(Reuters) - New York, Kentucky and Virginia are among the states that held primary elections on Tuesday to choose the Democratic and Republican nominees who will compete for seats in the U.S. Congress in November.
Here are details of key races:
Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, was trailing his Democratic opponent, Jamaal Bowman, in early results. Bowman accused Engel of being out of touch with the New York district encompassing parts of the Bronx and Westchester County that he has served since 1989.
The battle between Engel, 73, and Bowman, a 44-year-old Black school principal, pitted the party establishment against its more liberal wing. Engel was backed by Democrats including 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, while his challenger won endorsements from progressive leaders including Ocasio-Cortez and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Absentee ballots will not be fully counted for another week.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leader in the Democratic Party’s progressive movement, was far ahead of challenger Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a moderate and former television anchor. The New York Times declared Ocasio-Cortez the winner.
Ocasio-Cortez, known as AOC, brought a huge campaign war chest and a national profile to her bid for a second term in her diverse district encompassing parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City. She won some 70% of the vote. Caruso-Cabrera had the backing of the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Representative Carolyn Maloney was slightly ahead of her opponent, Suraj Patel, in early returns in a rematch of their 2018 race.
Like Bowman, Patel was trying to cast himself as the candidate for change, while Maloney, aiming for her 15th term, touted her legislative accomplishments. They were vying to represent some of the wealthiest parts of Manhattan, including those residing in Trump Tower, along with parts of Queens and Brooklyn.
EX-FIGHTER PILOT IN A KENTUCKY DOGFIGHT
Amy McGrath was the Democratic Party establishment’s preferred candidate in the Kentucky U.S. Senate primary race that will decide who takes on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, in November.
She was leading opponent Charles Booker, an African-American state legislator, by about eight percentage points in preliminary results, the New York Times said. But because absentee ballots are still outstanding, final results will not be known until June 30, Kentucky officials said.
Booker saw his prospects rise with Democratic voters amid the national protests against police brutality.
Representative Thomas Massie, whom some call “Mr. No” for his votes against legislation, declared victory over challenger Todd McMurtry in a Republican primary in northern Kentucky. Final results are not expected until June 30.
In March, President Donald Trump was angered by a parliamentary move Massie staged that temporarily complicated passage of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus-relief bill the president supported.
A Trump-endorsed candidate lost the Republican primary runoff in a congressional district in North Carolina. Madison Cawthorn beat Lynda Bennett, who was also endorsed by Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, who formerly held the seat. Cawthorn, 24, will face Democrat Moe Davis in the November election.
Physician Cameron Webb defeated several other Democrats in the party primary for a U.S. House seat representing central Virginia that Democrats hope to snatch from Republicans.
Democrats’ hopes of capturing the seat rose after the incumbent Republican, Denver Riggleman, lost his primary bid to the more conservative Bob Good.
Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast.