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Final stretch of primaries will showcase a divided GOP

The final stretch of primaries for state and federal offices kicks off Tuesday. Candidates loyal to former president Donald Trump and his false election claims are pitting them against rivals looking to move past those fights in this fall’s midterm elections. Some Republicans are trying to focus on unifying concerns such as inflation to regain control of Congress. Democrats argue the GOP candidates — and their campaigns against the democratic process itself — will prove too extreme for general-election voters. In Arizona, Republican candidates for Senate, governor, attorney general and secretary of state have all campaigned heavily on their alignment with Trump while promoting his false narrative of the 2020 election. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), co-chair of the Republican Governors Association, has thrown his weight behind a more traditional conservative candidate for governor

In Arizona, state lawmaker Mark Finchem is running for secretary of state. He is part of an official slate of election deniers seeking oversight of voting in 2024. Democrats have pursued a controversial strategy in some races of seeking to elevate GOP campaigns that they view as more extreme, and thus more beatable, in November. Some Republicans see incumbents who have broken with Trump as their most electable candidates in the fall, and Tuesday could intensify the criticisms that Trump has hurt the party’s chances with his endorsements. In Missouri, Trump promised Monday to issue a last-minute endorsement in the Senate primary — only to cast his lot behind “Eric” without identifying a surname, effectively leaving the door open to either Eric Greitens or Eric

Trump and Pence have endorsed different candidates in the Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial primary, which will be held Aug. 9. The winner will face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, setting up one of the most high-stakes gubernatorial races in the country. Alaska voters will decide in a special election whether to send Sarah Palin to Washington to fill the late congressman Don Young’s term and whether she should advance past the primary to vie for the seat in the November election. The last major day of primary elections is Aug. 23, in Florida and New York, two states that were rankled by redistricting that occurs after the once-a-decade U.S. Census. The race is the first competitive Democrat vs. Republican race since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.