Progressive women score big wins in Southern primaries

Progressive women dominated a slate of Democratic primaries Tuesday, winning races in Kentucky and Texas and giving G...

Posted: May 23, 2018 5:04 PM
Updated: May 23, 2018 5:04 PM

Progressive women dominated a slate of Democratic primaries Tuesday, winning races in Kentucky and Texas and giving Georgia the first black woman to ever be nominated for governor by a major political party.

The victories underscored some emerging realities of 2018's primary season: Female candidates -- of which Democrats have record numbers in House races -- have fared well. Political veterans' experience, meanwhile, has been a burden. And while Democratic voters have valued candidates' electability, the party's base, energized by opportunities to put checks on President Donald Trump, has shown little interest in centrists.

Tuesday's contests largely resulted in victories by the candidates Democrats had expected to emerge.

In Georgia, former state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams made history, becoming the first black woman in the nation to clinch a major party's nomination for governor. She beat former state Rep. Stacey Evans, who was backed by moderates.

In Kentucky, a political newcomer -- former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath -- defeated one of the best-known figures in Kentucky politics, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, in the 6th District primary to take on Rep. Andy Barr.

The two contests, both featuring well-known and well-funded Democratic candidates, were the most closely watched battles of one of the most important days yet of the 2018 midterm primary calendar.

In Texas, several congressional districts that Democrats view as winnable in November held primary runoffs.

Another female military veteran, former Air Force intelligence officer Gina Ortiz Jones, won a runoff in Texas' 23rd District and will face Republican Rep. Will Hurd in a vast region that includes much of the Texas-Mexico border. Ortiz Jones defeated Rick Trevino, who was backed by the Sen. Bernie Sanders-aligned group Our Revolution, in Tuesday's runoff, CNN projects.

And in Texas' 31st Congressional District, MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran and author of the memoir "Shoot Like a Girl," won her runoff to be the Democratic nominee.

In the Houston-area 7th District, attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher won her runoff, defeating Laura Moser, the target of one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's most aggressive attacks against one of its own party's candidates in recent memory, in the race to take on GOP Rep. John Culberson.

In the race for Texas governor, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez won her runoff to become the Democratic nominee. She is the first openly gay and Latina nominee for governor in Texas.

Tuesday's results come the week after liberal candidate Kara Eastman defeated former Rep. Brad Ashford in a Nebraska primary for Ashford's old seat, now held by GOP Rep. Don Bacon.

Abrams' win in Georgia was significant for Democrats not just in 2018 but also for the party's slate of 2020 presidential prospects.

Her ability to appeal to both progressives and minority voters and Georgia's status as a Super Tuesday state in the presidential primary and an emerging swing state in general elections means national names are likely to flock to Georgia to campaign for Abrams.

Already, Vermont's Sanders has endorsed her, and Hillary Clinton recorded a get-out-the-vote robocall on her behalf. Two 2020 presidential prospects -- New Jersey's Sen. Cory Booker and California's Sen. Kamala Harris -- have visited Georgia to campaign for her.

President Donald Trump beat Clinton by 5 percentage points in Georgia in 2016 -- a margin that made the state closer than traditional swing states Ohio and Iowa, and underscored that Democrats' future could be through Sun Belt states like Georgia, Arizona and even Texas.

Georgia Democrats were also watching a 6th District House race to take on Republican Rep. Karen Handel. The contest is headed to a July runoff.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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