Conservative representatives Boebert, Miller top House GOP challengers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of Congress’s staunchest conservatives barred more centrist challengers from capturing Republican nominations on Tuesday — even as the party’s voters chose to become a six-term incumbent seat in Mississippi.

Mary Miller, the Illinois Republican Representative, called the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade’s decision that legalized abortion nationwide a “historic victory for white life” at a weekend meeting with former President Donald Trump. Her spokesperson said she was mistaken. She defeated fellow GOP incumbent Rodney Davis.

Another Trump ally, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, one of the most polarizing members of Congress, easily rebuffed a challenge from a more mainstream Republican.

Mississippi Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo, a six-year-old incumbent, lost in a rare second round to Sheriff Mike Ezell. But his Republican House colleague Michael Guest won a runoff election in the state, despite defying Trump and voting to set up an independent commission to investigate last year’s U.S. Capitol insurgency.

In Illinois, Democratic Rep. Sean Casten the progressive Rep. Marie Newman for a seat in Chicago’s suburbs after a dwindling population cost the state a seat in the House.

Six states hold congressional, primaries, or special elections. In addition to testing Trump’s National Influencethey give hints of How voters react to the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion

Some of the best elections:

BOEBERT’S LASTING STRENGTH

A freshman arsonist, Boebert saw her GOP-leaning 3rd congressional district in western Colorado become even more Republican after realignment. She had little trouble with the moderate state representative Don Coram, a farmer and hemp farmer, who is dealing with what he calls Boebert’s extremism.

Boebert has railed against the “Biden regime” and the “Socialist” Democrats. She trumpeted her Second Amendment feats and resisted COVID-19 restrictions that closed her “Shooters” restaurant for a short time.

Her opponent had bet that voters alienated from Boebert’s provocations would elect someone more in the tradition of centrists who have played well in the area, including five-year-old Republican Scott Tipton, who lost to Boebert in the last cycle. That didn’t happen.

In Colorado’s ultra-conservative El Paso County, eight-year-old Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn challenges right from State Representative Dave Williams for his 5th seat in the Congressional District. Williams was not added the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon”, code for an obscenity against Biden, to his name on the ballot.

Lamborn faces an ongoing House ethics investigation into whether he misused official resources for personal ends, survived primary challenges in the past as a staunch opponent of abortion, and support the sizable US military presence in Colorado Springs. Earlier this year, Williams led a 24-hour filibuster in the state house over a bill that would allow unrestricted access to abortion. The bill eventually became law.

MILLER TOPS FELLOW INCUMBENT

Miller, first elected in 2020, is no stranger to controversy. She quoted Adolf Hitler shortly after she won her seat and said at a meeting that “Hitler was right about one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’” She later apologized after Illinois Democrats called for her resignation. She also voted against confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election and is a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus.

On Saturday night she made the “white life” comment as Trump stood behind her at a rally in Mendon, cheering the crowd. Miller has since said she is not a racist, and her spokesperson said she intended to say the ruling was a victory for the “right to life.”

Miller defeated Republican Rep. Rodney Davis for five terms for the GOP nomination in a sprawling, heavily red district of central Illinois that was redrawn after the state’s shrinking population cost it a congressional seat.

Davis co-chaired Trump’s 2020 Illinois campaign but voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. He had the support of nearly all 35 provincial party chairmen in the district and vowed to “reimplement” Trump’s policies, including shielding the US-Mexico border.

Casten, who in 2018 turned over a suburban seat that Republicans held for decades, topped Newman, who was first elected to the House in 2020, in a Chicago suburb. Newman faces an ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she promised federal employment to a political opponent.

FLOOD OF CANDIDATES FOR ILLINOIS OPEN SEATS

More than 20 candidates compete for the chance to win the 15-term Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush, the only lawmaker to ever beat Barack Obama in a race. Obama challenged Rush in a 2000 US House primary and lost.

The heavily Democratic 1st Congressional District was redrawn after the 2020 census and now stretches from Chicago’s South Side to Kankakee.

Among the field replacing Rush is Jonathan Jackson, the son of civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson; Karin Norington-Reaves, a Rush-endorsed federal personnel trainer; Pat Dowell, a Chicago City Council member whose branch is in the district; and businessman Jonathan Swain.

Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos is also not seeking reelection to the 17th Congressional District in northwest Illinois, a largely rural job Republicans hope to change in November.

Republican Esther Joy King, who came close to beating Bustos in 2020, won the GOP nomination after leading her main rivals in fundraising. The Democratic field includes former meteorologist Eric Sorensen, Rockford City Council member Jonathan Logemann and educator Angie Normoyle, who has served on both her local school board and county council.

MISSISSIPPI RUNOFFS

Gast won a third term after voting to create an independent commission to investigate the Capitol, defeating former Navy fighter pilot Michael Cassidy.

Palazzo was unable to resist accusations in an ethics report from Congress last year of misusing his office by misspending campaign funds. He lost to Ezell, the sheriff of a coastal county.

NEBRASKA SPECIAL ELECTION OVERLAP WITH JUDGMENT

Former Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska was probationary sentence on Tuesday for lying to federal agents, just as voters were choosing a replacement for the rest of his term.

Fortenberry resigned in March after being convicted of deliberately misleading FBI agents over his knowledge of an illegal $30,000 campaign contribution from a Nigerian billionaire during a 2016 fundraising drive in Los Angeles.

A judge sentenced him to two years’ probation, a $25,000 fine and community service.

Two state legislators, Republican Mike Flood and Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks, are running in a special election to replace Fortenberry, who served nine terms in the Republican heavy district that includes Lincoln and dozens of smaller rural communities. They will compete again in November to determine who serves another term, which starts in January.

Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms on https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-selections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics

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