Your Guide to the June 25 Primaries

Republicans choose the next governor and senator in Utah, and tense Democratic primaries between left and center will shape the Colorado and New York legislatures.
June 21, 2024
Voters in line at a polling place in New York (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

Every state has now held its presidential primary. But the election calendar remains busy until November. Colorado, New York, and Utah hold their downballot primaries next, on June 25. 

Here’s your Bolts guide to dozens of critical elections taking place in each state.

On the menu: Progressives and moderates face off in a long series of Democratic primaries for seats in the Colorado and New York legislatures. Democrats have comfortable majorities in each, but just what they do with their power hinges on the strength of these factions. Similar tensions have spilled over in other arenas like U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman’s reelection bid, and the Albany DA race.

Republicans also face stark ideological choices. The GOP chooses its Senate nominee in Utah, where a Trump-endorsee faces an opponent more aligned with the retiring incumbent, Mitt Romney. And Colorado Republicans decide whether they want to send Lauren Boebert back to Congress and if Dave Williams, the far-right leader of the state GOP, should join her. Also today: South Carolina is holding several noteworthy Republican runoffs, two weeks after their primaries.

Be sure to return to this page on election night: We’ll update it with results as they are known. Also note that the guide is not exhaustive; it is Bolts’ selection of important races to monitor.

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U.S. Senate

Utah (GOP primary)

Mitt Romney, a rare critic of Donald Trump within the GOP, is retiring from the Senate. To replace him, Trump unexpectedly endorsed Trent Staggs, the mayor of Riverton, who then snatched the endorsement of the state’s Republican Party at a convention dominated by conservative activists. He must now face a field of prominent candidates, including the more moderate U.S. Representative John Curtis, in the actual GOP primary.

U.S. House

CO-03 (GOP primary)

The arch-conservative Lauren Boebert currently represents this district but she chose to run for reelection in the 4th district instead, triggering a wide-open race to replace her. Democrats have meddled in the GOP primary to boost Ron Hanks, a former lawmaker who attended the rally at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and whom Democrats think would be weaker in the general election than GOP frontrunner Jeff Hurd. National Republicans have rushed in to stop Hanks.
CO-04 (GOP primary)

Boebert’s politics had left her vulnerable in her current district. She opted to seek reelection instead in the 4th district, which is staunchly Republican. (Incumbent Ken Buck retired from Congress, creating an opening.) She faces a crowded field, including two state lawmakers. 
CO-05 (GOP primary)

Dave Williams, the far-right chair of the Colorado GOP, most recently drew headlines for a homophobic statement and calling for burning pride flags. Now he wants to head to Congress by winning this open seat in the Colorado Springs region. He has Trump’s endorsement, while his opponent Jeff Crank is aligned with older-school conservative politicians.
NY-14 (Dem primary)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading figure of the left in Congress, faces a retired insurance executive as she seeks a fourth term.
NY-16 (Dem primary)

Jamaal Bowman, another member of the Congressional Squad, faces George Latimer, the moderate executive of Westchester County, in what might be the state’s marquee primary this year. The war in Gaza has been a major fault line between them, and a super PAC associated with AIPAC has gotten involved to defeat Bowman over his criticism of Israel.
NY-24 (GOP primary)

GOP incumbent Claudia Tenney faces a primary rematch against Mario Fratto, who is challenging her from the right. Tenney has replied by accusing Fratto of being associated with white supremacists.
SC-04 (GOP runoff)

Trump has endorsed Mark Burns, an evangelical pastor, in this open race. Burns faces Sherri Biggs, a nurse practitioner backed by the state’s governor. Neither candidate reached 50 percent in the primary earlier this month.
UT-02 (GOP primary)

Celeste Maloy, who won a special election to join Congress last year, now faces a tough primary against Colby Jenkins, who has drawn support from conservative forces like the state’s senior senator Mike Lee and the House Freedom Fund, the campaign arm of the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus. But the ideological fault lines in this race aren’t so clear since Malloy has her own conservative backers, such as Freedom Caucus-founder U.S. Representative Jim Jordan.
Not yet called.
UT-03 (GOP primary)

The GOP can take different ideological paths in this open seat. In a recent candidate questionnaire by the Salt Lake Tribune, candidate Stewart Peay, who is endorsed by Mitt Romney, staked comparatively moderate positions such as opposing a national ban on abortion and resisting the false notion that noncitizen voting is a widespread issue. Meanwhile, the state Republican Party endorsed state Senator Mike Kennedy in April at a convention dominated by conservative activists.

Presidential primaries

There are no presidential primaries on June 25: Colorado, New York, and Utah all held these elections on standalone election days earlier this year.

State and local

Statewide offices

Utah governor (GOP primary)

Phil Lyman, a state lawmaker who was convicted for riding an ATV on protected federal land and was then pardoned by Trump, is now challenging Governor Spencer Cox. He is running to Cox’s right, taking issue for instance with the business lockdowns ordered during the pandemic. Lyman even beat Cox for the party’s endorsement at the GOP convention in April, a gathering dominated by conservative activists, but the primary electorate will look very different.
Utah attorney general (GOP primary)

Three Republicans are running to replace the retiring GOP incumbent. Each has broadly similar positions, and each has endorsements from prominent conservatives, KSL reports. Still, the race is worth watching since the next office-holder may help prop up national litigation against the federal government in coming years, as has become a common practice among Republican attorneys general, especially if Democrats retain the White House.
Derek Brown

Legislative primaries

Colorado | HD4 and HD6 (Dem primaries)

Incumbent Elisabeth Epps, an abolitionist activist who won HD6 in 2022, faces a challenge from her right by Sean Camacho, an attorney who is backed by some of the state’s prominent Democrats, the Colorado Sun reports. Another progressive incumbent, Tim Hernández, faces a tough business-backed challenger from Cecelia Espenoza in HD4.
Camacho & Espenoza
Colorado | SD10 and SD23 (GOP primaries)

The Colorado GOP’s ultra-conservative leadership has exacerbated divides within the party, and two state senators (Barbara Kirkmeyer in SD23 and Larry Liston in SD10) face challenges from their right in that context. 

A sign of the degree of hostility: The state party accused Kirkmeyer on social media of “shameless boot licking of the corrupted fake news media that pushes propaganda for Democrats.”
Kirkmeyer & Liston
Colorado | SD28 (Dem primary)

A disproportionate amount of outside spending is pouring into one legislative race in Colorado, the Colorado Sun reports: an open Senate primary in Aurora. Idris Keith, who is benefiting from that spending, also has the support of business groups as he faces progressive state Representative Mike Weissman. 
New York | SD59 (Dem primary)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s recent decision to halt congestion pricing has created turmoil for public transit funding. The primary in SD59, a district that covers three boroughs in New York City, encapsulates the divides over the issue: Incumbent Kristen Gonzalez, who staunchly supports congestion pricing and blasted Hochul’s decision, faces challenger Gus Lambropoulos, who took to the pages of the Astoria Post to tout his own efforts to rally voters against congestion pricing.
New York | AD34, AD40, AD50, AD52, AD68, AD72, AD84, AD92, AD103, and AD137 (Dem primaries)

Left-leaning groups like the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America have pushed the legislature to the left over the last few cycles. Can they protect their incumbents? In these ten districts, Assemblymembers who are endorsed by the WFP or DSA face challengers this year. Bolts will track the overall results.
All incumbents won.
New York | AD56, AD82, and AD106 (Dem primaries)

Three New York Assemblymembers face challenges from their left in the form of candidates endorsed by the WFP and DSA: They are Stefani Zinerman (who faces Eon Huntley in HD56), Michael Benedetto (who faces Jonathan Soto in HD82), and Didi Barrett (who faces Claire Cousin in HD106). The incumbents are also receiving support from Solidarity PAC, a new super PAC formed to boost pro-Israel candidates.
All incumbents won.
New York | AD35 (Dem primary)

Hiram Monserrate, a former state seantor who allied with the GOP in the late 2000s and was then expelled from the Senate over domestic violence accusations, is trying yet another comeback. He faces nonprofit executive Larinda Hooks in this open race.
New York | AD37 (Dem primary)

Democratic Assemblymember Juan Ardila faced multiple sexual assault allegations earlier this year, prompting calls for him to resign. Instead, he is running for reelection. His two challengers have drawn support from different factions of the party. Claire Valdez has support from the WFP and from DSA; Johanna Carmona is backed by Solidarity PAC.


Colorado | Denver (Dem primary)

With Denver DA Beth McCann retiring, two candidates are running to replace her in the Democratic primary. A candidate who was championing reform positions, civil rights attorney Lisi Owen, failed to make the ballot in April, narrowing the range of options.

Candidate John Walsh, a former U.S. Attorney endorsed by McCann, is aligned with the incumbent’s approach of incremental change, Denverite reports. His opponent Leora Joseph, a former prosecutor who now leads the Office of Behavioral Health, is endorsed by the local police union and says the office should be more punitive. Unlike Walsh, Joseph is opposed to setting up a safe injection site in Denver. 
Colorado | 23rd district: Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties (GOP primary)

George Brauchler, a former DA known for his defense of the death penalty and other harsh punishments such as life without parole for minors, is making a comeback in this newly-created district. He faces fellow Republican Dagny Van Der Jagt. (The primary winner will face no opponent in the general election.)
New York | Albany (Dem primary)

David Soares, the longtime Democratic DA of New York’s capital county, has been a vocal critic of his party’s recent criminal justice reforms, and pushed for their rollback. He faces challenger Lee Kindlon, backed by the Working Families Party, who has been more supportive toward these changes, Bolts reports.
New York | Westchester (Dem primary)

Mimi Rocah is retiring after just one term as Westchester County’s DA, and two Democrats are running to replace her: Susan Cacace, a former prosecutor and former judge, and William Wagstaff, a civil rights attorney who also has the Working Families Party’s support. (A third candidate dropped out mid-June.) The DA will take over in a county that’s seen repeat scandals with police misconduct, forcing questions on prosecutors as to how they’ll handle cases with possibly tainted testimony.