Primary election: San Francisco voters recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin
Boudin was elected in 2019 during a very different moment in American politics, as concern over police accountability was rising. Calls to reform the criminal justice system reached a crescendo following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.
But in the years since, Boudin’s progressive policies have become a central point of contention. San Francisco residents have been shaken by the rise in violent crime and high-profile hate crime incidents and angered by the increase in burglaries and car thefts across the city.
Six-term US Rep. Karen Bass was once viewed as the frontrunner in that contest, but she has faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from billionaire shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso, a former Republican.
Spending more than $40 million in the race, Caruso has argued that city leaders have failed to keep voters safe and protect their quality of life. Tents have proliferated across Los Angeles, taking over parks, sidewalks and public spaces as the city has struggled to house some 41,000 people who need shelter.
While Bass says she would return the Los Angeles Police Department to its authorized force of 9,700 officers — in part by hiring more civilians to free up 250 officers to return to street patrol — Caruso has promised to hire 1,500 additional officers and to bring on some 500 sanitation workers to clean up the streets.
Voters also cast ballots in Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey and South Dakota on Tuesday in primary contests that offered a window into how much voters intend to blame the party in power for their dissatisfaction about the state of the economy and the country.
GOP Rep. Young Kim is also facing strong competition from her right flank in the newly drawn 40th District in Orange County from Marine veteran Greg Raths, another Trump loyalist.
On the flip side, Democrats hope to use GOP Rep. Mike Garcia’s ties to Trump against him in California’s 27th District after redistricting made his northern Los Angeles County seat more Democratic. (Garcia voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.) Former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith, a Democrat, will advance to a runoff in the district with Garcia, CNN projected.
Following Finkenauer’s recent blunder — where she almost failed to qualify for the ballot when a judge found that she had not met the signature requirements — as well as her loss two years ago to Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson, Democrats in the Hawkeye State went in a different direction. They chose retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken to go up against Grassley, the longest-serving Republican in the US Senate, who will win his party’s primary as he seeks an eighth term, CNN projected.
Finkenauer served for one term in Congress after she won a district in 2018 that former President Donald Trump had carried two years earlier. At that time, she was the second-youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at the age of 29.
Elsewhere in Iowa, one of the most competitive races is in the 3rd District, where Rep. Cindy Axne, the only Democrat in the congressional delegation, hopes to hold her seat in a district that Trump would have won by less than half a point. CNN projected that state Sen. Zach Nunn, an Air Force veteran, will win the Republican primary in the Des Moines-area district.
The other two competitive House races in Iowa are set. GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks will face Democratic state Rep. Christina Bohannan in the new 1st District. In the 2nd District, Hinson will face Democratic state Sen. Liz Mathis, who is also a former local TV news anchor.
There were also several high-profile congressional races in New Jersey. In the state’s 7th District, a battleground that became more Republican in redistricting, CNN projected that Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski and Republican Tom Kean Jr., the former state Senate minority leader and son of former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, will face off in the general election.
In the 8th District in northern New Jersey, Democrat Rob Menendez Jr., son of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, will win the Democratic primary, CNN projects, as he runs for the seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Albio Sires.
This story has been updated with additional developments.