Live updates l Houchin wins GOP Indiana congressional race

INDIANAPOLIS — Former state Sen. Erin Houchin has won the crowded Republican primary for an open congressional seat from a solidly GOP district in southern Indiana.

Houchin emerged Tuesday from a nine-candidate Republican field for the 9th Congressional District seat that opened up when current GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth unexpectedly announced in January he wouldn’t seek reelection after three terms.

The 45-year-old Houchin finished second to Hollingsworth in the 2016 GOP primary race. This time, she was able to overcome a self-funded campaign by wealthy trucking company owner Mike Sodrel, who attempted a political comeback for the seat he held for a single term after a 2004 election win.

Houchin resigned her state Senate seat in February after seven years to focus on the congressional race. Houchin was the only woman among the Republican candidates, and she also drew on her ties to GOP activists from her previous stints as former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats’ southeastern Indiana director and the 9th District’s Republican chair.

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The midterm election season begins in earnest Tuesday with primaries in Indiana and Ohio. Ohio’s hotly contested Republican Senate race will test the enduring power of former President Donald Trump’s influence, as his endorsed candidate, JD Vance, competes against six others for the GOP nomination for the seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman. Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also faces a primary challenge on Tuesday.

HERE’S WHAT TO WATCH:

Election 2022: Voters to decide Ohio’s heated Senate primary

Ohio Republican Gov. DeWine faces test of far right’s sway

Indiana GOP lawmakers resisting many hard-right challengers

In Ohio, US House rematch again tests progressive clout

2022 midterms: What to know about Ohio, Indiana primaries

Trump’s bid to shape GOP faces test with voters in May races

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — JD Vance has won the Republican primary for Ohio’s open Senate seat, notching a major victory for former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed him.

The “Hillbilly Elegy” author defeated six other candidates Tuesday to claim the Republican nomination for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rob Portman.

Trump endorsed Vance less than three weeks before the primary at a time when state treasurer Josh Mandel and investment banker Mike Gibbons were leading in the polls.

The former president has staked his status as a GOP kingmaker on his ability to mobilize his supporters as he eyes another White House run in 2024.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican Max Miller has won a U.S. House primary in northeast Ohio, in an early midterm victory for Donald Trump, who had endorsed him.

Miller, a former campaign and White House aide to the former president, prevailed in a four-way GOP primary Tuesday in Ohio’s newly drawn 7th Congressional District.

His path to the nomination eased when incumbent Rep. Bob Gibbs dropped out of contention in April, citing the chaos created by Ohio’s unresolved redistricting fight.

Miller will be favored this fall in the Republican-leaning district, which sprawls west and south of Cleveland. He faces Democrat Matthew Diemer, a Bay Village media entrepreneur and first-time candidate who was unopposed after two challengers left the race.

Miller was initially recruited to challenge U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, but Gonzalez retired.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nan Whaley has won the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor, becoming the first woman in the state’s history to receive a major party’s backing for the office.

Ohio has never elected a female governor, and the former Dayton mayor figures to be an underdog against incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who sewed up his party’s nomination despite angering conservatives with his aggressive pandemic mandates in a state that has swung to the right in recent years.

Whaley defeated former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley on Tuesday in a race that drew little attention as much of the state focused on the contentious Senate Republican primary and ongoing redistricting legal battle.

She promised during the campaign to protect abortion rights and wants the state to add a $15 minimum wage, universal preschool and better access to child care.

Ohio hasn’t elected a Democrat to be governor since 2006. Despite being a presidential bellwether state for over a half century until 2020, Ohio has become more Republican under the influence of former President Donald Trump.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine won his party’s nomination for a second term in office despite angering many conservatives early in the pandemic with aggressive stay-at-home mandates and business shutdowns.

DeWine on Tuesday topped three far-right opponents, including former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who painted the governor as a moderate not aligned with former President Donald Trump.

Despite some notable splits with Trump, DeWine managed to win a shot at a second term by relying on a huge fundraising advantage and a network of supporters built from a political career spanning more than 40 years.

DeWine will be a favorite again in November against the winner of the Democratic primary between Nan Whaley and John Cranley, two former Ohio mayors who have far less name recognition in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat governor since 2006.

DeWine touted his longtime record of opposing abortion, calling himself “the most pro-life governor in Ohio history.”

In his first term, DeWine signed a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected — at the time one of the most stringent restrictions in the nation. In the past year, he signed a “Stand Your Ground” law and scored a major win when Intel announced it was investing $20 billion in two semiconductor factories near Columbus.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has won the state’s Republican primary over a conservative challenger who questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results.

LaRose defeated former state lawmaker John Adams in Tuesday’s primary election. He will face Democrat Chelsea Clark, a suburban Cincinnati City Council member and businesswoman, in November. Clark was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

LaRose was elected Ohio secretary of state in 2018 and presided over the state’s 2020 election. LaRose defended the integrity of the vote count in the weeks after the 2020 election, saying, “Elections are run better and more honestly than really I think they ever have been.” This year, however, while trying to win Donald Trump’s endorsement, he changed his tune, saying he agreed with the former president that “voter fraud is a serious problem.”

LaRose had Trump’s endorsement in the race. He had backed Trump’s first run for office in 2016 and was part of a team that handled logistics for Trump’s 2017 inauguration.

Adams is an Army and Navy veteran and former state lawmaker who had criticized LaRose for his role in postponing the March 2020 primary during the coronavirus pandemic.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio.

The 10-term congressman from Ohio’s blue-collar Mahoning Valley defeated progressive Morgan Harper, a former consumer protection attorney, and one other rival to claim the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Rob Portman.

Ryan’s victory was widely expected, given his long history in office and his backing by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the state’s highest-ranking Democrat. Democrats see the November election as one of its best chances nationally to flip a seat.

Ryan will face the winner of the crowded Republican primary in the November general election. “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vance, former state treasurer Josh Mandel and investment banker Mike Gibbons are among the candidates competing for the GOP nomination. Vance was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Ryan directed his campaign message at working class Ohio residents, promising to increase jobs and boost wages.

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CLEVELAND — Democratic Ohio congresswoman Shontel Brown is again facing progressive activist and former state lawmaker Nina Turner in a primary in Cleveland. Brown topped Turner in a special election just last summer.

The rematch pits one of the left’s rising stars against a new U.S. House incumbent backed by the more moderate Democratic establishment. The contest will provide another key litmus test of the progressive movement’s Rust Belt clout during congressional primaries in Ohio and Indiana on Tuesday.

Two candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump are favored to secure GOP nominations for open House seats elsewhere in Ohio. Nine Republicans are competing for Indiana’s lone open House seat.

Tuesday’s primary races mark the first multistate contest of the 2022 midterm season and will serve as the most clarifying test to date of Trump’s ongoing influence in his party more than a year after leaving office under the cloud of two impeachments and the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Conservatives seeking to push the Republican-controlled Indiana Legislature further to the right are trying to unseat several GOP lawmakers in their primaries.

About two dozen so-called liberty candidates are in Republican legislative races across the state on Tuesday. Their targets are several top-ranking members of the Republican-dominated House.

The challengers say the Legislature hasn’t been aggressive enough in trying to ban abortion, enhance gun rights and overturn coronavirus pandemic restrictions ordered by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Republican legislative leaders argue the “no compromise” stances adopted by many challengers aren’t practical and tout many conservative successes.

Unlike in Ohio’s Republican primaries, the Indiana legislative contests have focused on state issues rather than on which candidate is closest to former President Donald Trump or has his support.

Tuesday’s primary races mark the first multistate contest of the 2022 midterm season and will serve as the most clarifying test to date of Trump’s ongoing influence in his party more than a year after leaving office under the cloud of two impeachments and the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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Follow AP for full 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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