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What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries: McConnell, Engle and AOC

There are three key primaries happening on Tuesday: New York, Kentucky, and Virginia, and the battles include an attempt to unseat Mitch McConnell, Eliott Engel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Warner and more.

The New York primary

There are two very important battles are for those looking to unseat incumbents in the house.

The first contest involves Democratic Representative Eliott Engel who is also the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman. He is being challenged by three candidates, the strongest of which is Jamaal Bowman, a former middle school principal, who is backed by Senator Sander and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, while Hillary Clinton and other establishment Democrats are standing behind the 16-term Engel.

The second key battle is for the seat of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who has become a leading progressive in media darling. The Hill reported on Sunday that AOC has spent $6.3 million through the beginning of June, which is more money than any other House Democrat seeking reelection this year has spent.

Three candidates are vying to replace her, with journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera recently taking AOC to task over her moves to drive Amazon out of the district, losing millions of dollars in jobs, calling her a “polarizing, divisive force.”

Even President Donald Trump has weighed in on the matter tweeting that she would beat Chuck Schumer. Trump wrote about the idea of AOC taking on the Senate minority leader, tweeting on Sunday: “Actually, that would be a big improvement – and she would win!”

The Kentucky primary

The big battle in Kentucky is a fight to unseat Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who has served 36-years. He faces three top contenders including Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot; Kentucky state Representative Charles Booker; and Mike Broihier, a former Marine, farmer, and substitute teacher.

The Democratic Party has raised $41.1 million toward backing McGrath, which is more than the amount raised by her competition and McConnell combined. McGrath is also endorsed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer. However, despite the heavy funding behind McGrath, a poll last week found Booker leading McGrath 44%-36%, USA Today reported.

The Virginia primary

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as the state’s former governor, is heavily favored.

The main contest is between three Republicans who are seeking the nomination to battle Warner for his Senate seat in November.

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Marcus Lowe

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