NEW YORK • On the biggest day of voting since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted public life, Americans cast ballots in extraordinary circumstances on Tuesday, heading to the polls during a national health and economic crisis and amid widespread protests and police deployments that have disrupted communities across the nation.
Voters in eight states and Washington were choosing nominees for congressional and local offices while casting perfunctory primary ballots in the presidential contest, which has long been set between United States President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden. Mr Biden continued to march towards official nomination on Tuesday, winning the primaries in Indiana, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.
Meanwhile, Representative Steve King, a nine-term Iowa Republican who had been rebuked by party leaders and stripped of committee assignments over his inflammatory statements about race and immigration, was defeated in a primary.
Mr Randy Feenstra, an Iowa state senator, took advantage of the intra-party dissatisfaction with Mr King and endorsements by party leaders to take the GOP nomination to run for the seat in November’s election.
On the Democratic side in Iowa, voters chose Ms Theresa Greenfield, a businesswoman who has proved to be an able fund raiser, to face Republican Senator Joni Ernst.
The race is expected to be among the most expensive Senate contests in the country, with outside groups already reserving US$35 million (S$49 million) in TV advertisements.
In Indiana, Republicans in the state’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes the northern swathe of Indianapolis and counties to the north, picked Ms Victoria Spartz, a Ukrainian-born state senator.
She was one of 15 candidates battling to replace Representative Susan Brooks, a Republican who is retiring. Democrats nominated Ms Christina Hale, a state House member, for a race they believe will be competitive in November.
Democrats in northern New Mexico appeared to be rejecting a congressional bid by Ms Valerie Plame, the former Central Intelligence Agency agent who was outed during the George W. Bush administration. She was running a distant third with about 30 per cent of the votes counted.
Representative Greg Gianforte, a Montana Republican, who lost the 2016 governor’s race to Mr Steve Bullock, defeated Mr Tim Fox, the Montana attorney-general, in a second bid to be governor.
And in Ferguson, Missouri, voters elected the first African American and first woman as mayor of the city that was roiled by protests and civil unrest after police fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.