared to Perdue’s 23.2 percent. While Perdue is within 50 points now, this is a walloping–it will probably get somewhat closer but not a strong night so far for Perdue.

UPDATE 7:53 p.m. ET:

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki noticed the same thing Breitbart News did earlier about Raffensperger underperforming Kemp significantly:

It’s still earlier, but this could be bad for the Secretary of State in Georgia.

UPDATE 7:50 p.m. ET:

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) has won his primary in Georgia:

UPDATE 7:48 p.m. ET:

With about 5 percent reporting in the governor primary in Georgia, Kemp’s lead is more than 50 percent as the governor has 73.1 percent to Perdue’s 22.5 percent.

UPDATE 7:28 p.m. ET

It’s still very early, but Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in Georgia is running far below Gov. Brian Kemp in the early returns. This race could get interesting and is worth tracking closely as the night progresses to see if these early returns are a fluke for him or if he may end up in trouble later.

UPDATE 7:18 p.m. ET

Gov. Brian Kemp has taken a similarly strong lead in the first batch of votes in, with 77.3 percent compared to former Sen. David Perdue’s 19.6 percent. Expect this to change and probably tighten as the night goes on.

UPDATE 7:15 p.m. ET

The first votes are showing up in Georgia’s results, according to the New York Times, in the Senate GOP primary where Herschel Walker has as expected taken a commanding lead out the gate. He is just shy of 80 percent to start the night.

UPDATE 7:13 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump’s team passes along this list of endorsements he has made in tonight’s elections:

Alabama-01: Carl, Jerry
Alabama-02: Moore, Barry
Alabama-03: Rogers, Mike
Alabama-04: Aderholt, Robert
Alabama-06: Palmer, Gary

Arkansas-Senate: Boozman, John
Arkansas-Governor: Sanders, Sarah Huckabee
Arkansas-Attorney General: Griffin, Tim
Arkansas-01: Crawford, Rick
Arkansas-04: Westerman, Bruce

Georgia-Governor: Perdue, David
Georgia-Lieutenant Governor: Jones, Burt
Georgia-Secretary of State: Hice, Jody
Georgia-Attorney General: Gordon, John
Georgia-Insurance Commissioner: Witt, Patrick
Georgia-Senate: Walker, Herschel
Georgia-01: Carter, Buddy
Georgia-06: Evans, Jake
Georgia-09: Clyde, Andrew
Georgia-10: Jones, Vernon
Georgia-11: Loudermilk, Barry
Georgia-12: Allen, Rick
Georgia-14: Greene, Marjorie Taylor

Texas-Attorney General: Paxton, Ken
Texas-Land Commissioner: Buckingham, Dawn
Texas-State House-61: Frazier, Frederick
Texas-State Senate-24: Flores, Pete
Texas-Tarrant County-District Attorney: Sorrells, Phil

Trump is expected to win many of these, but some are going to be tight–especially those in Georgia.

UPDATE 7:11 p.m. ET:

Because she ran unopposed, Democrat Stacey Abrams is now officially the Democrat nominee for governor in Georgia.

UPDATE 7:09 p.m. ET:

The polls have closed in Georgia and the first results are expected imminently. Follow along here for the latest.

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