Key Senate primaries ahead
There will be a number of key Senate primaries and one convention in the next month and a half that will go far to shape the fall elections. Incumbents Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D), Arlen Specter (D) and Bob Bennett (R) face difficult primaries or a convention. Democrats are also picking candidates in North Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky. The tea partiers are active in several states and may help nominate weaker general election candidates in Indiana, Kentucky, California and Nevada.
• Indiana – Several Republicans, including former Sen. Dan Coats (R) and former Rep. John Hostettler, face off to run against Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) for Sen. Evan Bayh’s seat
• North Carolina –. Ex-state Senator Cal Cunningham (D), Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) and attorney Ken Lewis are competing to run against Sen. Richard Burr (R)
• Ohio – Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) is running against Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) for the fall election against ex-U.S. Rep. and ex-Office of Management and Budget director Rob Portman (R)
• Utah – GOP nominating convention at which six Republicans are working to deny Sen. Bob Bennett (R) re-election or even a position on the primary ballot if one candidate wins 60% of the delegates’ vote
• Arkansas – Two primaries – Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) is running against Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter (D) and eight Republicans are competing for the GOP nomination.
• Kentucky – Two primaries – Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) is competing against eye surgeon Rand Paul (R) and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D) faces state Attorney General Jack Conway (D).
• Pennsylvania – U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak (D) is challenging Sen. Arlen Specter (D) to run against former Conservative Club for Growth president Pat Toomey (R)
• California – Ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R), former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell (R) and Assemblyman Chuck Devore (R) are competing to face Sen. Barbara Boxer (D)
• Nevada – GOP chair Sue Lowden (R), ex-UNLV basketball star Danny Tarkanian (R), former state. Rep Sharron Angle (R) and nine other candidates are facing off to run against Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D)