Tuesday provides one of the biggest tests yet of the power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in GOP primaries.
He made a puzzling non-endorsement in Missouri’s Senate race Monday, but he’s actually backed 42 candidates across the five states — Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington — who are competing in primaries on Tuesday. All but six of those candidates have openly questioned or objected to the 2020 presidential election results.
Here are some key races to watch that will test Trump’s endorsement:
The former president has backed nine candidates running for statewide office, including four in Arizona alone: Former TV anchor Kari Lake for governor; Blake Masters, an associate of billionaire Peter Thiel, for Senate; state Rep. March Finchem for Secretary of State and attorney Abe Hamadeeh for Attorney General.
In Michigan, Trump has endorsed conservative commentator Tudor Dixon for governor. Michigan Republicans also picked Trump’s preferred candidates for attorney general and secretary of state — Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo — as their nominees at a convention earlier this year.
In Kansas, Trump has backed State Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s run for governor and Sen. Jerry Moran’s re-election. Both are expected through their Tuesday primaries.
Trump has endorsed primary challengers against three House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president after a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
He’s backing former software engineer John Gibbs, who also served in Trump’s administration, against Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer; Army veteran Joe Kent, who has has ties to right-wing extremists, against Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler; and former police chief Loren Culp, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2020, against Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse.
Trump has also endorsed a slew of down-ballot candidates in Arizona and Michigan. He’s backed five state legislative candidates in Arizona and 10 in Michigan, many of whom echo his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
One of the highest profile races for Arizona state Senate pits state House Speaker Rusty Bowers against Trump-backed former state Sen. David Farnsworth.
Bowers was a star witness in one of the recent televised hearings from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He detailed the pressure campaign to overturn Arizona’s election results, and the intimidation his family has faced since the 2020 election. Farnsworth has repeated the false claim that Trump actually won the 2020 election.
CORRECTION (Aug. 2, 2022, 5:41 p.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the total number of candidates former President Donald Trump has endorsed in Tuesday night’s primaries. It is 42, not 38.