NEWS & Insights

Bowman Loses; Curtis, Boebert, Maloy Win

Assuming the still unofficial Virginia congressional race that will likely see Rep. Bob Good (R-Lynchburg) lose to state Senator John McGuire (R-Manakin Sabot) holds as expected, the second US House member of the cycle went down to a crushing defeat last night in New York.

In the west, Utah US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) has punched his ticket for the US Senate, and Colorado US Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) successfully claimed the Republican nomination in a new district. In a contested Utah congressional race, short-term incumbent Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) looks to have won a close renomination campaign.

Colorado

A busy primary night in the Centennial State saw much of the action occurring in the state’s eastern 4th CD, vacant because of former Rep. Ken Buck’s (R) resignation. Rep. Boebert, moving into the district from her western slope 3rd CD, easily captured the GOP nomination, which is usually tantamount to winning in November. Congresswoman Boebert recorded 43.2% preference to finish first, well ahead of second place finisher Jerry Sonnenberg, a local county commissioner. He received just 14.5%. The third, fourth, and fifth place finishers all scored between 13.8 and 10.6% of the vote.

Ms. Boebert will now face Democratic speechwriter Trisha Calvarese who scraped past two-time congressional nominee Ike McCorkle. The latter man raised more than $1.4 million for his failed campaign. Ms. Calvarese was the party’s choice for the special election to fill the remaining part of the current term.

The Republican special election nominee, who agreed to serve only as a caretaker until the general election picks a permanent member, easily won the concurrent election. Former local mayor Greg Lopez, without spending much money, recorded a strong 58-34% victory over Ms. Calvarese to secure the seat for the GOP in a vote that is projected to draw more than 172,000 cast ballots. Rep-Elect Lopez will become the 220th member of the Republican conference.

The House will now be down to two vacancies, one from each party. The Wisconsin seat of resigned Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) and the death of New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) are the remaining districts without member representation.

Elsewhere in the state, attorney Jeff Hurd, despite Democratic attempts to vault Republican former state Rep. Ron Hanks to the 3rd District GOP nomination, won the party primary with 41.5% of the vote over five Republican opponents. The Hurd victory gives the Republicans their strongest candidate in an attempt to hold Rep. Boebert’s western slope district against 2022 Democratic nominee Adam Frisch who held the Congresswoman to a 546-vote win, the previous cycle’s closest US House race.

In retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn’s (R-Colorado Springs) open 5th District, radio talk show host, and three time congressional candidate Jeff Crank, easily defeated Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams with a whopping 67-33% margin. Despite the two opposing each other in two campaigns, Rep. Lamborn and Mr. Crank came together for this contest. The 5th District is safely Republican, so Mr. Crank becomes a sure bet to succeed Rep. Lamborn in the next Congress.

New York

The big story of the Empire State’s political evening is Westchester County Executive George Latimer easily defeating US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) in what is being called the most expensive congressional primary in US history.

Approximately $30 million was spent in this campaign when adding the two candidates’ expenditures and including all the outside money. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s affiliated Super PAC looks to have spent over $17 million toward defeating Bowman, one of the most ardent anti-Israel House members. With a majority vote exceeding 58%, Mr. Latimer convincingly denied the Congressman renomination.

Four years after Mr. Bowman unseated then-Rep. Eliot Engel in the 2020 Democratic primary, he sees the tables turn in this election. Ironically, Mr. Bowman’s 55-41% ousting of Rep. Engel is similar to the 58-41% suffered in his own primary defeat.

Mr. Latimer, in his current position, represents 91% of the 16th Congressional District. Before winning his county position, Mr. Latimer had been elected to the state Senate and Assembly. In last night’s primary, he captured over 63% of the dominant Westchester County vote. In the remaining small Bronx County portion, Rep. Bowman recorded almost 84% support.

Elsewhere in the state, former CNN reporter John Avlon easily defeated former congressional nominee Nancy Goroff in the 1st District Democratic primary. Mr. Avlon now advances to the general election as an underdog to face freshman Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Suffolk County).

New York City Rep. Dan Goldman turned back two Democratic opponents with 66% of the vote, which will secure him a second term in November from the Manhattan anchored 10th CD.

Turning to the Queens-Bronx 14th District, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an easy renomination against a minor Democratic opponent with 82% of the vote.

In what will be a very competitive Syracuse based 22nd District general election, as expected, state Senator John Mannion claimed the Democratic nomination last night with a 62-38% victory over local town councilwoman Sarah Klee Hood even though the latter contender won three of the district’s five counties. Sen. Mannion now advances into a toss-up general election versus freshman Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) in a race that will have national majority implications.

In the Upstate 24th District, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-Canandaigua) defeated attorney Mario Fratto with 61% of the vote. The Congresswoman claimed 13 of the district’s 14 counties as she turned back a spirited effort from Mr. Fratto. Rep. Tenney now becomes a prohibitive favorite to defeat Democrat David Wagenhauser in the November election.

Utah

Overcoming the Donald Trump and Utah Republican Party endorsed candidate, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, US Rep. John Curtis (R-Provo) recorded an impressive 51-29-13-6% victory over Mr. Staggs, former state House Speaker Brad Wilson, and businessman Jason Walton to win the open Republican US Senate nomination. The Congressman carried 28 of Utah’s 29 counties.

Mr. Curtis now becomes the strongest of favorites to defeat Democrat Caroline Gleich in the general election. Rep. Curtis will then succeed retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R).

Rep. Blake Moore (R-Salt Lake City) also defeated an official Utah Republican Party endorsed candidate, Paul Miller, with 72% of the GOP primary vote.

The going was much tougher for freshman Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Cedar City) who eked out what will likely be a 51-49% win over businessman Colby Jenkins who had strong support from US Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). Rep. Maloy will now advance into the general election where she will secure her first full congressional term.

In Rep. Curtis’ open District 3, Trump and state party endorsed candidate Mike Kennedy, a physician and state Senator, scored a crowded primary victory with 36% of the vote over four Republican opponents. State Auditor John “Frugal” Dougall, who ran as the MAGA opposition candidate, calling himself “mainstream” fell to a last place finish with just 8% of the vote. In a district the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+26, Sen. Kennedy will have little trouble securing the seat in November.

South Carolina Runoff

The lone South Carolina congressional runoff occurred in the state’s western open 3rd District from which Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-Laurens) is retiring. In a very close finish, Gov. Henry McMaster’s (R) endorsed candidate, Air National Guard Lt. Col. Sheri Biggs, defeated Donald Trump endorsed pastor Mark Burns, 51-49%, after the latter man finished first in the June 11th primary. In another safe Republican district (538 rating: R+44), Ms. Biggs is now a lock to claim the seat in the general election.

We offer this political insights report for your information and not as a predictor or representative of opinions of HBS or its employees.