As we round the end of the primary season, Wyoming and Alaska, two states with excellent dark skies, cast their rounds.
Polls close tonight at 7pm local time (9pm EDT) and right out of the gate, the race to watch is the Republican gubernatorial contest. Investor Foster Friess is the slight favorite, having won a last-minute endorsement from President Trump, but he faces stiff competition from State Treasurer Mark Gordon, and slightly less pressure from Sam Galeotos and Harriet Hageman. Any one of these four though could pull it off in this crowded race. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Mary Throne is the likely winner in a field of mostly unknown candidates.
Slightly less exciting but still eyebrow-raising is the U.S. Senate Republican primary, where incumbent John Barrasso actually faces a challenge from businessman Dave Dodson, who has spent over a million dollars in an upset attempt. Barrasso is still the strong favorite, but this race, unlike the general election, is worth keeping your eye on.
The U.S. House race is a yawner on the Republican side: incumbent Liz Cheney faces little opposition, and the Democratic primary is the most excitement either potential nominee will face: the general election favors Cheney overwhelmingly.
Polls close in most of Alaska at 8pm local time (Midnight EDT) with the Aleutians an hour later. The gubernatorial primary on the Democratic side sees the return of former U.S. Senator Mark Begich as the overwhelming favorite. The republican side is more crowded, but former state Senator Mike Dunleavy appears the favorite over former Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell. The winners of each primary face off against the incumbent independent Governor Bill Walker in November.
The U.S. House primaries are also lopsided in competitiveness: incumbent Rep. Don Young faces scant opposition in the Republican primary, but the Democratic side is far from obvious. Dimitri Shein is running as a progressive Democrat while Alse Galvin, an independent running in the primary (thanks to a state Supreme Court decision earlier this year) may appeal to more moderate voters. Galvin has outraised Shein, but both have campaigned strongly across the state. Whomever wins faces an uphill, but not impossible, battle against Congressman Young.