June 5 is the “Super Tuesday” of this primary season, with races happening in eight states across the country. The early returns—in New Jersey, Alabama, Mississippi, and Iowa—saw New Jersey Democrats nominate for Congress four candidates in targeted districts who were all endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In New Jersey’s Seventh District, which has been represented by Republican Leonard Lance since 2009 but which went for Hillary Clinton by two points in 2016, Tom Malinowski—a former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama—defeated the Our Revolution-backed Peter Jacob, Lance’s 2016 opponent. In the Eleventh, where longtime Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen is retiring, former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill bested a field of five. (Trump-backing state assemblyman Jay Webber won the Republican nomination.)
And in New Jersey’s Second, where Republican Frank Lobiondo is retiring, Democratic state senator and dentist Jeff Van Drew defeated retired history teacher Tanzie Youngblood. Lawyer and talk radio host Seth Grossman won the Republican primary and will face Van Drew in the general.
Van Drew (pictured above) has long been known as one of the most right-wing Democrats in the New Jersey legislature; in February, he removed his name as a consponsor on legislation that would restore the death penalty in New Jersey and also require parents to be informed if their underage daughters receive an abortion. Van Drew also has a 100 percent rating from the NRA and voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in 2012. In other words, Van Drew is just a really great guy for the Democrats to nominate for Congress in this year of our Lord, 1996.
In addition to Malinowski, Sherrill, and Van Drew, the DCCC endorsed NJ-03 candidate Andy Kim, but Kim was unopposed. He’ll face Republican incumbent Tom MacArthur, whose claim to fame is playing a key role in getting the Affordable Care Act repealed in the House.
Here’s what happened in some other key races that were called early on Tuesday:
- Wildly corrupt U.S. Senator Bob Menendez won his primary on Tuesday night for another six-year term, defeating little-known and completely underfunded community newspaper publisher Lisa McCormick. Even with Menendez’s huge advantage, McCormick received nearly 40 percent of the vote. McCormick’s share of the vote indicates that, had a legitimate challenge not been stopped in its tracks by New Jersey’s immovable machine (as the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out), the Democrats might have been able to nominate someone who didn’t face a federal corruption trial last year. Guess not! Menendez will face former businessman Bob Hugin in the general.
- In Iowa, self-funding businessman Fred Hubbell defeated nurse and union leader Cathy Glasson to win the Democratic primary for governor. He’ll face Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds in the general election.
- In Iowa’s First Congressional District, state representative Abby Finkenauer won the Democratic primary and will face two-term Republican incumbent Rod Blum in the general election. The district went for every Democratic presidential nominee from 2000 to 2012, but Donald Trump narrowly won it in 2016. Finkenauer was also endorsed by the DCCC.
- In Iowa’s Third Congressional District, small business owner Cindy Axne won the Democratic nomination over small business owner and former teacher Eddie Mauro and Pete D’Alessandro, a political organizer who ran the Iowa caucus for Bernie Sanders in 2016. Axne will face Republican incumbent David Young in November. As in Iowa’s First, Barack Obama won the district both times, but Donald Trump won it in 2016.
- Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby, who unendorsed Donald Trump in October 2016 after the Access Hollywood tape was released, finished first in her primary against four other Republicans, but received less than 40 percent of the vote and was forced into a runoff. She’ll face for Montgomery mayor Bobby Bright—a former Democratic Congressman who lost his seat to Roby in 2010, and then switched to the Republican Party—in the general election.
- Alabama Republican governor Kay Ivey, who came to that office after the resignation of disgraced governor Robert Bentley, won her crowded primary with over 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. She’ll face Tuscaloosa’s longtime Democratic mayor Walt Maddox in the general election, and is expected to win comfortably.
Check back here tomorrow morning for our report on primaries in California, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Montana.