The upcoming primaries in Maryland and West Virginia will play a key role in determining the Senate majority this fall

In Maryland and West Virginia, voters are gearing up for key primary elections with significant implications for the Senate majority battle this fall. Maryland is set to host a contentious Senate primary, with former Governor Larry Hogan leading the Republican field despite his past criticism of former President Donald Trump. Hogan, who describes Trump as a threat to democracy, aims to become Maryland’s first Republican senator in over 40 years. However, he faces competition from six other Republicans vying for the nomination.

On the Democratic side in Maryland, Rep. David Trone is locked in a tough battle with Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. Trone, a wealthy businessman who has poured millions of his own money into the race, is positioning himself as a progressive Democrat not tied to special interests. Alsobrooks, who seeks to become Maryland’s first Black U.S. senator, has received endorsements from top officials in the state.

Meanwhile, in West Virginia, the Republican Senate primary is crucial with the imminent departure of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. Governor Jim Justice, a Trump-endorsed candidate, is leading the GOP field against U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney and others. The seat is expected to turn red in November with Manchin stepping down. On the Democratic side, the contest is between Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott and Marine Corps veteran Zach Shrewsbury.

The elections also highlight the aftermath of the January 6th Capitol attack, with former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn running for Congress in Maryland and Derrick Evans, a participant in the insurrection, seeking the Republican nomination in West Virginia. The races reflect the deep divisions in the country following the violent events at the Capitol.

Overall, Tuesday’s primaries in Maryland and West Virginia will set the stage for high-stakes battles in the general election, with control of Congress’s upper chamber hanging in the balance. The outcomes will shape the political landscape in both states and influence the national discourse leading up to the fall elections.

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