Primary day: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin

What do Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin have in common? Well, they are all in the Maple (syrup) Belt and have primaries today! What’s better than Super Tuesday? Maple Belt Tuesday. Let’s make this stick. These four states alone are responsible for 52% of the country’s maple syrup production.

Statewide primaries are being held in these states today. Get caught up on some of the interesting primary battles – and join us tonight and tomorrow for results.


MN-Gov: Democratic primary: Three candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. The state party endorsed state Rep. Erin Murphy (D) at its annual convention. Murphy faces U.S. House Rep. Tim Walz (D), who is backed by the state’s largest labor union, and Attorney General Lori Swanson (D), who is running on a ticket with outgoing Rep. Rick Nolan (D).

Republican primary: In the Republican gubernatorial primary, party-endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson (R) faces former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R). Pawlenty, who served two terms prior to the election of incumbent Mark Dayton (D) in 2010, did not contest the party nomination at the annual convention but has received the endorsements of three former state party chairmen. Johnson, who serves on the Hennepin County Commission, was the party’s gubernatorial nominee in 2014.

MN-1: In the first open race in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District since 2006, the Republican Party is lining up behind two candidates—2016 nominee Jim Hagedorn (R) and state Sen. Carla Nelson (R)—naming them both to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Contenders” program. Hagedorn, who lost to incumbent Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) by less than one percentage point in the last election cycle, earned the district party’s endorsement. Nelson, who has served in the state Senate since 2011, was endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List.


CT-5: In the Democratic primary for Connecticut’s 5th District, former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman faces 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes. Glassman was endorsed by the state Democratic Party, but Hayes has the support of progressive organizations and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). The winner will run in the general election for the seat currently held by Elizabeth Esty (D). Esty did not file for re-election after media outlets reported she did not act on complaints that her chief of staff abused and sexually harassed female staffers in her office.


WI-Sen: Marine Corps veteran Kevin Nicholson (R) and state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R) are competing in an expensive Republican Senate primary. Vukmir has the support of national and state party leaders, earning endorsements from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), more than 50 state legislators and officials, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin. FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund have backed Nicholson, while Club for Growth has spent more than $2.4 million to support his campaign. The winner will face incumbent Tammy Baldwin in November.

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