May matchups: What to watch in the elections in Georgia, Oregon, Kentucky and Idaho

Voters in Oregon and Kentucky will head to the polls on Tuesday, where they will participate in their state's presidential and congressional primaries. In Georgia and Idaho, voters will decide on congressional races and a handful of local elections.

On Thursday, voters in Idaho return to the polls for the Democratic caucus. Trump had already won the Republican caucus in Idaho in March.

With President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump already the presumptive nominees for the Democratic Party and the GOP, respectively, most attention will be on the congressional and local elections.

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Fani Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, who is prosecuting former President Donald Trump on allegations that he tried to overturn the 2020 election, is fighting for her political career.

In Oregon, two Democratic parties in the House of Representatives are facing a showdown between the progressive wing of the party and more centrist candidates.

Here are the top races to watch:

Democrats are vying for Oregon's 5th Congressional District

Oregon's 5th Congressional District is one of the few races that will determine which party controls control of the House of Representatives in November's election.

Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner is running for Congress for the third time on Tuesday. The Oregon Democrat defeated Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) in the 2022 primary, but lost to Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR) in the 2022 midterms by fewer than 7,300 votes.

Chavez-DeRemer is the first Latino congresswoman from Oregon, and Republicans are counting on her seat to maintain control of the House.

McLeod-Skinner, a progressive lawyer and engineer, faces competition from Rep. Janelle Bynum, who could become the state's first Black congresswoman if she defeats Chavez-DeRemer in the primary and general election.

Bynum is largely supported by congressional Democrats and Gov. Tina Kotek (D-OR), who believe she is better able to unseat the seat from Republicans.

Another Jayapal is seeking office in Oregon's 3rd Congressional District

Susheela Jayapal, sister of Rep. Pramila Jayapal, is running for Congress in Oregon. (Photo courtesy of Jayapal Campaign)

Oregon's 3rd Congressional District, home of liberal Portland, will host its first open Democratic primary since 1996 on Tuesday as candidates vie to replace outgoing Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Susheela Jayapal, the older sister of Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), is a top contender in the primary, along with state Rep. Maxine Dexter and Gresham City Councilman Eddy Morales.

Voters for Responsive Government, a political action committee, spent $2.3 million against the elder Jayapal in the primary. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has also targeted Susheela Jayapal as part of Action 314 over concerns that she supports a ceasefire in Israel's fight against Hamas.

Although the seat is safe for Democrats, three Republicans – Joann Harbour, Teresa Orwig and Gary Dye – are competing for the Republican primary.

Protest votes against Biden and Trump in Kentucky

Biden and Trump have no real competition in Tuesday's primary race in Kentucky, having already secured the nominations two months ago.

But Kentucky voters have the option to vote “non-bindingly” against Biden and Trump. Biden has long been plagued by angry Democrats who disapprove of his handling of the Israel-Hamas war and have chosen to vote “non-committal.”

Trump, meanwhile, is being plagued by GOP voters voting for Nikki Haley more than two months after she dropped out of the 2024 race. In red Kentucky, all eyes are waiting to see how many voters turn to Trump in the primaries.

While Oregon doesn't have a non-binding option on Tuesday's ballot, it does allow voters to write in on a candidate's behalf if they don't want to vote for Biden or Trump.

Rep. Thomas Massie is trying to fend off the primary challenger

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) speaks at the Capitol on January 12, 2024 in Washington. The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected appeals from three Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who challenged fines for not wearing face coverings in the House in 2021. The justices did not comment on upholding the $500 fines imposed in May 2021 on Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Massie and Ralph Norman (R-SC). (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

After angering GOP leaders in recent years, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) faces a primary challenge Tuesday from Republicans Eric Deters (a Trump supporter) and Michael McGinnis.

Massie, who represents Kentucky's 4th Congressional District, was one of the Republicans, along with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who pushed for the ouster of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) earlier this month. The advance proved unsuccessful.

Massie also incurred the wrath of Trump by supporting primary rival Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and blocking relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kentucky Republican also faces negative spending from AIPAC, which poured $328,675 into attack ads against Massie for his votes on pro-Israel legislation.

Nevertheless, the former president did not support any of his opponents in the primaries.

Fani Willis is fighting for her political career

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing in the Georgia election interference case March 1, 2024, in Atlanta. A Georgia appeals court has agreed to review a lower court ruling that allows Fani Willis to continue pursuing the election interference case she brought against Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz, Pool)

Four years ago, attorney Christian Wise Smith lost the Democratic primary for Georgia district attorney in Fulton County to Willis.

The two candidates will compete against each other again on Tuesday. But this time, Willis is fighting to keep her job as district attorney and continue to prosecute Trump following a scandal involving a romantic relationship with Nathan Wade, a special counsel in the Trump case.

Judge Scott McAfee ruled in March that Willis could continue to prosecute Trump but that Wade must be removed from his role in the case.

Last week, the Georgia state appeals court agreed to a review by Trump's team of whether Willis can keep her job as Trump's top prosecutor.

Republican attorney Courtney Kramer is also running in the GOP primary for district attorney and is expected to advance to the general election.

Incumbent judges in Georgia are fighting for another term

Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the Georgia case against Trump, faces a challenge from Robert Patillo, a civil rights attorney and radio host.

McAfee faced another challenge from Tiffani Johnson, a former senior attorney for Fulton County Judge Melynee Leftridge, but she was disqualified from the primary in April after failing to appear at a hearing on a challenge to her eligibility.

Incumbent Georgia Supreme Court Justice Andrew Pinson, whom Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2022, faces competition from former Democratic Rep. John Barrow.

Barrow's challenge is unusual given the conventional wisdom that judges run unopposed for re-election.

Barrow is making the race a fight over abortion rights in Georgia, but has faced some setbacks for politicizing a hyperpartisan race.

Kemp is campaigning for Pinson and has pledged $500,000 to strengthen the incumbent justice.

MPs Lucy McBath and David Scott face party challengers

Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) speaks during a rally near Capitol Hill in Washington on June 8, 2022. McBath says she will run again in a new congressional district in Georgia when a map is drawn on December 28th is approved by a federal judge. 2023, withstands appeals. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Democratic candidates are challenging incumbent Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and David Scott (D-GA) in Tuesday's primary election in Georgia.

McBath is running for the state's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District after previously representing the 7th Congressional District for the past two years.

The Georgia Democrat was first elected to Congress in 2020 to represent the 6th District. But after the maps were redrawn in 2021, she jumped to the 7th District for the 2022 midterm elections, defeating former Georgia Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux.

Now that McBath returns to run for the 6th District, she faces challenges from Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson and state Rep. Mandisha Thomas.

Scott, who represents that state's 13th District, faces six challengers in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Scott, 78, is seeking a 12th term but faces concerns that he may be too old for the office – a complaint raised against Biden in his re-election campaign.

Marcus Flowers, who ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (D-GA) in 2022, former South Fulton City Councilman Mark Baker and former East Point City Councilwoman Karen Rene are among the Democrats running against Scott.


The GOP is racing to replace Rep. Drew Ferguson

Brian Jack, who served as Trump's White House political director, is running in the GOP primary to replace outgoing Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), who represented the state's 3rd District.

Jack has the support of Trump, but the former president has a mixed track record in the Peach State. Four other Republicans are also seeking the Republican nomination, including former senators Mike Crane and Mike Dugan, former Rep. Philip Singleton and activist Jim Bennett.

If no candidate wins a majority on Tuesday, the two top candidates will go to a runoff election on June 18th.

The seat is firmly Republican, although Val Almonord and Maura Keller are running in the Democratic primary.

Anna Harden

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