Here’s What to Watch For as Voters Head to the Polls in Seven States on Tuesday

Michael Grimm, a former congressman, spoke to participants and supporters on Staten Island on Saturday.
Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

There will be important primaries or runoff elections on Tuesday in seven states, including New York, where establishment candidates in both parties face tests in colorful, close primary battles.

A former congressman on Staten Island will try to regain his seat, hoping Republican voters look past his criminal record as a tax evader. On the Democratic side, challenges to incumbents have revealed tensions between party leaders backing entrenched candidates and new candidates who represent an infusion of activism in the party.

Voters will also go to the polls in Utah, Maryland, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina.

They will be winnowing down the field of candidates from both parties who will face off in the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Here are a few things to watch for.

New York

Much of the attention on Tuesday will be on a Republican race on Staten Island, where Michael Grimm, a former congressman who pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud in 2014, is running to regain his seat in the 11th District.

Mr. Grimm is facing Representative Dan Donovan, the Republican who succeeded him. A victory by Mr. Grimm would give Democrats an opening in solidly Republican territory, as they will aggressively use Mr. Grimm’s criminal record against him.

Democrats plan to compete hard this fall across New York State, where they hope to pick up Republican-held House seats in regions as varied as the suburbs of Long Island and the farmland along the border with Canada. But crucial races Tuesday will also focus attention on intraparty competition involving four incumbents in and around New York City. Though they are favored to win, the incumbents have faced aggressive challenges from insurgent candidates.

The most closely watched race will be in the 14th District, where the 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley has been challenged by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive candidate who has called for dismantling the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Also facing tough primary challengers in the metropolitan area: Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Yvette D. Clarke and Carolyn Maloney, who is running against Suraj Patel, a hotel executive, in the 12th District.

Elsewhere in the state, Democrats in the 24th District, which stretches from south of Syracuse to the shores of Lake Ontario, will pick a candidate to take on Representative John Katko, a Republican. The party-endorsed candidate, Juanita Perez Williams, a former Navy officer, is facing off against Dana Balter.

Seven Democrats are competing in a primary to run against Representative John Faso, a Republican, in the 19th District, comprising the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains.

In the First District, on Long Island, voters will pick between five Democrats vying for the chance to challenge Representative Lee Zeldin, a Republican.

The 21st District, which hugs the Canadian border, has five Democrats who want the chance to compete against Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican, in November.

Maryland

The Democratic primary is the race to watch in Maryland on Tuesday.

A crowded slate of Democrats is competing for the chance to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan, a popular Republican. They include Ben Jealous, the former president of the N.A.A.C.P., and Rushern Baker, the executive of Prince George’s County. They’re widely seen as the front-runners.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Liam Stack