Bowman Unseated, Boebert Wins After District Switch: Key Takeaways From Tuesday’s Primaries

Several key races were decided, with Latimer, Boebert, and Curtis emerging among the winners in the June 25 primaries.

A House Democrat from the left-wing “squad” has fallen after his criticism of Israel drove massive donations. A Coloradan conservative from the House Freedom Caucus won after switching districts. And other races have been a warning to candidates who may hope that an endorsement from former President Donald Trump will carry them to victory.

The primaries and other races in New York, Colorado, Utah, and South Carolina on June 25 had many highlights. Here are some of the most important results.

‘Squad’ Member Bowman Goes Down

It’s official: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) has been primaried, the casualty of an extraordinarily expensive Democrat race that centered largely on his stance on the Israel–Hamas war.

Mr. Bowman’s criticism of Israel’s offensive in Gaza prompted pro-Israel donors to pour money into the campaign of his opponent, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a moderate and former state legislator.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee committed more than $14 million to defeating Mr. Bowman.

Mr. Bowman came in with endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and a range of unions and progressive groups, along with more than $4.3 million in total receipts.

Mr. Latimer’s public supporters included Hillary Clinton, former New Jersey Gov. David Paterson, and former Rep. Mondaire Jones, the Democratic candidate in New York’s 17th District.

With 64 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Latimer had 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent for Mr. Bowman.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer speaks to supporters after winning his race against Democratic incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the 16th Congressional District of New York's Democratic primary on June 25, 2024. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Westchester County Executive George Latimer speaks to supporters after winning his race against Democratic incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the 16th Congressional District of New York’s Democratic primary on June 25, 2024. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Mr. Bowman also faced criticism for pulling a fire alarm at the U.S. Capitol during a debate over the continuation of government funding. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count, and the House censured him for the action.

Meanwhile, fellow “squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who campaigned for Mr. Bowman in the Bronx, notched a huge win in her primary against Marty Dolan.

The Freedom Caucus’s Boebert Survives

In Colorado, another polarizing figure in U.S. politics has survived after switching districts to compete in a friendlier race.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) won the Fourth District GOP primary, positioning her well to win the solidly Republican district in the fall. The seat is held by outgoing Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.).

With 93 percent reporting, she had 43 percent—not a majority, but far and away the strongest performance in a crowded field.

“Thank you all for your love and support. This victory belongs to the faithful voters on Colorado’s 4th district!” the lawmaker wrote on social media platform X late on the evening of June 25.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) speaks to reporters during a primary election watch party in Windsor, Colo., on June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) speaks to reporters during a primary election watch party in Windsor, Colo., on June 25, 2024. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Her victory was not without challenges. In 2022, she nearly lost in the general election to Democrat Adam Frisch, a former member of the Aspen City Council who was gearing up to face her again in the Third District this year.

She switched districts, moving to the Fourth District amid a split from her now-ex-husband, Jayson Boebert.

Curtis Wins Utah Primary to Fill Romney’s Seat

Utah voters picked the man most likely to replace outgoing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in the Senate.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), a moderate Republican, defeated former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, Moxie Pest Control founder and CEO Jason Walton, and Trent Staggs, the mayor of Riverton, Utah.

Because Utah is such a solidly Republican state—a Democrat hasn’t represented Utah in the U.S. Senate since 1977—the outcome seems likely to precede a general election victory for Mr. Curtis in November.

Ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich went unchallenged in the Democratic primary.

Mr. Staggs, who had an endorsement from former President Trump, finished second. With 79 percent of votes counted, he had garnered 29 percent of the total to 51 percent for Mr. Curtis.

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) speaks during the Utah Senate primary debate for Republican contenders battling to win the seat of retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in Salt Lake City on June 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)
Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) speaks during the Utah Senate primary debate for Republican contenders battling to win the seat of retiring Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in Salt Lake City on June 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)

Although Mr. Curtis has praised the Trump administration and condemned efforts to take the former president off ballots, he isn’t known as the most pro-Trump voice in Congress. He did not support former President Trump during Utah’s March presidential caucuses.

The lawmaker outraised Mr. Staggs by roughly $2.5 million, although he raised less than Mr. Wilson.

He also benefited from significant outside spending from various PACs, including Conservative Values for Utah, which spent more than $4.9 million for him and more than $350,000 against Mr. Staggs.

Large donors to that PAC include conservative climate change entrepreneur Jay Faison and Walmart heir and former chairman Rob Walton.

Some Trump-Endorsed Candidates Lose Out

Mr. Curtis’s win on June 25 was in keeping with a mixed pattern for endorsements from former President Trump, at least in some of the most closely watched Republican races in Utah and Colorado.

Neither state is generally seen as a hotbed of support for the political maverick, at least when compared with much of the South, the Midwest, and the Mountain States to their north.

Yet, in South Carolina, the heart of Trump country, Air National Guard Lt. Col. Sheri Biggs narrowly defeated evangelical pastor Mark Burns, the Trump-backed candidate, in a House run-off election.

In Utah’s Republican gubernatorial primary, incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox took down state Rep. Phil Lyman. Mr. Lyman was backed by former President Trump and delegates at the state party’s convention.

In Colorado’s Fifth District, Dave Williams, the Trump-backed chair of the Colorado Republican Party, was defeated by Jeff Crank, a regional vice president with Americans for Prosperity.

But the former president did see some gains on June 25. Ms. Boebert’s win in Colorado and state Rep. Gabe Evans’s victory in Colorado’s Eighth District GOP primary over a state GOP-endorsed candidate show his approval still has weight, at least in some races.

 

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