Primary election updates: Brad Raffensperger wins primary as Trump’s picks fall in Georgia

Andi Rice/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — May ends with another round of notable primary elections on Tuesday, this time in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Texas.

The most-watched races will be in Georgia, with primaries for governor and the Senate.

Here is how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

May 25, 12:21 am
Raffensperger projected winner of GOP nomination for Georgia secretary of state

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will win the Republican nomination, ABC News has projected.

Raffensperger has been running for reelection under the cloud of former President Donald Trump, who has spent much of the 2022 midterm election cycle advocating for the takedown of Georgia’s top officials after they rebuffed his requests to change the 2020 election results.

Trump endorsed Rep. Jody Hice in the secretary of state’s race. The congressman has amplified Trump’s false claims about election fraud and irregularities — a message that didn’t appear to resonate with voters on Tuesday. ABC News has projected that Gov. Brian Kemp — another target of the ex-president — will win the Republican nomination over Trump-backed David Perdue.

May 25, 12:00 am
ABC News projects Katie Britt, Mo Brooks will advance to runoff

In the Alabama Senate Republican primary, ABC News projects that Katie Britt and Rep. Mo Brooks will advance to a runoff.

They are competing to fill the seat left open by retiring Sen. Richard Shelby. The contest will take place on June 21.

Brooks flailed in the race after once securing the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Trump rescinded his support earlier this year after Brooks, a champion of Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, suggested it was time to move on from the presidential race. But Club for Growth, a popular conservative anti-tax group, is still backing him and has spent more than $4.4 million on his behalf.

Britt, a former Shelby aide, has secured the endorsement of the outgoing senator as well as Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

May 24, 11:35 pm
McBath speaks about gun violence in victory speech: ‘We are exhausted’

Addressing supporters at an election watch party on Tuesday night, Rep. Lucy McBath, the projected winner in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, used the moment to discuss gun violence after a mass shooting at an elementary school left at least 19 children and two adults dead in Uvalde, Texas.

“Tonight I came to give one speech but I am now forced to make another,” McBath said after briefly thanking voters and volunteers, “because just hours ago, we paid for the weapons of war on our streets again with the blood of little children sitting in our schools.”

McBath rose to national prominence in 2018, becoming a leading advocate for gun control after her son, Jordan, was shot and killed at a gas station in Florida. She described on Tuesday night the “all-consuming fear” that parents feel about their children’s safety.

“The violence that took my soon has been replayed with casual callousness and despicable frequency,” McBath said, citing the recent shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 people dead, as well as past tragedies in Newton, Connecticut, and Charleston, South Carolina.

“We cannot be the only nation where one party sits on their hands as children are forced to cover their faces in fear,” McBath said. “We are exhausted, all of us, the American majority.”

May 24, 10:24 pm
ABC News projects Lucy McBath will win Democratic primary in Georgia

Rep. Lucy McBath will win the Democratic nomination in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, ABC News has projected, besting Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux after redistricting pitted the two incumbents against each other.

McBath flipped Georgia’s 6th Congressional District from red to blue in 2018. She is now the presumptive front-runner to win the November general election in the solidly Democratic district, which includes the Atlanta suburbs.

Her primary win comes on the same day as a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas. McBath has been advocating for gun control following the death of her son, Jordan Davis, from gun violence back in 2012. He was shot and killed at a gas station in Florida by a man who complained that his and his friend’s music was too loud.

In a statement, McBath said Tuesday that we as a country our better than this and that it is “imperative we act, and act now.”

May 24, 10:22 pm
Trump congratulates Walker for Georgia Senate Republican primary win

Former President Donald Trump called into Herschel Walker’s victory party on Tuesday night, congratulating the Republican nominee in brief remarks.

“And, you know, you were the greatest football player, and you’ll be an even greater politician and Senator,” Trump said. “I knew it right from the beginning when first I spoke to you and I said, this man is gonna do things that are incredible.”

Walker then thanked his campaign and supporters and made a vague jab at his opponents.

“If you live in the state of Georgia, you’re my family. And these radicals will have to come after me before they get to you. And I won’t let that happen,” Walker said.

May 24, 9:34 pm
Sarah Huckabee Sanders projected to win Arkansas’ Republican primary for governor

ABC News projects that Sarah Huckabee Sanders will win the Republican nomination for governor in Arkansas, beating out her sole competitor, Little Rock radio host Francis “Doc” Washburn.

Sanders, the 39-year-old daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, with her victory upholds a political dynasty in Arkansas. Heading into Election Day, she secured endorsements from former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tom Cotton, among others.

Trump made his last push for Sanders today, sending wide a statement called his endorsee a “warrior” who would do what is right, not what is “political correct.”

May 24, 9:20 pm
Ken Paxton projected winner of Texas attorney general runoff

ABC News projects that in the Texas Republican primary runoff, incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton will win. As of 9 p.m. Eastern, with 29% of the expected vote in, Paxton leads with 66% of the vote, while George P. Bush follows with 34% of the vote.

This race was both a test of Trump’s endorsement and the power of political dynasties, in this case: the Bushes.

Paxton received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in July 2021 but went into the runoff engulfed in scandals that include indictment for securities fraud, FBI investigations into malfeasance and marital infidelity, among others. He denies all allegations.

His opponent was Bush, who is George H. W. Bush’s grandson and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He is the only member of his famous family still in public office, currently serving as commissioner of the Texas General Land Office.

May 24, 9:04 pm
Marjorie Taylor Greene projected GOP winner in Georgia’s 14th district

ABC News projects that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is the winner of the Republican primary in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.

Greene edged out five Republican competitors and overcame a legal challenge to her reelection despite her turbulent tenure in Congress.

As ABC’s Hannah Demissie reported, a group of Georgia voters said that Greene was not eligible to run for reelection due to her alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol, citing the 14th Amendment. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger agreed in early May with the court’s recommendation that Greene is allowed to stay on the ballot.

May 24, 9:03 pm


All polls are now closed


The final polls of the night have closed in Arkansas and Montana.

In Arkansas, voters are picking their party’s nominees for governor and Senate. In Minnesota, there is a special election to choose a replacement for Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died in February.

May 24, 8:31 pm
Brian Kemp projected winner of gubernatorial primary

ABC News has projected that sitting Gov. Brian Kemp will win the Republican nomination in Georgia, defeating former President Donald Trump’s pick David Perdue.

Trump personally courted Perdue to challenge Kemp after the governor refused to indulge his baseless claims about the 2020 election. Despite the former president’s backing, Perdue consistently lagged in polling and fundraising against Kemp.

Kemp’s presumptive victory sets up a rematch between him and Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ABC News has projected to win the Democratic nomination for Senate. Their bitter 2018 race for the governorship was decided by less than 55,000 votes. Abrams admitted defeat but said she refused to call it a “concession,” citing tactics she said were used to suppress the vote.

May 24, 8:13 pm
Polls close in Alabama, most of Texas

Polls are now closed in Alabama and most of Texas.

In Texas, all eyes are on a runoff election between Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar and immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros in the state’s 28th Congressional District. Cisneros is backed by the progressive wing of the party, while Cuellar has maintained support from the Democratic establishment despite his anti-abortion stance.

In Alabama, Sen. Richard Shelby’s retirement has resulted in a competitive Republican primary between Rep. Mo Brooks, attorney Katie Britt and former Army helicopter pilot Mike Durant. Brooks initially won former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in the race, but later lost it after suggesting it was time to move on from the 2020 election. Trump has not made another endorsement in the contest.

May 24, 7:19 pm
Stacey Abrams projected to win Democratic gubernatorial primary in Georgia

In the Georgia gubernatorial Democratic primary, ABC News projects Stacey Abrams will win.

Abrams’s victory in the primary means November’s general election could be a rematch between her and Gov. Brian Kemp. Kemp defeated Abrams in 2018 by a very narrow margin that she claimed was influenced by tactics that suppressed the vote.

Following her election loss, Abrams turned to advocacy and founded a voting rights group in Georgia. She’s credited as a main figure in helping Democrats flip the state from blue to red in the 2020 election cycle.

May 24, 7:07 pm
Polls close in Georgia

Polls have closed in Georgia, where voters are picking their party’s nominees in several highly-watched Senate, House and gubernatorial primary elections. Anyone already in line as of the 7 p.m. close will still be able to cast a ballot.

The Peach State has a fraught history of long lines and voting issues on Election Day, but Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told reporters Tuesday afternoon that “everything so far has been smooth sailing.”

Candidates must receive more than 50% of the vote to win the nomination, or they will face a runoff race on June 21.

May 24, 6:54 pm
Georgia elections are biggest test yet for Trump’s “big lie”

Former President Donald Trump has gone all-in on Georgia, where he’s desperately trying to oust sitting Republican officials who pushed back on his baseless claims about the 2020 presidential election.

His picks include fellow election deniers David Perdue, a former senator running against Gov. Brian Kemp; Rep. Jody Hice, who is challenging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger; celebrity football star Herschel Walker, who’s seeking a Senate seat; and John Gordon, a businessman trying to unseat Attorney General Chris Carr.

May 24, 6:05 pm
Texas candidates respond to elementary school mass shooting

Democrats Jessica Cisneros and Henry Cuellar, who are competing in a runoff election for a South Texas congressional seat, issued statements after 14 students and one teacher were [killed in a shooting] () at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“This is a devastating tragedy,” Cisneros wrote on Twitter. “How many more mass shootings do children have to experience before we say enough? Sending my condolences to the children and families in Uvalde who are experiencing this unthinkable tragedy.”

Cuellar said he was “heartbroken” and urged the public to come together to support the community.

May 24, 5:05 pm
Stacey Abrams speaks after David Perdue’s ‘go back’ attack

Stacey Abrams, a Black Democrat running for Georgia governor, declined on Tuesday to directly comment on Republican David Perdue saying she should “go back to where she came from.”

“No, not at all,” Abrams, said at a news conference in Atlanta, when asked by ABC News whether she wanted to respond to what was widely labeled as racist remarks from Perdue on Monday night while giving a campaign speech in which he also charged she was “demeaning her own race.”

“I will say this,” Abrams told ABC News at Tuesday’s press conference. “I have listened to Republicans for the last six months attack me. But they’ve done nothing to attack the challenges facing Georgia. They’ve done nothing to articulate their plans for the future of Georgia. Their response to a comment on their record is to deflect and to pretend that they’ve done good for the people of Georgia.”

Perdue, running to get the GOP nomination for Georgia governor, seized on Abram’s comments last week that Georgia was “worst state in the country to live,” citing residents’ disparities in mental health and maternal mortality, among other issues.

“She ain’t from here. Let her go back to where she came from,” Perdue, a former senator challenging Gov. Brian Kemp for their party’s nomination, said at a campaign event in the Atlanta suburbs on Monday night. “She doesn’t like it here.”

May 24, 5:03 pm
Early voting surges in Georgia as state navigates new election rules

A historic number of people have voted early in Georgia’s primary elections. According to the secretary of state’s office, approximately 857,401 people voted in-person or through an absentee ballot as of Friday — roughly three times as many as at the same point in the 2018 midterm election cycle.

Republicans are touting increased voter turnout as proof a controversial election law signed last year wasn’t as restrictive as its opponents described, while Democrats say the numbers are indicative of public pushback to the legislation.

“I think it tells us that Georgia voters got the message and the message was, ‘We gotta go vote, and we’ve got to go vote early, and we’ve got to go vote in person,’” Bee Nguyen, the leading Democratic candidate for secretary of state, told ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks.

May 24, 4:25 pm
Here’s what time polls close in each state

Here’s what time polls close in each state on Tuesday. All times Eastern.

  • Georgia: 7 p.m.
  • Alabama: 8 p.m.
  • Texas: 8 p.m. in most of the state, 9 p.m. in the western tip
  • Arkansas: 8:30 p.m.
  • Minnesota: 9 p.m

May 24, 5:07 pm
What races Republicans, Democrats will be watching closely in Tuesday’s primaries

Tuesday’s primary elections, stretching across four Southern states, will continue to test Republican voters’ appetite for former President Donald Trump and his push of the “big lie.”

Nowhere is that more apparent than in Georgia as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — two Republicans who balked at Trump’s requests to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race — face challenges from enthusiastic proponents of Trump’s baseless election claims. Kemp is hoping to fight off former Sen. David Perdue, while Raffensperger is looking to rebuff Rep. Jody Hice.

Another high-profile contest in the Peach State will be the Senate primary, where football star Herschel Walker is running for the Republican nomination to likely challenge Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. Trump-endorsed Walker has been leading the pack despite several controversies, including prior accusations of domestic violence. (Walker has denied some of the allegations and said he doesn’t remember others.)

For Democrats, the most-watched race of the night will be a runoff in Texas’ 28th Congressional District as 29-year-old immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros tries for a third time to unseat nine-term incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar. The heated primary is the first clear test of how abortion rights may motivate voters this election cycle, given Cuellar’s position as the sole anti-abortion Democrat in the House.

And in Georgia, two Democratic incumbents — Rep. Lucy McBath and Rep. Carolyn Bordeaux — are running against each other because of redistricting.

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