Skip to comments.RI's Chafee Leads, As 9 States, DC Vote
Posted on 09/12/2006 7:00:07 PM PDT by VU4G10
Moderate Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, his political career at risk from a more conservative challenger, led in early returns Tuesday in a contest that could be crucial in the larger fight for control of Congress.
With 3 percent of precincts reporting, Chafee had 2,735 votes, or 55 percent, to Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey's 2,241 votes, or 45 percent.
The last big day of primaries before the November elections also brought intriguing Democratic contests for Senate in Maryland and a House seat in Minnesota. In all, nine states and the District of Columbia voted, with the other states including Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin.
In Rhode Island, Chafee won support from the Republican establishment, even though he has consistently bucked the Bush administration and the GOP-led Congress on the environment and abortion, and was the lone Republican to vote against the use of military force in Iraq.
(AP) This photo provided by the candidate shows Republican challenger for Arizona's Eighth Congressional... Full Image
But if he loses the primary, polls show Democratic nominee Sheldon Whitehouse, a former attorney general, would be the likely winner in the fall. With Democrats hopeful they can gain the six seats needed to win control in the Senate, that makes the seat critical.
Polls a month before the primary showed the two Republicans running even.
The House race in Arizona for a seat left open by retiring moderate GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe also has drawn national money and interest. Eleven major-party candidates for the seat that stretches from Tucson to the Mexican border were entered in the party primaries.
National GOP leaders angered Republican candidates when they jumped into the race to support state Rep. Steve Huffman, a moderate who in a recent poll was trailing a former state lawmaker, Randy Graf.
Party officials have expressed concerns Graf may be too conservative to win the seat in November.
(AP) Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz, speaks during a press conference in the American University of Beirut,... Full Image
The two leading Democratic contenders are former state legislator Gabrielle Giffords and former local television anchor Patty Weiss.
In Maryland, Democrats decided between Rep. Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume, former head of the NAACP, for a Senate candidate to fill Paul Sarbanes' seat. The winner will face GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who - if he won - would be the lone black Republican in the Senate. He has nine rivals for the Republican nomination but is expected to win easily.
Judges extended voting hours in Baltimore and nearby Montgomery County by one hour because of problems that delayed the opening of some polling places. Officials said some election judges did not show up on time and others had trouble getting into the facilities.
In Minnesota, Democrats were picking among four candidates for a House seat in a district that includes Minneapolis. The party backed state legislator Keith Ellison, who would be Congress's first Muslim member if he won. But Ellison found himself in a tough, four-way battle.
- District of Columbia voters choose between City Council member Adrian M. Fenty and longtime council Chairman Linda W. Cropp in the mayoral primary. In heavily Democratic Washington, the primary is tantamount to the general election.
- New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer looked to be coasting to a primary win for governor against Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. Spitzer is expected to easily win in the fall. And one-term Sen. Hillary Clinton faced a long shot anti-war candidate in the primary.
- Also in New York, the Democratic primary for attorney general pits former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo - son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo - against Mark Green, the former New York City Public Advocate.
- In Vermont, Rep. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic nomination for Senate. Sanders, who plans to run as an independent, aims to win the seat of retiring Sen. James Jeffords, the Senate's lone independent. Three Republicans sought the GOP nomination, with businessman Richard Tarrant leading in early returns.
Only an AP writer would consider Chafee "moderate."
Graf too conservative?
But they just couldn't resist the now obligatory reference to Steele as "if he won - would be the lone black Republican in the Senate. "
That is the third time I've seen that exact phrase in different stories today
That God it's only 3%. Hopefully he will come on strong.
Moderate my you know what. He is a liberal. There is NOTHING Republician about him.
That's so misleading to say Chafee leads when 3% of the vote is in.
He's left of a number of Senate Democrats...
Yeah, I've noticed that too. Well, the Democrats have one "lone" black Senator, and if Steele was elected that would still be only two overall. The GOP would have 50% of the black Senators, to look at it differently.
He votes to organize the Senate with the Republicans.
He votes for cloture of Democrat filibusters.
That is much better than any Democrat from Rhode Island would do.
ACU rating of 12 = solid liberal.
Moderate would be for someone around at least 40.
The ACU ratings for 2005 are enlightening.
2006 = 2005
Based on ACU ratings, the following are well to the right of Chafee and in moderate territory:
Ben Nelson (60)
The following, while still clearly at least leaning liberal, are still quite a bit to the right of Chafee:
Bill Nelson (20)
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