WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Multiple U.S. states are holding congressional primaries on Tuesday, some of which were delayed by the coronavirus. Voting for members of Congress is taking place in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and South Dakota. Here are details of some of the more interesting nominating contests:
A 29-year-old political neophyte, Mckayla Wilkes, is taking on House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has represented Maryland’s 5th Congressional District southeast of Washington for nearly four decades. Wilkes is running on a progressive campaign supporting Medicare for All and reparations for descendants of slaves.
Representative Steve King, who has a history of making racially charged remarks, is fighting for his political life in a five-way primary House race in northwestern Iowa after mainstream Republicans abandoned him.
Four Democrats are competing for the nomination to challenge Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, considered one of the more politically vulnerable senators this year. The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm endorsed Theresa Greenfield, who heads a real estate company.
Democrat Kweisi Mfume recently won a special election to complete the term of the late congressman Elijah Cummings. Now Mfume is running again in the primary for a full two-year term in Maryland’s 7th District, which includes part of Baltimore.
Mfume held the seat for 10 years before becoming director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is batting over a dozen Democrats, including state Senator Jill Carter and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who was married to Cummings.
A conservative Republican member of the Cherokee Nation, Yvette Herrell, narrowly lost New Mexico’s sprawling 2nd District to Democratic Representative Xochitl Torres Small in 2018. Now Herrell wants a rematch.
But first she will have to beat Claire Chase and Chris Mathys in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
LOCALS BATTLE EX-SPY FOR NEW MEXICO SEAT
Valerie Plame, a former CIA operative, has raised over $2 million, more than anyone on the ballot in New Mexico’s 3rd District, where the House seat is open because the current Democratic congressman is running for Senate.
Plame moved to Santa Fe over a decade ago after her cover was blown by officials in then-President George W. Bush’s administration.
There are six other Democratic candidates; local lawyer Teresa Leger Fernandez had a comfortable lead over Plame in one opinion poll. Marco Serna, district attorney in Santa Fe and two other New Mexico counties, is also in the race.
The mayor of Hammond, Indiana, Tom McDermott, has raised more campaign cash than anyone among the 14 Democrats and six Republicans vying to replace retiring Democratic Representative Peter Visclosky in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District.
But Visclosky, who has held the House seat for over three decades, endorsed North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan. Democratic state Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon and 2018 secretary of state candidate Jim Harper are also running in this solidly Democratic district.
Twenty candidates from both parties are seeking to replace Representative Susan Brooks, a moderate House Republican who is retiring in Indiana’s 5th District, which includes north Indianapolis.
The political arm of the conservative Club for Growth has endorsed state Senator Victoria Spartz in the Republican primary. Its ads questioned whether two other Republican candidates, Beth Henderson and Carl Brizzi, are loyal to President Donald Trump.
Democratic contenders include Christina Hale, a former candidate for lieutenant governor, and Dee Thornton, who ran against Brooks in 2018.
Reporting by Susan Cornwell; editing by Scott Malone, Lisa Shumaker and Jonathan Oatis