Kentucky, New York, Virginia Hold Primary Elections

Elections are set for three U.S. states Tuesday, including a Senate Democratic primary contest in the mid-south state of Kentucky for a spot to face Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November and a tough Democratic primary challenge longtime Congressman Eliot Engel is facing in New York.In the Kentucky race, polls indicate a tight race between former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who narrowly lost a 2018 bid for a seat in the House of Representatives, and Charles Booker, a 35-year-old state lawmaker.McGrath was the early favorite in the race and raised $41 million in campaign funds while earning the endorsements of key Democratic figures such as Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.  But Booker, who raised less than $4 million, has closed the gap, getting his own endorsements from key newspapers in the state as well as national progressive figures including Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, in Washington, June 16, 2020.Tuesday’s winner faces a tough contest against the 78-year-old McConnell, a fixture in Kentucky and the Washington power structure. McConnell has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump’s legislative proposals and his appointment of conservative judges. Moreover, the president is popular in Kentucky, which he won by about 30 percentage points in 2016. New York In Tuesday’s other key race, the 73-year-old Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is also facing a late challenge from Jamaal Bowman, a 44-year-old middle school principal who had never run for office before.  Much like Booker in Kentucky, Bowman is advancing more leftist policies than Engel, hoping to unseat the 16-term congressman. Engel has the endorsements of key Washington figures, including Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 election to Trump.  FILE – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., walks through the Hall of Columns at the Capitol.But New York progressives have lined up behind Bowman, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who herself won an upset primary election victory against an entrenched New York congressman in 2018. In a normally solid Republican congressional district in western New York state, Democrat Nate McMurray and Republican Chris Jacobs are vying to finish the last half year of the two-year term vacated when Republican Chris Collins resigned as he pleaded guilty to federal insider stock trading charges. No matter who wins, McMurray and Jacobs are likely to face each other again in November for a full two-year House term. There also are party primaries for six congressional seats in Kentucky and another 26 House primaries in New York besides the Engel-Bowman race. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.Virginia
In the mid-Atlantic state of Virginia, there are seven party primaries for House seats, along with a Republican party primary for the Senate nomination to face two-term incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Warner in the November election. The three Republicans vying to face Warner are civics teacher Alissa Baldwin, Army intelligence officer Thomas Speciale and Daniel Gade, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who lost his right leg in a 2004 firefight in Iraq and now is a professor at American University in Washington.President Donald Trump exits Air Force One as he arrives at Tulsa International Airport on his way to his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20, 2020Trump heads to Arizona
Trump is heading Tuesday to the southwestern state of Arizona where he is scheduled to inspect the under-construction border wall in Yuma, one of the nation’s hot spots for COVID-19. He is then scheduled to deliver a campaign speech to more than 3,000 people, most with the group “Students for Trump,” at a church in Phoenix.Arizona has seen its number of coronavirus cases double in the past two weeks.  Both Yuma County and the city of Phoenix have mandated the wearing of face masks in public.Trump’s reelection campaign faced criticism for holding a rally Saturday in the state of Oklahoma, another where the number of coronavirus cases has been surging.The political rally attracted far fewer supporters than the campaign had anticipated, filling only 6,200 out of the 19,199 seats in the Bank of Oklahoma Center, according to the Tulsa Fire Department.The Trump campaign had claimed it had received more than a million requests for tickets.