Ilhan Omar wins in Minnesota; other primaries set November races

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Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Voters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Vermont cast votes in primary contests on Tuesday to determine final races for November as Georgia held a pair of runoff contests from its June primary.

Minnesota

Rep. Ilhan Omar emerged victorious after facing a field of four other Democratic candidates in the 5th District, including attorney and mediator Antone Melton-Meaux, a well-funded first-time candidate who's accused the congresswoman of being sidetracked by personal distractions.

Omar has been a visible member of Congress in her first term, as part of a group of first-term representatives that came to be known as "The Squad" -- alongside Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayana Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

"In Minnesota, we know that organized people will always beat organized money," she tweeted Tuesday night. "Tonight, our movement didn't just win, we earned a mandate for change. Despite outside efforts to defeat us, we once again broke turnout records. Despite the attacks our support has only grown."

Businessman Lacy Johnson, who led a successful fundraising campaign in the Republican race, beat Dalia Al-Agidi and Danielle Stella to face Omar in November.

Rep. Tom Emmer won the race for Minnesota's 6th District as he seeks a fourth term in the November election.

In the 7th District, Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson won the right to face off against a group of Republicans seeking to unseat him in an area that has shown strong support for President Donald Trump.

Former state Sen. and Lt. Gov. Michell Fischbach won the Republican nomination after receiving the endorsement of the GOP and backing from Trump, while facing competition from David Hughes, who has challenged Peterson for the past two elections, as well as physician Noel Collis and two other candidates.

Wisconsin

Roger Polack, a senior policy adviser under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, beat businessman Josh Pade for the right to face Republican incumbent Rep. Bryan Steil as they attempt to flip the seat previously held by former House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Polack announced his victory on Twitter while congratulating Pade on running a strong campaign.

"I look forward to working with Josh and his supports to win in November," he said.

In District 4, Tim Rogers and businesswoman Cindy Werner faced off in the Republican primary as they battle for the chance to challenge incumbent Rep. Gwen Moore.

Connecticut

Mary Fay held a narrow lead late Tuesday over Jim Griffin for the chance to challenge Democratic Rep. John Larson in Connecticut's 1st District. Griffin, a career lobbyist and former official in the White House budget office, has so far outraised Fay, a financial services executive and self-described moderate.

In the 2nd District, construction worker Thomas Gilmer and veteran Justin Anderson were expected to face off in the Republican primary to challenge Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney. But Gilmer dropped out of the race Tuesday after he was arrested the night before.

Wethersfield police said he was charged with first-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree strangulation.

The Hartford Courant reported the charges are related to an alleged altercation between Gilmer and a former girlfriend.

Gilmer blamed the investigation, which was opened July 22, on mud-slinging from his opponent.

Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Democratic presidential primary in Connecticut, the last state to vote in the contest, on the same day he announced Sen. Kamala Harris will be his running mate.

Vermont

Vermont's lone member of the House, six-term Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, easily fended off a challenge from activist Ralph "Carajou" Corbo, winning 96% of the vote.

Corbo also ran for governor after attempting to get younger candidates to run for the offices, saying they are most affected by issues such as climate change.

Republican candidates Miriam Berry, Jimmy Rodriguez, Justin Tuthill and Anya Tynio, as well as Progressive Party candidates Chris Brimmer and Cris Ericson, will also seek to make it to the ballot for November.

Two-term Republican Gov. Phil Scott bested a field of candidates on the GOP side on Tuesday night, while Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe lead the four-person field in the Democratic primary for governor.

President pro tempore of the Vermont Senate, Tim Ashe, and state Sen. Debbie Ingram will battle in the Democratic primary to fill the seat vacated by Zuckerman, while five Republicans and one Progressive are also on the ballot Tuesday.

Georgia

Two pairs of Republican candidates faced runoff elections from the party's primary in June.

In the 14th District, Marjorie Taylor Greene won the runoff contest against John Cowan.

Greene has sparked controversy by making statements about Muslim members of Congress and supporting the QAnon conspiracy, which Twitter took steps to limit last month. Her comments led Republican Rep. Jody Hice to rescind her endorsement. Cowan, a neurosurgeon, has employed the slogan "all of the conservative, none of the embarrassment."

In the 9th District, military veteran and gun store owner Andrew Clyde defeated state Rep. Matt Gurtler in the race to replace Rep. Doug Collins.

Results reported by The New York Times and The Hill.

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