Centrism Wins ... and Loses ... in Primaries
Well it was a divided night last night for centrist candidates, both incumbents and those running for open seats. In Rhode Island, senator Lincoln Chafee held off a strong challenge from Stephen Laffey, winning with approximately 53% of the vote in an election that saw turnout records smashed (more than 63,000 votes were cast, beating the previous high of 45,000).
However, in AZ's 8th CD, conservative Randy Graf defeated centrist Steve Huffman for the Republican nomination; the Democratic candidate is now favored to win that seat in November (it's held now by retiring centrist Jim Kolbe).
In NY, John Spencer defeated KT McFarland for the right to the title of "sacrificial lamb" against Hillary Clinton this fall. In NH's 1st CD, anti-war candidate Carol Shea-Porter upset her primary opponent Jim Craig (the House Minority leader) for the nomination to take on Rep. Jeb Bradley.
Quite a night, with major repercussions for November: Chafee's victory increases the odds that the GOP will hold that seat, while Graf's makes a turnover in AZ's 8th much more likely.