Tuesday is biggest 2014 test yet for tea party

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 19, 2014 

Kentucky Senate McConnell

Darrell Uhls, left, shakes hans with Kentucky Republican senatorial candidate Mitch McConnell during a campaign stop Saturday, May 17, 2014, at the Tanglewood Farms Restaurant in Franklin, Ky.


The biggest primary day of the 2014 election year so far features important, perhaps telling battles, in the war between tea party and establishment Republicans as voters head to the polls Tuesday in six states.

Some big names are in the mix. Tea party favorite Matt Bevin is challenging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary. Three incumbent congressmen are trying to win Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, and veteran Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson has a strong conservative challenger.

Pennsylvania has a different script. Businessman Tom Wolf has surged ahead of Rep. Allyson Schwartz in that state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. They’re aiming to topple Gov. Tom Corbett, the Republican incumbent, whose re-election chances are considered shaky. Also voting Tuesday are Oregon and Arkansas.

More big primaries are coming. Eight states vote June 3, with the highlight being the Mississippi battle between veteran Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, another tea party insurgent.

Email: dlightman@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @lightmandavid.

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