Voters went to the polls Tuesday in two states to vote in down-ballot primary contests.
In Texas, voters ended two notable runoff campaigns, while voters in Georgia bumped the state’s only open seat into a runoff, which will take place in July.
- Georgia Senate: Georgia Democrats chose Jim Barksdale, an Atlanta investment banker who self-funded much of his campaign, to challenge Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson in November. Both had two challengers in their primary elections. Isakson, the second-term Republican, had around 77 percent of the Republican primary vote when the The Associated Press called the race, while Barksdale had an 11-point lead over his nearest Democratic opponent.
- Georgia’s 3rd District: Seven Republicans faced off for the party’s nomination in Georgia’s 3rd District, a safe Republican seat that opened up after Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland said he would not seek re-election. On Tuesday, voters narrowed their choices to two – Mike Crane and Drew Ferguson, according to the AP.
- Georgia’s 9th District: GOP Rep. Doug Collins handily defeated four challengers aligned with the tea party movement, including former Rep. Paul Broun, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2014. Broun left Congress under a cloud of ethics questions. Collins beat Broun, his closest challenger, by almost 40 points.
- Georgia’s 11th District: Another Republican incumbent, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, also won comfortably in a crowded primary field. His nearest opponent, businessman Daniel Cowan, took just 19 percent of the vote. Loudermilk had been under attack during the campaign for reneging on his campaign promise to vote against Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) for speaker.
- Texas 15th District: Vicente Gonzalez beat Sunny Palacios Jr. for the Democratic nomination in this district, the AP projected. A primary win in this district, where Democratic Rep. Rubén Hinojosa is retiring, means a nearly certain victory in November. Palacios, a school board member, is a member of a powerful family in the area, while Gonzalez is a local lawyer and political newcomer who has lent $1.65 million to his own campaign.
- Texas 19th District: The AP projected Jodey Arrington will beat Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson in this district, an open race to replace retiring Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Republican. The seat is viewed as safe for Republicans. Robertson self-funded part of his campaign, pouring in more than $1 million of his own money. Arrington, the former vice chancellor of Texas Tech University, had the support of former President George W. Bush and former Gov. Rick Perry.