California voters oust reformist DA in San Francisco as House battlegrounds take shape

WASHINGTON- San Francisco voters fired their headline-grabbing reformist district attorney on Tuesday, according to NBC News drafts, after rising crime rates proved intolerable even for the notoriously progressive city.

Chesa Boudin, the son of left-wing radicals who was elected on a Black Lives Matter-aligned platform to reform the criminal justice system, faced a successful recall effort as voters grew frustrated with the perception that his office was unwilling to do much. criminality.

The result and its lopsided margin were a rebuke from the left as Democrats backed away from calls to ‘defund the police’ in the face of nationwide polls showing growing concern for public safety, especially from people of color.

With more than two-thirds of the expected votes counted, votes to remove Boudin from office exceeded those to keep him by 60.5 to 39.5 percent.

The Mayor of London Breed will appoint a temporary successor to fill the DA’s office – formerly held by Vice President Kamala Harris – until an election can be held.

California was one of seven states to hold primary elections on Tuesday that will set the course for the major congressional and other races in November.

The battle for the House became more visible as Republicans picked candidates in districts that could decide whether Democrats keep their slim majority in Washington.

In another sign of discontent in a nearby Democratic stronghold, a Republican ex-billionaire will face a Democratic congresswoman in the November runoff to be Los Angeles’ next mayor, NBC News projects.

Rick Caruso, a prominent real estate developer who joined the Democratic Party shortly before declaring his candidacy for mayor, significantly outpaced his main challenger, Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, and capitalized on growing frustration over homelessness. and crime.

Rick Caruso and Karen Bass.
Rick Caruso and Karen Bass.Getty Images/AP

Caruso found support in famed liberal Hollywood of left-leaning celebrities like Katy Perrywho performed at Democratic national conventions and was a reliable boost to the party.

Speaking to supporters, Caruso called the result a “great wake-up call”, saying Los Angeles residents felt unheard and disappointed by “career politicians”.

“Our great and beautiful city needs our help,” Caruso added.

Homelessness was by far the top issue for voters, with 49% choosing it as one of their top two issues in a University of California/Los Angeles Times Institute of Government Studies poll conducted shortly before the elections. It was followed by Crime and Public Safety and Affordable Housing.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, retired Admiral Michael Franken won the Democratic Senate nomination, the NBC News projects, beating former Rep. Abby Finkenauer, who was seen as the frontrunner.

Franken ran for the Senate in 2020 and positioned himself to the left of Finkenauer in supporting issues such as “Medicare for All” while highlighting his national security background.

He will face longtime Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in November, who has run for his party’s nomination and will be tough to beat in a Republican-leaning state.

Image: Renewal and strengthening of the law on violence against women
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images File

Iowa Democrats are focused on defending their only congressional seat in the state, held by Rep. Cindy Axne, who is one of five House Democrats representing a district Donald Trump would have won if the new post-district congressional lines had been in place. take place in 2020.

Axne will face State Senator Zach Nunn, a 43-year-old Air Force combat veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and defeated another well-funded contender for the GOP nomination, the Bills. NBC News.

Primaries were also held Tuesday in New Jersey, New Mexico, Mississippi and Montana.

In South Dakota, Republican Sen. John Thune, Deputy Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, easily won the new nomination, NBC News projects, despite Trump’s anger for not backing his efforts to quash the 2020 election and initially hesitant to run. for re-election.

Trump wanted Governor Kristi Noem to challenge Thune, but she ultimately decided to run for re-election and also navigated a re-nomination on Tuesday, according to NBC News’ plans.

Trump also called for the impeachment of Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey. longest-serving member of Congress, after voting for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan.

Some Trump-aligned figures like Roger Stone worked against Smith, but Trump himself never backed an opponent, and Smith won a new nomination, NBC News Projects.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, Republicans are eyeing a number of Democratic incumbents considered vulnerable in the fall.

Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski will face a rematch against Tom Kean Jr., the former GOP leader in the state Senate, who won his party’s nomination, NBC News projects.

A winner has yet to emerge from the GOP primary to challenge Democratic Representative Andy Kim.

And a Garden State Democratic dynasty is set to continue after Robert “Rob” Menendez Jr., the son of Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez, won his party’s nomination in a deep blue open seat just over over the Hudson River from New York. , NBC News Projects.

In New Mexico, NBC News projects that former TV weatherman Mark Ronchetti won a hard-fought Republican primary to face Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is considered vulnerable in the fall.

California is also home to a number of Critical House races.

In two tossup districts currently held by Republicans, Representatives David Valadao and Young Kim face far-right opponents who have outside chances to push them out of the November ballot in the country’s cross-party ‘jungle primary’. ‘State.

Two candidates will qualify for the general election, and Democratic super PACs have made a belated effort to boost far-right challengers in hopes they will snatch second place on the ballot, leading Republican National groups to respond with their own belated cash injections. .

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