Today voters in New Jersey, Wisconsin, California, South Dakota, Montana and Iowa will head to the polls. The main event is certainly the Wisconsin recall election, where Governor Scott Walker is expected to face a stiff challenge and the vote counting could go late into the night.
While I’m curious about the Wisconsin race, here are ten other contests I’ll be watching more closely as the numbers start to roll in…
1. Condit for Congress: The son of former Congressman Gary Condit, yes that Gary Condit, is making his own bid for the U.S. House as an independent. A key test of California’s new top-two primary system, if Condit can squeak past Democrat Jose Hernandez he’ll earn the right to go one-on-one with freshman Republican Jeff Denham in November.
2. Ron Paul Reflux: While he announced he was suspending his formal primary campaign activities a few weeks ago, voters in states like South Dakota, Montana and California may still come out to the polls to support their preferred candidate for the GOP nomination. Can Paul’s non-campaign with enough votes to secure delegates anywhere? We’ll have to wait and see.
3. Roseanne’s Final Gasp: Roseanne Barr is hoping for a miracle landslide victory in today’s California Green primary to revive her sagging presidential bid. Presumptive Green nominee Jill Stein has about 75% of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination, but a huge loss to Barr in California might give Greens some pause.
4. Fred Karger’s Next-To-Last Stand: California Republicans have a presidential primary with only two active candidates. Presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and gay activist Fred Karger, who lives in Southern California. Karger has appeared on several state ballots in his quixotic bid for the White House, but thus far he’s amassed less than 4,000 votes. His energy has turned toward making some kind of showing in today’s generally irrelevant Presidential primary. Karger will have one more chance to shine, when Utah votes on June 26th. A harsh critic of the Mormon Church, he will appear on that final state’s ballot as well.
5. LaRouche Democrat in New Jersey: Lyndon LaRouche’s political organization scored a victory last week in Texas when Kesha Rogers captured the nomination for a U.S. House seat in a heavily Republican area. Today, they’ll be hoping for an encore performance with Diane Sare in New Jersey’s 5th District. Sare has outworked and outspent her opposition, but still faces an uphill battle.
6. California’s District 33: There has been considerable money spent by the candidates facing-off tonight for the right to lose to incumbent Democrat Henry Waxman. Most interestingly, independent Bill Bloomfield and Libertarian Steve Collett. Bloomfield has dumped about a million dollars into the race and Collett has ponied up perhaps a quarter-million. If the little-known Republican finishes second, it will be a sorely disappointing and very boring general election.
7. More “Top Two” Independents: Other notable independents to watch for include former California State Assemblyman Anthony Adams, who is running for Congress as an independent in District 8. Also: businessman Chris Pareja in District 15, Terry Phillips in District 23, Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks in District 26, and former mayor of Sante Jack Doyle in District 52.