Gubernatorial candidate and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, in red, greets Kayren Moore and her neighbors Wade Hyde, center in purple, and Tim Thobe outside a polling place at Walnut Hill Recreation Center in Dallas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The only statewide runoff features little-known Democratic gubernatorial candidates: Ex-Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez against Houston businessman Andrew White. Neither is expected to seriously challenge well-funded Abbott. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

The Latest: Texas Dem deemed too liberal by own party loses

May 22, 2018 - 11:36 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on primaries on Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas (all times local):

11:35 p.m.

A Democratic candidate who was attacked as too liberal by the national party campaign committee has lost a runoff in the race for a Houston-area House seat that Democrats hope to win from Republicans.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had slammed Laura Moser, accusing her of expressing "outright disgust for life in Texas" because of something she wrote years ago.

Moser lost to attorney and former Planned Parenthood board member Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. She will face longtime Republican congressman John Culberson. Fletcher was endorsed by the influential women's group Emily's List.

Culberson has been in Congress since 2001, but Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the district in 2016, suggesting that he may be vulnerable in November's general election.


11:20 p.m.

A former Teach for America executive has been nominated by Democrats to be the next governor of Arkansas.

In balloting Tuesday, Jared Henderson defeated Leticia Sanders. Henderson says he wants Arkansas to be the best state for public school teachers. Sanders is a hair braider who wants students to attend the same school from kindergarten to high school.

Henderson will face incumbent Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in November, along with Libertarian Mark West of Batesville.

Henderson says he wants high schools and small colleges to provide basic business training to its students. He also opposes Hutchinson's plan to cut the state's top income tax rate.

The nonprofit Teach for America was founded in 1989 to recruit teachers for low-income areas. Henderson directed its Arkansas branch.


11 p.m.

A Hispanic female ex-sheriff has won a Democratic runoff in Texas to become the first openly gay and first Latina nominated for the state's governor.

While Lupe Valdez's victory Tuesday breaks barriers, the 70-year-old former Dallas County sheriff faces long odds of ousting Republican Gov. Greg Abbott this fall.

She defeated the son of a former governor, Andrew White, who pitched himself as a moderate Democrat in deep-red Texas.

The runoff generated little enthusiasm among Democrats. Valdez has struggled to raise money and fumbled some questions on policy. Party activists have also attacked her for cooperating with federal immigration agents as sheriff.


10:25 p.m.

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp will face a July 24 runoff for the GOP nomination for governor.

Cagle and Kemp beat three GOP rivals in a race characterized by strong support for gun rights and tough talk on immigration.

But no candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote as required to win the nomination outright.

Cagle garnered national headlines in February when he threatened to kill a tax break benefiting Delta Air Lines because the airline ended a discount program for the National Rifle Association.

Kemp made waves with campaign ads including one in which he says he has a "big truck" in case he needs to round up "criminal illegals" himself.

The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Stacey Abrams.


10 p.m.

Arkansas' governor says his victory in the Republican primary over a challenger who accused him of not being a true conservative means voters rejected "negative voices."

Hutchinson defeated a gun range owner, Jan Morgan, in Tuesday's primary. Hutchinson had dwarfed Morgan in fundraising and had touted $150 million in tax cuts he had signed into law since taking office. Morgan had criticized Hutchinson as not conservative enough on several issues, including tax cuts and health care.

Hutchinson's win came a day after President Donald Trump endorsed him in the primary. Hutchinson said he believed he was trending toward a win, but the president's endorsement gave him some last-minute momentum in the race.


9:40 p.m.

In the Democratic primary in Georgia's gubernatorial race, Stacey Abrams has won to become the state's first female nominee for governor from either major party.

If Abrams wins the general election in November, she'll become the first black female governor in the U.S.

The former state House minority leader, Abrams beat former state Rep. Stacey Evans in Tuesday's race. Both are Atlanta-area attorneys. The race was characterized by a battle over their legislative records on education.

Abrams is a celebrated romance novelist who made economic mobility and affordable health care cornerstones of her campaign. She garnered major party endorsements from Hillary Clinton, congressman John Lewis and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Abrams would succeed Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who has held the office since 2011 and is term-limited.


9:30 p.m.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has won the Republican primary in his re-election bid, defeating a gun rights advocate and cable news commentator who declared her gun range "Muslim-free."

Hutchinson defeated Jan Morgan in the state's GOP primary on Tuesday. Hutchinson, who was first elected in 2014, will face the winner of Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary and Libertarian nominee Mark West in the November election.

Hutchinson, a former congressman and federal Homeland Security official, had dwarfed Morgan in fundraising and was generally popular in the predominantly Republican state. Hutchinson had touted $150 million in tax cuts he'd successfully pushed through the Legislature and had proposed a $180 million cut for the state's top earners.


9:10 p.m.

A high school math teacher has defeated the majority leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives in the GOP primary, following a wave of education protests at the Kentucky Capitol and elsewhere around the country.

Travis Brenda narrowly defeated state Rep. Jonathan Shell on Tuesday to win the nomination for state House District 71. Two years ago, Shell was credited with helping orchestrate the first GOP takeover of the state House in nearly 100 years. But voters turned on him for his role in writing a state law that changed Kentucky's pension system.

Brenda credited a groundswell of teacher support and says it sends a message that teachers and public workers won't be silent. Brenda will face Democrat Mary Renfro in November.

At least 15 other current and former teachers were on Tuesday's ballot.


7:25 p.m.

A gay man in eastern Kentucky has lost his bid to challenge a Republican county clerk who went to jail three years ago for denying him and others marriage licenses.

David Ermold was seeking the Democratic nomination for county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky. He had hoped to challenge religious conservative Kim Davis.

In 2015 Davis said that "God's authority" prevented her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the aftermath of an historic U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Ermold lost to Elwood Caudill in a four-way Democratic primary on Tuesday, despite a campaign that raised more than $200,000 with donations from at least 48 states.

Caudill will face Davis in the November general election. No one challenged Davis for the Republican nomination.


6:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is urging Democrats in Georgia to support Stacey Abrams for governor.

Clinton recorded a 60-second endorsement used by the Abrams campaign in direct phone calls to Georgia voters. Tuesday's primary ballot election has Abrams facing fellow Atlanta Democrat Stacey Evans.

Clinton notes Abrams was the first black woman to serve as House Democratic leader in the Georgia legislature. Clinton also says Abrams has "a proven track record" of supporting public schools, gun safety, voting rights and Medicaid expansion.

A victory in the Democratic primary and in the November election would make Abrams the first black woman governor in the U.S.

Clinton's message also acknowledges the potential confusion caused by two Democratic rivals with the same first name. Twice, Clinton urges voters to support "Abrams with an 'A.'"


6 p.m.

Polls in eastern Kentucky have closed on another multi-state primary day ahead of the November midterms.

Arkansas and Georgia also are holding primaries. Texas has runoffs after an initial round of voting in March.

Georgia Democrats are set to nominate a woman for governor for the first time in state history. Republicans in the state are likely going to have a runoff that some in the party fear could be a harmful turn to the right.

Kentucky voters in one county could choose a gay man to run against the clerk who denied him a same-sex marriage license.

Texas has Democratic runoffs in three districts that will be key to determining House control in the new Congress.


6 a.m.

Four states are casting ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March.

Texans will settle an all-female congressional runoff between liberal activist Laura Moser and Houston attorney Lizzie Fletcher in a Houston-area House race that has become a proxy for the Democratic Party's battle over style and substance.

In Georgia, Democrats will tap either Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans as the state's first female nominee for governor from either major party. Georgia's Republican candidates for governor have engaged in a sprint to the right on everything from immigration to bear-hugging Trump.

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