Rhode Island and New Hampshire will head to the polls on the final night of primary elections Tuesday night. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 13 (UPI) — Two former members of former President Donald Trump‘s administration will face off as two states hold primaries Tuesday night.
Tuesday marks the final night of primary races as New Hampshire holds a trio of congressional races including a battle between former Trump staffers Matt Mowers and Karoline Leavitt. Meanwhile, Rhode Island will vote on candidates for governor and in the House of Representatives.
Delaware’s House primary, also scheduled for Tuesday, was canceled and incumbent Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester will face Republican Lee Murphy in a repeat of the 2020 House race.
Mowers, a former White House adviser to Trump and Leavitt, a former White House press aide, head the field of candidates battling to challenge Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas for New Hampshire’s 1st House District in November.
Neither candidate has received an endorsement from Trump and they have each taken different approaches in their efforts to align their campaigns with the former president.
Mowers’ campaign has adopted the Trump election slogan of “Drain the Swamp” and his campaign features a page on “Election Integrity” although he has said President Joe Biden received the most votes in the 2020 presidential election, despite calling for audits.
Leavitt, however, has said she believes the 2020 presidential election “was undoubtedly stolen from President Trump” and called for Biden to be impeached, citing border security.
The race has caused some division within the party with House Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., backing Mowers while GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik endorsed Leavitt, who formerly served as her press secretary.
In the 2nd District, Republicans George Hansel and Robert Burns will go head-to-head to determine who will challenge Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster in November.
The two candidates have taken opposite stances on abortion, a hot-button issue after the Supreme Court‘s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, with Hansel, the mayor of the city of Keene, leaning in favor of allowing legal abortion, and Burns, the former treasurer of Hillsborough County, opposing it.
Voters will also cast ballots in a Senate race to see who will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who has also aligned with Trump’s false claims about the stolen election, will face off against state Senate President Chuck Morse in the race.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who sought re-election despite polling favoring him to win the Senate race, called Bolduc a “conspiracy-theory type” and endorsed Morse.
The gubernatorial race is the main attraction in Rhode Island’s primary as Gov. Dan McKee looks to win a full term after taking over for Gina Raimondo, who was appointed to Biden’s Cabinet in 2021.
McKee, who was Raimondo’s lieutenant governor, is facing off against four challengers in the Democratic primary as he faces criticism over storm management and handling of COVID-19 vaccines.
The top challengers include Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and Helena Foulkes, a former CVS Health executive.
Voters will also cast ballots in a race to see who will replace retiring Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin.
Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is considered the leader of the pack but faces challenges from other top candidates including former Commerce Department lawyer Sarah Morgenthau and former state Rep. David Segal.
The winner will face off against former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, the lone Republican in the race, in November’s general election.
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