Here’s What to Watch in Colorado, New York, and Utah Primaries
Here’s What to Watch in Colorado, New York, and Utah Primaries

By Nathan Worcester

Some of the biggest and most controversial names in the House will be maneuvering through primaries on June 25.

They include Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), the MAGA favorite now running for the Republican nomination from a new district, and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), the democratic socialist who faces a well-funded challenge because of his stance on Israel.

In Utah, voters will show just how much an endorsement from former President Donald J. Trump means in the fight to take the seat being vacated by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Gov. Spencer Cox seeks reelection after losing a vote at his party’s convention.

Here are the races worth following:

Colorado Races

Colorado’s 3rd District

Ms. Boebert moved across the state, from the Western Slope to the flatter, grassier east, amid a split from her former husband, Jayson Boebert.

Whatever else it means, the move has positioned her to dodge another Third District general election battle with Democrat Adam Frisch. In 2022, the former Aspen councilman came within several hundred votes of defeating the woman former President Trump has called “a trusted America First fighter.”

Mr. Frisch is unopposed among Democrats. He also has more than $3.7 million cash on hand.

On the Republican side, Jeff Hurd, an attorney from Grand Junction, is favored by fundraising and polling over former state Rep. Ron Hanks, the candidate endorsed by the state GOP. Other contenders include Colorado State Board of Education member Stephen Varela and financial advisor Russ Andrews.

Colorado’s 4th District

Ms. Boebert’s GOP opponents include parental rights activist Deborah Flora and former state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. State Reps. Richard Holtorf and Mike Lynch and mortgage broker Peter Yu will also be on the June 25 GOP primary ballot.

Ms. Boebert has more than $681,000 on hand. That’s significantly more than the $117,536 held by her closest Republican rival in fundraising, Ms. Flora.

On the Democratic side, retired Marine Officer Isaac “Ike” McCorkle comes a little closer to Ms. Boebert, with more than $1.4 million in total fundraising and over $163,000 on hand.

Addiction recovery activist John Padora, Jr. and Trisha Calvarese, former speechwriting and publications director of the AFL-CIO. are competing against Mr. McCorkle in that party’s primary.

That same day will see a special election to finish the term of Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who stepped down a few months ago.

Ken Buck speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Republican Greg Lopez will face Ms. Calvarese and other candidates from minor parties. Ms. Boebert won’t be anywhere on the ticket.

Colorado’s 5th District

With Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) finishing up his final term, Republicans in the fairly Republican-leaning district are choosing between Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams and Jeff Crank, a regional vice president with the Koch brothers’ network, Americans for Prosperity. Former President Trump has endorsed Mr. Williams.

In the Democratic primary, Joe Reagan, a U.S. Army veteran who has worked in nonprofits, is running against River Gassen.

Colorado’s 8th District

Created after the 2020 U.S. Census, the Eighth is currently held by a Democrat but the Cook Political Report considers it evenly split, politically.

That incumbent, Rep. Yadira Caraveo, is running unchallenged in her party’s primary.

On the Republican side, state Rep. Gabe Evans, a U.S. Army veteran and former police officer, will face Dr. Janak Joshi, a retired physician and former state representative.

New York Races

New York’s 16th District

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) faces one of the highest-profile primary challenges this cycle.

His opponent, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, leads in polling and fundraising. What’s more, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has poured $14.5 million into the effort to defeat Bowman, who called Israel’s invasion of Gaza a genocide.

But Bowman, who once got into a heated confrontation with fellow AIPAC critic Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), has a war chest of his own along with allies in “the Squad.” Fellow New Yorker Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) campaigned with him at a recent rally in the Bronx.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), speaks at a “Get Out the Vote” rally on the weekend before the Democratic Primary in New York on June 22, 2024. (Yuki Iawmura/ AFP via Getty Images)

On the Republican side, Dr. Miriam Flisser is advancing after the cancellation of that party’s primary. Mr. Bowman beat her in 2022.

New York’s 17th District

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) is one of several New York Republicans gearing up for a difficult general election battle this fall after redistricting rendered their territories more Democratic. But he won’t face a primary from Republicans or the state’s Conservative Party.

Former Rep. Mondaire Jones will not face a primary from the Democratic party on June 25 either. Yet, there will be a Working Families Party primary pitting Mr. Jones against Anthony Frascone.

New York’s 19th District

Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) will not face a primary in a district that the Cook Political Report has rated a Republican tossup. Democrat Josh Riley, who lost to Mr. Molinaro in 2022, is also advancing without a contest on June 25.

Mr. Riley, the challenger, has almost twice as much cash on hand as Mr. Molinaro.

New York’s 22nd District

In the state’s 22nd District, another seat affected by redistricting, Democrats John Mannion and Sarah Klee Hood are vying to take on a Republican incumbent, Rep. Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.). Cook has rated the district “Lean Democrat.”

Ms. Klee Hood is a U.S. Air Force veteran and self-described “environmental policy expert,” while Mr. Mannion is a state senator.

Utah Races

Utah Senate

The race is on to replace Mr. Romney—and in heavily Republican Utah, the GOP Senate primary could be the most important step.

Trent Staggs, the mayor of Riverton, Utah, has been endorsed by former President Trump and garnered the state GOP’s backing.

Yet, Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson have generally surpassed him in polling. Both have also exceeded him in fundraising and have more cash on hand than the moderate, who is also up against Moxie Pest Control founder and CEO Jason Walton.

(L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dine at Jean Georges restaurant in New York City on Nov. 29, 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democrat Caroline Gleich, a ski mountaineer, is advancing after her party cancelled their Senate primary.

Utah’s 3rd District

Mr. Curtis, the Senate hopeful, is not trying to retain his House seat in this heavily Republican district.

The GOP primary candidates here include JR Bird, the mayor of Roosevelt, Utah, trampoline park entrepreneur Case Lawrence, and Utah State Auditor John Dougall. Mr. Dougall has stood out as a critic of former President Trump.

Dr. Mike Kennedy, a physician and state senator, and Stewart Peay, a Utah Army National Guard veteran, are also in the race.

Glenn Wright, a former councilmember from Summit County, will not face a primary on the Democratic side as he moves forward to the general election.

Utah’s 2nd District

Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-Utah), who narrowly won the GOP nomination before a 2023 special election, is facing a primary challenge from former Green Beret and Army Reservist Colby Jenkins. The two have repeatedly debated.

Mr. Jenkins, who has secured the support of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), has trailed Ms. Maloy in fundraising. President Trump endorsed Ms. Maloy, who once characterized him as “a dictator.”

The Democratic primary was canceled, enabling Nathaniel Woodward, an attorney, to move forward.

Utah Governor

Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, is also coping with a big challenge from his right. His opponent, state Rep. Phil Lyman, has gained in the polls in recent months.

Incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox, left, shakes hands with Utah Rep. Phil Lyman after Utah’s gubernatorial GOP primary debate in Salt Lake City on June 11, 2024. (Isaac Hale/The Deseret News via AP, Pool)

Democrat Brian King has proceeded as his party’s choice for the general election after its convention several months ago. Mr. Cox lost at the Republican convention, though he had enough signatures to appear on ballots on June 25.


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