The Latest: US Sen. Wicker wins Mississippi’s GOP primary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on primaries being held Tuesday in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi has won his party’s primary, months after being endorsed by President Donald Trump.

Mississippi is heavily Republican. It last had a Democrat in the Senate in 1989.

Wicker said in a recent fundraising appeal that he wants to help the president “enact his America-first policies.” In Tuesday’s primary, he defeated one opponent, Richard Boyanton. Boyanton ran a low-budget campaign.

Wicker served nearly 13 years in the U.S. House before he was appointed to the Senate when fellow Republican Trent Lott resigned in late 2007.

Six people were competing Tuesday in Mississippi’s Democratic primary for Senate. They include state lawmakers David Baria and Omeria Scott and venture capitalist Howard Sherman, who is married to TV and movie actress Sela Ward.

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8:10 p.m.

Polls have begun closing in the eastern half of the United States as eight states hold primaries ahead of the November midterm elections.

Races were called at closing time Tuesday for candidates running unopposed in New Jersey, Alabama and Mississippi, and they advanced to the general election.

With primary elections across California and seven other states on Tuesday, the political battlefield will soon be set for the first midterm elections of Donald Trump’s presidency.

With the possibility of a Democratic wave on the horizon, the elections will test voter enthusiasm, candidate quality and Trump’s influence as each party picks its nominees to face off in November.

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10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is urging Californians to vote Republican in the state’s gubernatorial and congressional primaries.

Trump tweeted Tuesday: “In High Tax, High Crime California, be sure to get out and vote for Republican John Cox for Governor. He will make a BIG difference!”

The president also plugged California’s GOP congressional candidates, specifically naming Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 2 House leader, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Trump tweeted: “Keep our country out of the hands of High Tax, High Crime Nancy Pelosi.”

Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, hopes to reclaim the speaker’s gavel if her party regains control of the chamber in November.

Trump also encouraged voters in Mississippi to “get out and vote” for Sen. Roger Wicker. In a tweet, Trump said Wicker “has done everything necessary to Make America Great Again!”

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9:25 a.m.

For years sidelined on the national political fringe, California has lurched to the center of the fight for control of Congress.

No state will be more consequential to the success or failure of a prospective blue wave this fall. Before then, Democrats must avoid self-inflicted wounds in Tuesday’s so-called jungle primaries that feature a swarm of candidates who could cannibalize their own party’s chances. Republicans face the embarrassing prospect of failing to nominate any candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races.

California tops a list of eight states holding primary contests on Tuesday.

With the possibility of a Democratic wave on the horizon, the elections from Montana to Alabama to New Jersey will test voter enthusiasm, candidate quality and President Donald Trump’s influence as the 2018 political battlefield begins to settle.

Categories: National News