Voters go to the polls Tuesday with seven states hosting primary races

Primaries are taking place in Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, California, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota.

Updated: June 7, 2022 - 5:10pm

Voters are going to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in primary races in California, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota.

The Democratic U.S. Senate primary race in Iowa between frontrunners Abby Finkenauer, a former congresswoman from Cedar Rapids, and retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken is among the closely watched races. The winner will likely take on longtime Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. 

Republican state Sen. Jim Carlin is running against Grassley in the GOP primary.

In California, Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla is favored in a crowded field to win the special election to finish out the last few months of his term as well as the separate election for an additional 6-year term. Padilla was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom when then-Sen. Kamala Harris took office as vice president. The top two winners face off in November for the full 6-year term. Harris vacated the seat to become vice president.

Newsom, a Democrat, faces several challengers in his reelection bid. He is expected to win, after surviving a recall vote last year over his handling of the pandemic. The top two candidate in the race advance to the November election.

In the Los Angeles mayor race, Rick Caruso, an ex-Republican running as a Democrat, has been gaining support in the homestretch of the campaign. Democratic Rep. Karen Bass is still leading in recent polls, but Caruso is not far behind. The race could be headed toward a runoff in November unless one of them breaks 50%.

As with other mayoral races this year, voters appear to be looking for candidates willing and capable of getting tough on crime.

Also in California, Rep. Young Kim, a freshman Republican who narrowly won her seat, is running against several candidates. Retired Marine Col. Greg Raths, who currently represents the 39th Congressional District, is the top candidate running against her, based on the latest polls. 

There are five Republican candidates running in the GOP primary to take on Democratic Rep. Mike Levin, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who represents the 49th district. Brian Maryott, a businessman who previously lost to Levin, is the frontrunner heading into Tuesday.

Among the most closely watched races in New Jersey is the GOP primary to unseat Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat leader of the moderate Problem Solvers Caucus. 

Nick De Gregorio, a Marine Corps veteran, is in a solid position before Election Day.

In South Dakota, Taffy Howard, a Rapid City state lawmaker, is running to unseat GOP Rep. Dusty Johnson in the state's at-large congressional district. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is running for reelection. Rep. Steve Haugaard, former speaker of the South Dakota House, is running against her in the GOP primary. The winner runs in November against Rep. Jamie Smith, the Democratic minority leader in the legislature. 

The GOP gubernatorial primary in New Mexico is another race to watch. Candidates include former TV meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, state Rep. Rebecca Dow, Greg Zanetti, Jay Block and Ethel Maharg. 

Ronchetti and Dow are leading in the polls. The winner will run against Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in November.