Arizona primaries being held just days after McCain's death

John McCain

Polls closed in Arizona on Tuesday, where Republicans on Tuesday will decide a three-way battle over which candidate to nominate to replace the state's junior U.S. Senator, who is retiring because he has no political future after criticizing President Trump.

"Martha McSally, running in the Arizona Primary for U.S. Senate, was endorsed by rejected Senator Jeff Flake....and turned it down - a first!"

The Victory Fund's words were echoed by LGBTQ newspaper the Washington Blade, which called Sinema's primary win "a significant victory" as she has become "the first openly bisexual person to win a major party nomination to run for a U.S. Senate seat". John McCain, whose death on Saturday came after election officials estimated most voters had already cast early ballots in the race.

Arizona is traditionally a red or Republican state.

Another openly LGBT candidate won her primary bid Tuesday night for a seat in Congress, bringing to 12 the number of LGBT candidates for the U.S. House this year.

Arizona is a top pickup opportunity for Senate Democrats in a cycle where they're largely on defense.

The Florida contest came on the last big day of state nominating contests before the November 6 elections, when Democrats will try to pick up 23 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate to gain majorities and slam the brakes on Trump's legislative agenda. Sinema announced that she was pausing her campaign Wednesday and Thursday, when McCain's body will lie in Arizona's Capitol.

Earlier this year, she removed her name from a bill she had co-sponsored that offered a path to citizenship for so-called "Dreamers", young illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

Arizona is one of three states holding elections Tuesday.

In a pre-Trump world, the race Florida politicos expected was one between Republican agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam - who'd been in elected office since he was 22 and had lined up the GOP establishment's support - and moderate Democrat Gwen Graham, a former congresswoman. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey could also be vulnerable this fall.

The late August primary leaves 10 weeks before the general election. Democrat David Garcia, an Arizona State University professor, is focusing on his experience in the area, but he faces tough challengers from State Sen.

The Republican primary, however, featured three significant and well-known candidates. The good news for the GOP is that Governor Jaleel White, a Republican like Bobby Jindal, has chose to appoint a man who will vote with Donald Trump.

McSally wins, but at what cost?

On the other hand, her appointment might not sit well with the conservative base.

Democrats are hoping the GOP electorate's rightward march and embrace of outsiders result in a runoff win for Tulsa mortgage company owner Kevin Stitt over former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. It was drawn to be competitive but has leaned Democrat since 2012. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala is the Democratic front-runner, while Republicans hope that TV anchor Maria Elvira Salazar is their nominee and could put up a fight in the Hispanic-majority district.

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