What to watch in the Arizona, Michigan primary, elsewhere

In Missouri, disgraced former governor Eric Greitens is attempting a political comeback. In Michigan, a crowded field of Republican gubernatorial candidates includes a man accused of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In Arizona, a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement is running for the US House.

These are among the most notable contests in Tuesday’s six-state primary.

Arizona, narrowly won by Democrat Joe Biden in 2020, is a top target for former President Donald Trump, who has tried unsuccessfully to overturn his loss. He has endorsed a slate of candidates up and down the ballot who have promoted his false claims of a stolen election.

Trump has also zeroed in on the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him over the Jan. 6 riot. Three of them are on the ballot Tuesday in Washington state and Michigan, as are two members of “The Team,” Democratic Reps. Cory Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlieb of Michigan.

Meanwhile, Kansas voters could clear the way for the Republican-controlled Legislature to further restrict or ban abortions if they approve a proposed state constitutional change. It is the first referendum on abortion policy by a state since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

Ohio also holds primaries for state legislative races on Tuesday, three months after its statewide and congressional contests — a divided system that grew out of legal battles over redistricting.

What to watch:

ARIZONA

Trump’s endorsed candidates in Arizona all have one thing in common: They have loudly spread misinformation about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, despite election officials and Trump’s own attorney general saying there is no credible evidence the race was tainted.

In the governor’s race, Trump endorsed former television news anchor Kari Lake, who said she would not have certified Arizona’s 2020 election results. Lake faces businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, who is backed by former Vice President Mike Pence and the outgoing governor. Doug Ducey.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a staunch advocate of the 2020 election, is heavily favored to win the Democratic nomination for governor.

In the Republican primary for the US Senate, Trump endorsed tech investor Blake Masters as a candidate to face incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly in the fall. Masters, whose campaign was funded by billionaire Peter Thiel, has called for a reduction in legal immigration and has espoused the baseless “great replacement” conspiracy theory, arguing that Democrats are trying to “replace Americans born here.”

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, another Senate candidate, has been weighed down by lackluster fundraising and heavy criticism from Trump, who says Brnovich has done little to advance his allegations of voter fraud. Another leading candidate, Jim Lamon, the founder of a solar energy company, was a fake voter for Trump in 2020, signing a certificate that falsely said the then-president had won the state.

The Republican primary for secretary of state includes Trump-backed lawmaker Mark Finchem, a state representative who worked to reverse Trump’s 2020 defeat. State Rep. Shawnna Bolick, who introduced a bill allowing lawmakers to ignore the election results and choose their own presidential electors. and state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who has long pushed to overhaul election laws. The GOP establishment has rallied around ad executive Beau Lane in the race.

Ron Watkins, who has ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory, is considered a long shot in the House. Watkins, a Republican, served as the longtime administrator of the online message boards that became the home of the anonymous “Q.” The conspiracy theory centers on the baseless belief that Trump has waged a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and that a group of satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles secretly rule the world.

In the state legislature, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified at a Jan. 6 hearing on Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election, is facing a Trump-backed candidate in his bid to run for the Senate.

MICHIGAN

The Republican primary for governor was a wild one from the start, with five candidates being disqualified from the ballot for failing to submit enough valid signatures.

Several of the remaining candidates have baggage that could hurt in a general election against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Real estate broker Ryan Kelly has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges after authorities said he rallied Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol. Businessman Kevin Rinke sued in the 1990s for sexual harassment and racial discrimination — allegations he says were false. Chiropractor Garrett Soldano used supplements he falsely claimed treated COVID-19. Trump-endorsed conservative commentator Tudor Dixon has previously starred in low-budget horror pictures.

All the candidates are falsely saying the 2020 election was rigged, with Dixon, Kelly and Soldano saying the election was stolen by Trump.

Republican Rep. Peter Meijer hopes to retain his seat after the vote to impeach Trump. The former president has endorsed businessman and missionary John Gibbs, who worked in the Trump administration under Housing Secretary Ben Carson.

MISSOURI

Greitens’ political career appeared to be over when he resigned as governor in 2018 after admitting to an extramarital affair and allegations of racketeering and campaign finance violations. On Tuesday, the former Navy SEAL has a chance to redeem himself in the Republican primary for the seat held by retiring GOP U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.

Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmidt and U.S. Rep. Vicki Hartzler are the frontrunners in a crowded 21-person GOP field that includes U.S. Rep. Billy Long and Mark McCloskey, the attorney for St. injustice protestors who took to their private road.

Trump has not endorsed the race, though he has ruled out Hartzler.

The GOP winner in Missouri, a solidly Republican state, will be favored in November. But Republican leaders have long worried that Greitens — whose ex-wife has also accused him of abuse, allegations Greitens called “baseless” — could win the primary but lose the general election.

On the Democratic side, the nomination appears to be between Lucas Kunce, a Marine veteran and self-proclaimed populist, and Trudy Busch Valentine, an heiress to the Busch beer fortune who has largely self-funded her campaign.

WASHINGTON

Two Republican members of the House of Representatives from Washington state who voted to impeach Trump face the primary challengers he supports.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who has been in Congress since 2011, said he voted for the impeachment because he had an “obligation to the Constitution.” Trump has endorsed Joe Kent, a former Green Beret and a regular on conservative television who echoes the former president’s complaint about the outcome of the 2020 election.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, a member of Congress since 2015, said he voted to impeach Trump for inciting and refusing to immediately stop the Jan. 6 uprising. Among his contenders is Lauren Culp, a former small-town police chief backed by Trump who refused to concede the 2020 governor’s race to Democrat Jay Inslee.

In Washington, the top two vote-getters in each race, regardless of party, advance to November.

KANSAS

Voters will decide whether to approve a change to the state constitution that could allow the Legislature to restrict or ban abortions despite a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling that access to abortion is a fundamental right. It is the first state abortion referendum since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

In statewide races, Republican Chris Kobach is running for attorney general as he attempts a political comeback after losing gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races in previous years. Kobach, the former state secretary of state, served as vice chairman of a short-lived Trump commission on voter fraud after the 2016 election.

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Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix. Sara Burnett in Chicago; Jim Salter in O’Fallon, Missouri; Chris Grygiel in Seattle. and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas. contributed to this report.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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Follow AP for complete coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

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