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Primaries in 8 States for Senate, House, Governor

Primaries in 8 States for Senate, House, Governor

By Emily Wagster Pettus - June 3, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Voters go to the polls in primary elections in eight states Tuesday, with nominations for the Senate on the ballot in Alabama, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Mississippi in a year in which Republicans need to gain six seats to win a majority.

House races drew plenty of outside interest from the political professionals, even if they gained scant attention nationwide. Democrats face a distinctly uphill battle to win a House majority this fall, and they and their allies sought to knock out Republican contenders in primaries in California and New Jersey.

Gubernatorial primaries are taking place in Alabama, Iowa, New Mexico, South Dakota and California, where Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking a fourth term this fall.

In Mississippi, six-term Sen. Thad Cochran campaigned Monday with leading figures of state's Republican establishment and cast himself as a reliable opponent of President Barack Obama on the eve of a primary showdown with tea party-backed rival Chris McDaniel.

McDaniel made the final rounds of his campaign - and carried with him the hopes of tea party supporters nationwide eager to topple a high-profile Republican incumbent in this year's primaries. In an interview between stops, he said he wants to "end cronyism in Washington, D.C," said added he intends to "repeal Obamacare in its entirety" and will push for term limits and a constitutional balanced budget amendment.

Several states held out the possibility of a second round of competition to pick nominees, including Iowa, where five Republicans are vying for the nomination to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. The leader must gain at least 35 percent of the vote to avoid having the contest thrown to a state convention later this year.

State Sen. Joni Ernst, front-runner in the polls, campaigned with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in hopes of winning the 35 percent necessary to win the nomination outright. Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley is unopposed for his party's spot on the ballot in a race expected to draw plenty of national attention in the fall.

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Associated Press writer Tom Beaumont in Iowa contributed to this report. 

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

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Emily Wagster Pettus

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