U.S. Congress

Meet the Candidates: Congressional primaries in Washington and Wyoming Tuesday

By Congresspedia asst. editor Avelino Maestas

(For all candidate profiles, see the Wyoming and Washington portals.)

It is anything but business-as-usual for voters in both states holding their congressional primaries on Tuesday. In Wyoming, every seat in the congressional delegation is up for election this year and in Washington state, voters will try out a controversial new primary election system that has already garnered protests from the state's political parties and a Supreme Court ruling.

Washington’s new “top-two” system, designed by Secretary of State Sam Reed, removes the party apparatus from primary elections. Under the new rules, the two candidates who receive the most votes in a given race will move on to the November election, regardless of party affiliation.

Leaders of the state Democratic, Libertarian and Republican parties all objected to the change, arguing it dilutes voters’ choices. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled there was no proof the system confuses voters, since there is no precedent for that type of election.

For more on the Washington and Wyoming races, and our Wiki the Vote project, click through.

Meet the Candidates: Winners of the Congressional Primaries in Colorado, Connecticut and Nevada

(For a full list of candidates, see the Nevada, Colorado and Connecticut portals.)

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

The incumbent members of Congress running in the Connecticut, Nevada and Colorado primaries all survived their same-party challenges Tuesday.

In one of the two open House seats (both in Colorado), retiring Rep. Tom Tancredo's heavily Republican 6th congressional district, Colorado secretary of state Mike Coffman won the GOP nomination. In the other, Colorado's 2nd congressional district, Jared Polis (and the millions spent out of his own pocket) beat out the crowded field to represent the Democratic Party. Polis’s victory almost guarantees his victory in November – the district is very Democratic, so Republican challenger Scott Starin definitely has his work cut out for him.

Colorado is also home to the only open Senate seat, currently held by retiring Sen. Wayne Allard (R). Democratic Rep. Mark Udall and former Bob Schaffer (R), were uncontested in that primary.

Probably the most vulnerable incumbent in these states come fall is Rep. Chris Shays, the last remaining Republican in the House from New England. The Democrats in that district overwhelmingly nominated Jim Himes to challenge him in the general election.

See the full list of candidates and winners after the jump.

As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. We’ve also started displaying the candidates’ biggest campaign contributors on their profile page.

A full list of the candidates and their professions are after the jump, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

Meet the candidates: Congressional primaries in Colorado, Connecticut and Nevada Tuesday

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

A trio of states will hold nominating contests tomorrow, and some of those primary elections will be more important than others. For instance, two Colorado districts have open seats, and the primary winners will probably carry those districts come November. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, two Democrats are vying for the chance to take on Rep. Chris Shays, the lone Republican from New England in the U.S. House. Nevadans are also heading to the polls, and a cadre of Ron Paul’s supporters has helped drive support for a challenger to Rep. Dean Heller (R) in the 2nd congressional district.

The battle for Connecticut’s 4th CD may be one of the most closely-watched races in the country come November. Democrats in 2006 were able to flip two House seats in Connecticut, leaving Shays as the only Republican member of the state’s delegation. Shays won a hard-fought election in 2006, and 2008 will be no walk in the park. Democrats endorsed Jim Himes at a convention in May, but Lee Whitnum has forced a primary tomorrow. Himes has a large fundraising advantage over Whitnum and the support of national organizations that have targeted Shays’ seat.

The other candidates for office in Connecticut are all unopposed in their respective primary elections.

For more on Nevada's and Colorado's faces, click through.

Meet the candidates: Winners of the congressional primaries in Tennessee

Tennessee Republican Rep. David Davis became the fourth member of the U.S. House of Representatives to be booted by primary voters this election cycle, when he was defeated by Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe on Thursday. Across the state, Rep. Steve Cohen (D) easily defeated his main rival, Nikki Tinker, who had used racially charged images in campaign ads attacking Cohen.

Davis was elected in 2006 after besting 12 other Republican candidates in the primary. Roe was among those who lost 2 years ago, but with a smaller field he was able to mount a successful challenge to the freshman representative. Roe is favored to win the November election, since the 1st congressional district leans Republican.

Davis is the latest incumbent to fall to partisan challengers this year: Reps. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), Wayne Gilchrist (R-Md.) and Albert Wynn (D-Md.) were also voted out in primaries.

Meanwhile, Cohen (another freshman representative) won his primary battle by a landslide 60-point margin. Democrats in his majority-black 9th district gave him 79 percent of the vote, while Tinker pulled in 19 percent. Tinker had used an image of Ku Klux Clan founder Nathan Bedford Forest in an ad attacking Cohen, who is white and Jewish. Cohen should have an easy victory come November in the heavily-Democratic district.

Also Thursday, Democrats nominated law professor Bob Tuke to take on Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Republican conference chair in the Senate.

As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

New on Congresspedia: The Members of Congress Who Twitter

Over at Congresspedia, we’re starting to track the members of Congress who are using Twitter, a micro-blogging site consisting of posts of 140 characters or less (it makes more sense once you spend some time there, really). We’ve compiled a list of 30 members thus far, and if you go to their Congresspedia profile page you can read their latest posts – we’ve built them right into the contact section.

Meet the candidates: Winners of the congressional primaries in Kansas, Michigan and Missouri

By Avelino Maestas

If nothing else, this year's election cycle has shown that Americans are prepared to try something new. That hasn’t always translated into a win for primary challengers this year, but as Donna Edwards and Andy Harris showed in Maryland, sometimes party voters are more than willing to oust an incumbent.

In Michigan yesterday, it looked for a time as though voters might toss out another incumbent. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick barely survived a spirited race against Martha Scott and Mary Waters, edging out Waters by a 39.5 percent to 37.5 percent. Early returns had Waters in the lead, but in the end Kilpatrick was able to scrape by.

In Kansas, former Rep. Jim Ryun lost his bid for the Republican nomination to regain his seat from Democratic incumbent Rep. Nancy Boyda. Another former Congressman, Democrat Jim Slattery, is challenging Sen. Pat Roberts (R) come November.

The crowded field of candidates for Missouri’s 9th congressional district was narrowed to two: Democrat Judy Baker, a part-time non-profit director who also owns a consulting firm, will challenge Blaine Luetkemeyer (R), a small businessman and farmer, in the November election.

As part of Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project, citizen journalists from around the country (and even some candidates!) have been logging information about the candidates' positions, biographies and records. A full list of the candidates and their professions are below, but you can also find them at their respective state portals via the Wiki the Vote project homepage. We need your help to find out more about these candidates, so if you know something about them please add it to their profile. (You can always contact one of the staff editors for help.)

Meet the candidates: Congressional primaries in Tennessee Thursday

A trio of House races in Tennessee will keep observers’ eyes locked on the state Friday as voters head to the polls in the state’s congressional primary elections. Of course, we’ve been tracking the races as part of our Wiki the Vote project, and Congresspedia readers like yourself are adding details to the project every day.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D), representing the 9th congressional district, has been under attack in his majority-black district. Challenger Nikki Tinker has hit Cohen hard in a recent campaign commercial by running the congressman’s picture beside an image of Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forest. The ad takes Cohen to task for his vote, while a Center City commissioner, against renaming a park that was named after Forest.

Cohen has countered the attack by highlighting his Jewish heritage, and his recent sponsorship of legislation in the House to apologize for slavery.

(Click through for more on the congressional primaries)

Meet the candidates: Congressional primaries in Kansas, Michigan and Missouri Tuesday

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

It must be August: Congress is no longer in session and the congressional primary season is again heating up. According to our calendar, there are primary elections every week from now until mid-September. Candidates in three states – Kansas, Michigan and Missouri - are on the ballot tomorrow.

As part of our Wiki the Vote project, our citizen-editors have been tallying all the races and building profiles of many of the candidates. We’ll have more on the winners Wednesday, but for now here are some of the more interesting races to watch:

Whose Conventions Are They Anyway?

Both the Democratic and Republican conventions are bringing in millions of dollars in corporate sponsors, but there is no reporting requirement for either the political parties or the companies. There are a reported 146 organizational and corporate donors, but less than a quarter have chosen to disclose information about their donations.

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