KEY POINTS

  • Georgia and Minnesota have emerged as the must-watch races for Tuesday's primary
  • A Republican candidate in Georgia has gained national attention for racist rhetoric and sharing conspiracy theories promoted by right-wing conspiracy theory group, QAnon
  • Minnesota sees a potentially tight race between a member of "The Squad" and a surging Democratic opponent looking to seize on the representative's controversies

Georgia and Minnesota are both the focus of national attention for their primaries scheduled Tuesday. 

In Georgia, a candidate has come under fire for racist rhetoric and support of the right-wing conspiracy group, QAnon. In Minnesota, a member of “The Squad” finds herself in a tight race against a candidate whose well-funded campaign has experienced a late surge.

Georgia

Businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of two Republican candidates running for the open House seat in Georgia’s 14th District against neurosurgeon John Cowan. The two are on the runoff ballot Tuesday after Greene failed to secure enough votes to win the June 9 primary outright to replace former Rep. Tom Graves, who did not seek reelection.

Greene and Cowan have tried to position themselves as Trump supporters, but Greene’s rhetoric has proven to be far more controversial of the two. Several videos have been posted online of Greene openly attacking Black and Hispanic Americans over “gangs and dealing drugs,” and regularly expounding anti-Semetic and anti-Muslim ideals.

She has also been criticized for promoting conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon online. One she has commonly promoted alleges billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish, collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

She has faced regular criticism for her statements which have been called dangerous. Cowan has also gotten in on the criticism, saying Greene “deserves her own Youtube channel, and not a seat in Congress.”

Minnesota

Minnesota’s most contentious race for Tuesday’s primary is easily the Democratic primary in the state’s 5th Congressional District, which Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar won in 2018. Omar’s challenger in the Democratic primary, Antone Melton-Meaux, has emerged as the most prominent contender.

Omar rose to national attention in 2018 as one of several women, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rashida Talib, D-Mich., who were vocal proponents of progressive views and ousted more traditional Democratic nominees to win their House seats. Omar has also been an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and the regular support shown toward the Israeli government by the U.S.

These statements have resulted in regular attacks by President Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and conservative media. One of the more infamous attacks by Trump was on Twitter when he said Omar and the rest of “The Squad” to “go back” to the “places they came from."

However, some of her statements have earned the ire of some within the Democratic Party, as well. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed Omar to apologize for some of her criticisms of Israel after they were accused of being anti-Semitic.

Meaux is a political newcomer who previously worked as a mediation lawyer who has gained attention for his strong fundraising and trying to use controversies around Omar to usurp her. He has regularly said Omar is divisive and too focused on building a national profile, meaning the district’s concerns end up on the backburner. Other attacks have gone after Omar’s alleged campaign finance violations.

Meaux rhetoric has, in turn, earned the backing of more traditional Democratic groups and pro-Israel groups, the latter of who have attacked Omar for statements they said were anti-Semitic. This translated to around $4.1 million in campaign funds to Omar’s $4.3 million.

A voter wearing a glove holds an 'I Voted!' sticker after casting her ballot in the Florida primary A voter wearing a glove holds an 'I Voted!' sticker after casting her ballot in the Florida primary Photo: GETTY IMAGES / JOE RAEDLE