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Image: Geoff Diehl
Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl speaks to supporters at his primary night victory party Tuesday in Weymouth.Josh Reynolds / AP

Midterm elections roundup: Trump-backed Diehl wins in Massachusetts

Former state Rep. Geoff Diehl will face state Attorney General Maura Healey in the fall.

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Geoff Diehl, a Trump-backed former state legislator, won the Massachusetts primary for governor last night, according to the AP. He’ll face Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey in November’s general election.

The two are running to succeed GOP Gov. Charlie Baker, making this a prime opportunity for Democrats to flip a governor’s mansion. Diehl won a tough primary, where his opponent contributed or loaned his campaign over $2 million and vastly outspent Diehl on the airwaves.

Diehl appealed to an enthusiastic base of Trump supporters, though, after he called the 2020 election “rigged” and ran against Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018. He lost that race by 24 percentage points.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Georgia Senate: Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for Senate in Georgia, is out with a new TV ad in which he alleges Sen. Raphael Warnock, Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams “use race to divide us.”

North Carolina Senate: EMILY’s List, which has endorsed Democrat Cheri Beasley, is hitting the airwaves, with its independent expenditure arm reserving $1.8 million on the airwaves for ads starting on Saturday, per AdImpact.

New Hampshire Senate: Former President Donald Trump phoned GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported, and Sununu “encouraged the President to take a look at the Senate race,” per the governor’s spokesman. Trump has not yet endorsed in the GOP primary, which is next week. Sununu hasn’t endorsed in the race either, but he’s criticized retired Brigadier Gen. Don Bolduc. The GOP candidates will meet in two debates this week on Wednesday and Thursday night, per the Union Leader. 

Ohio Senate: Trump announced a rally in Ohio on Sept. 17 featuring Senate hopeful J.D. Vance and “the entire Ohio Trump Ticket,” per a press release. 

Pennsylvania Senate: Republican Mehmet Oz escalated his attacks on Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s health, while Oz’s allies launched a new ad campaign highlighting a 2013 incident in which Fetterman pulled a gun on a Black jogger, per NBC News’ Henry Gomez and Marc Caputo. 

Oz also said at a Tuesday press conference that he would not have objected to counting the state’s Electoral College votes in 2020. And during a Fox News interview he declined to say if he’d support Mitch McConnell for GOP leader. Also on Tuesday, Jezebel unearthed a 2014 interview where a listener asked Oz about the safety of sleeping with their cousin, and Oz responded, “If you’re more than a first cousin away, it’s not a big problem.”

Washington Senate: Republican Tiffany Smiley deleted a section of her campaign website that said there were “serious questions” about the integrity of the 2020 election, Axios reports.

Wisconsin Senate: GOP Sen. Ron Johnson wouldn’t clarify Tuesday whether he supports a proposal codifying same-sex marriage, NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reports.  

Florida Governor: A state Republican Party PAC that supports Gov. Ron DeSantis booked $2.9 million in ad buys over the next week alone. 

Kentucky Governor: Kelly Craft, who served as former President Trump’s United Nations ambassador, is running for governor in 2023 in a GOP primary that will pit her against Attorney General Daniel Cameron. 

New Mexico Governor: Republican Mark Ronchetti released a new TV ad in which his wife describes an attempted home invasion.