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At the Races: The Unending Primary Season
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Corporate PACs in Spotlight as Candidates Reject Their Money
So far, 85 primary winners are rejecting money from corporations

The candidates pledging not to accept corporate PAC money have mostly been Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Corporate PACs have been thrust into the political spotlight as more Democratic candidates make rejecting corporate money a central theme of their campaigns. Seven of those congressional hopefuls won their primaries Tuesday.

Those results bring the total number of primary winners who are not accepting corporate PAC contributions to 85, according to the group End Citizens United, which supports an overhaul of the campaign finance system. These candidates are instead relying on donations from individuals and other groups.

Report: Former Rohrabacher Opponent Target of Cyberattack
California Democrat Hans Keirstead’s campaign was the target of a phishing attack

Democrat Hans Keirstead was the target of a successful cyberattack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Democratic House candidate Hans Keirstead was the target of a successful cyberattack during his campaign in California’s 48th District against pro-Russia GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Rolling Stone reported that in August 2017, Keirstead fell for a phishing email that asked him to enter his password for his work email address, which he also used for his campaign. The campaign also reported efforts in December to hack into the campaign’s website and “hosting service,” and an effort in January to hack into the campaign’s Twitter account. Only the phishing attack in August was successful.

Trump Most Effective in Senate Races, Pence Can Focus on House, Lewandowski Says
Great America Committee senior strategist says Pence PAC is cutting checks for GOP congressional candidates

Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Donald Trump, says the president is most effective stumping for Senate candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the final 12-week stretch to the midterms, expect to see President Donald Trump on the trail stumping mostly for GOP Senate candidates and Vice President Mike Pence campaigning for House Republicans, Corey Lewandowski said. 

The former Trump campaign manager and current senior strategist to Pence’s political action committee, the Great America Committee, said the political strategists in Trump’s orbit have determined that’s the best strategy for deploying the GOP’s executive leaders onto the congressional campaign trail. 

Michael Bloomberg Would Be Toughest 2020 Challenger, Former Trump Campaign Manager Says
Corey Lewandowski says Bloomberg has name recognition, ability to self-fund

Michael Bloomberg could run the toughest race against President Donald Trump in 2020, says former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michael Bloomberg is the Democrat who could run the most competitive campaign against President Donald Trump in 2020, according to Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first 2016 campaign manager. 

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor event on Wednesday, Lewandowski said, “He could make it through a primary and be very competitive in a general election,” referring to the former New York City mayor. 

O’Connor Hoping Provisional Ballots Trigger Recount
Campaign says 3,000 provisional ballots could bring deadlocked race within margin for automatic recount

Danny O’Connor’s campaign said provisional ballots in Ohio tend to skew toward Democrats. (Danny O’Connor for Congress via Facebook)

A week after Election Day, Democrat Danny O’Connor’s campaign in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District is optimistic there will be a recount.

Speaking on a media call, O’Connor’s campaign team said it’s hopeful that provisional ballots yet to be counted will bring the race within the 0.5 percentage point margin that would trigger an automatic recount.

5 Takeaways From the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Connecticut Primaries
Democrats celebrate likely firsts while GOP women have a mixed night

Pete Stauber, here at a June rally in Duluth, Minn., easily captured the GOP nomination Tuesday night in Minnesota’s 8th District, which is likely to see one of the most expensive races in the country again. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Tuesday’s primary action in the Upper Midwest and New England set the fall matchups in a handful of key House races and one competitive Senate contest. 

Here are five key takeaways from those results:

Radinovich Will Face Stauber in Top GOP Pickup Opportunity in Minnesota
DFL nominee previously ran incumbent Rick Nolan’s 2016 campaign

Former state Rep. Joe Radinovich won the DFL nomination for Minnesota’s 8th District on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Joe Radinovich for Congress)

Former state Rep. Joe Randinovich has won the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nomination in Minnesota’s 8th District, which, if the past two cycles are any indication, could be among the most expensive House races this fall.

With 62 percent of precincts reporting, Radinovich led the five-person field with 47 percent of the vote, when The Associated Press called the race. 

Trump’s Turkey Spat Could Rouse Army of Well-Paid, Connected Lobbyists
Turkey has spent millions to promote its interests in Washington

Former Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., shown here in October 2005 with House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is one of numerous retired lawmakers who have signed lucrative agreements to lobby on behalf of Turkey. (Ian Hurley/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whatever the result of President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Turkey, it is almost certainly going to rouse a well-financed and deeply entrenched influence-peddling operation in Washington.

The Republic of Turkey spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on well-connected D.C. lobbyists to promote its interests in Washington. It makes major gifts to American think tanks that do not have to be reported under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

What to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
GOP picks nominee in top Senate race; 2 Toss-up House races will be set

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith faces a DFL primary challenge Tuesday from five other candidates, including former Republican Richard Painter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

From New England to the upper Midwest, four states are hosting primaries Tuesday.

The most interesting contests are in Wisconsin and Minnesota, which both hold primaries for Senate and for several competitive House seats. And in two safe Democratic districts — one in Minnesota and one in Connecticut — primaries will likely pick new members of Congress.