GOP incumbents face house primary in Democratic California

LOS ANGELES – A list of Republican members of the US House of Representatives in heavily Democratic California faces key challengers on Tuesday in races that will help determine control of Congress.

No incumbents seem in danger of losing their elementary school, but the Districts will be part of the country’s marquee races in November. Two of the members of the House of Representatives are trying to overcome challenges related to former President Donald Trump: one voted to support the former president’s impeachment after the US Capitol riot, while the other campaigned against it.

Elsewhere on Tuesday Ex-Home Secretary Ryan Zinke competes against several other Republicans for a chance to seize a new US Representative District in western Montana. In Iowa, a trio of Republicans are struggling to take on the only Democratic member of the US House of Representatives in a newly drawn district with a stronger GOP bias. And in Mississippi, Republican US Rep. Steven Palazzo is running for re-election Congressional ethics watchdog raised questions about his campaign spending.


A look at the major US house races:


Two Republican congressmen face Trump-related challenges, but for different reasons.

In a Democratic Party district in the Central Valley’s farm belt, Republican Rep. David Valadao highlights an independent streak as he fights for his vote with the fallout from the GOP to impeach Trump over the January 6 riot. Republican Chris Mathys has made voting Valadao a centerpiece of his campaign to oust him.

In a Democratic neighborhood north of Los Angeles, three Democrats vie for a chance to run Republican Rep. Mike Garcia, who took the seat in 2020. Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot who was supported by Trump in 2020, joined House Republicans rejecting electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania and opposing Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol riot. Two other Republicans are also on the ballot.


California uses a top-two election format, with only the top two voters regardless of party advancing to November’s general election.


Montana won a second congressional district this year thanks to its growing population, and Zinke, a Secretary of the Interior under Trump, is one of five Republicans in the general election for the open seat.

Zinke’s rivals draw attention to him troubled tenure at the agency, which was marked by several ethics investigations. An investigation found that Zinke lied to an agency ethics officer about his continued involvement in a commercial real estate deal in his hometown. He faced a smear campaign from his party’s far-right wing about his military service and questions about his residency after it was revealed his wife had made a house in California her primary residence.


Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, is widely regarded as the de facto incumbent, having twice won elections for the state’s other House of Representatives seat before resigning in 2017 to join the Trump administration.

Among his main opponents is former state senator Al “Doc” Olszewski, an orthopedic surgeon and hard-line conservative who has attempted to portray Zinke as a “liberal insider.” Three Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination: public health attorney Cora Neumann, Olympic rower and attorney Monica Tranel, and former Rep. Tom Winter.


Three Republicans are fighting for a chance to face 2-year Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne in a newly drawn Iowa district that could be more favorable to the GOP.

In previous elections, Axne was bolstered by her strong support in the Des Moines area, even as she campaigned in rural counties that are typically Republican. The new district includes several counties in southern Iowa known for voting heavily for Republicans, increasing pressure on Axne to increase their numbers in pro-Democracy Des Moines and its suburbs.


Among Republicans, State Senator Zach Nunn is the most notorious of their challengers. He’s an Air Force pilot who has served in the Legislature since 2014 and has campaigned for tax cuts. He competes against Nicole Hasso, a financial services professional, and Gary Leffler, who works in the construction industry.


First-elected Republican Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi, inaugurated in 2010, faces his biggest campaign ever after a congressional ethics watchdog raised questions about his campaign spending.

A 2021 Office of Congressional Ethics report found “substantial reason to believe” that Palazzo, a military veteran who serves on the Appropriations and Homeland Security committees, abused office by squandering campaign funds , did his brother a favor and recruited staff for political purposes personal errands. His spokeswoman at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said the investigation was based on politically motivated “false allegations.”


His six opponents include a sheriff, Mike Ezell, and a senator, Brice Wiggins. If no candidate achieves the majority of the votes, a run-off election will take place on June 28th.


Trump is also interfering in the battle for South Dakota’s only seat in the House of Representatives.

GOP MP Dusty Johnsona member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, faces a challenge from his political right Republican lawmaker Taffy Howard. She has repeated Trump’s discredited claims of widespread voter fraud and has criticized Johnson for voting to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election.

However, Johnson has retained a broad fundraising edge. No Democrats are runningso the winner of the GOP primary will likely take the place.



Associated Press writers Scott McFetridge in Des Moines, Iowa; Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Miss.; Matthew Brown of Billings, Mont.; and Stephen Groves of Sioux Falls, SD contributed to this report.


Follow AP for full coverage of the Midterms at and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/07/gop-incumbents-face-house-primaries-in-democratic-california/ GOP incumbents face house primary in Democratic California

Sarah Y. Kim

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