The Latest: Polls close for Kansas and Michigan primaries

The Latest on primaries in Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Washington state and a congressional special election in Ohio (all times local):

9 p.m.

Polls have closed in Kansas and Michigan primary elections that are testing anew President Donald Trump’s political clout.

Tuesday’s races, like dozens before them, are pitting the strength of Trump’s fiery supporters against the Democratic Party’s anti-Trump resistance. The results will help determine the political landscape before the GOP defends its congressional majorities across the nation.

One of the top races is in Kansas, where Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KOH’-bahk) is trying to unseat Gov. Jeff Colyer. Should Kobach win the primary, some Republican operatives fear he could lose the governor’s seat to Democrats this fall.

In Michigan, three mainstream Democrats are among those vying for a chance at retiring Republican Rep. Dave Trott’s seat. The field includes Fayrouz Saad (fay-ROOZ’ sahd), who would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

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8:10 p.m.

Democrat Danny O’Connor has jumped out to a significant lead over Republican Troy Balderson in early returns in Ohio’s congressional special election.

Voters on Tuesday were choosing between Balderson, a state senator, and O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. The race is a test of voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O’Connor will battle again for the full two-year term.

President Donald Trump campaigned for Balderson, arguing Republicans need to control Congress and casting the midterms as a referendum on himself.

A Balderson victory would buoy Republicans concerned about how Trump might be playing in political battleground states. An O’Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for a Trump backlash.

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8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Missouri and are beginning to close in parts of Kansas and Michigan on a night of primary elections.

Tuesday’s races, like dozens before them, pitted the strength of President Donald Trump’s fiery supporters against the Democratic Party’s anti-Trump resistance. The results will help determine the political landscape — and Trump’s standing within his own party — just three months before the GOP defends its House and Senate majorities across the nation.

One of the top races of the night is in Kansas, where Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KOH’-bahk) was trying to unseat Gov. Jeff Colyer. Kobach has been backed by the president.

Should the polarizing Kobach win the primary, some Republican operatives fear he could lose the governor’s seat to Democrats this fall.

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7:30 p.m.

The polls have closed in Ohio, where a Republican state senator backed by President Donald Trump is competing with a Democratic county official in a special election for an open U.S. House seat long held by the GOP.

Voters Tuesday were choosing between Sen. Troy Balderson and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. The race is a test of voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O’Connor will battle again for the full two-year term.

Trump campaigned for Balderson, arguing Republicans need to control Congress and casting the midterms as a referendum on himself.

A Balderson victory would buoy Republicans concerned about how Trump might be playing in political battleground states. An O’Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for a Trump backlash.

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7:15 p.m.

A St. Louis County election official blames a “comedy of errors” for some voters being turned away in one Missouri town.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that turnout in the St. Louis region for Tuesday’s primary election was brisk, with about 35 percent of registered voters going to the polls. But there were sporadic problems, most notably at Holman Elementary School in Berkeley.

Democratic elections director Eric Fey says a Republican poll worker had to leave because of a family emergency. The other two went to lunch, apparently got lost and didn’t return.

It was unclear how many people were turned away during the 45 minutes it took to get additional Republican poll workers to the polling place.

Elsewhere in St. Louis County, some poll workers mistakenly gave voters nonpartisan ballots that included only issues, not party primary races.

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6:20 p.m.

Battleground Ohio is deciding the year’s final special election, a congressional faceoff that tests anew President Donald Trump’s political clout and the appeal of his signature tax cuts.

Seventy-one-year-old retiree Gregg Schirra voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Democrat Danny O’Connor on Tuesday in Westerville.

He says, “We gave Trump a fair chance and now it’s time to get the legislature working and get back on track.”

At Delaware Township Hall north of Columbus, 71-year-old retiree Katheryn Terry voted for Republican Troy Balderson, saying she felt the 31-year-old O’Connor was just too young and she wasn’t happy with anything about his candidacy.

She says: “I’m trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, and so I’m trying to be as supportive as I can, because things have turned around.”

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6:05 p.m.

Some Republican voters in Kansas say President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KOH’-bahk) mattered to them as they cast votes in the GOP primary for governor.

Fifty-three-year-old math teacher Tanya Hein said Tuesday that she always planned to vote for Kobach, but Trump’s endorsement was “icing on the cake.”

She says incumbent Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer was part of former Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration and she wanted someone with experience who was not tied to Brownback.

Seventy-three-year-old retired construction company owner Richard Cronister also says Trump’s endorsement was important to him.

He says he thinks Trump’s tax cuts have helped the economy and he likes Trump’s stance against illegal immigration.

He also likes Kobach’s style, saying, “It’s refreshing to hear a politician tell the truth.”

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2 p.m.

Candidates in a tight congressional race are making final rounds in the sprawling central Ohio district.

The seat is open following the retirement of former GOP U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (TEE’-behr-ee) after nearly 18 years in office.

Among stops for Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, was speaking to volunteers and supporters at his campaign headquarters Tuesday morning in Columbus.

Republican Troy Balderson, a two-term state senator, included a visit to Genoa Baptist Church in Westerville in suburban Columbus Tuesday afternoon.

Jerry Cupp, a 61-year-old retiree in Westerville, voted for Balderson, but said he didn’t see much difference between the candidates. He wants Congress to tackle health care.

Nick Losacco, a 79-year-old Columbus car salesman, voted for O’Connor, saying he wanted Democrats to have more control in Congress.

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11 a.m.

Voting is underway in an Ohio special election that may provide clues to whether Democrats will retake the U.S. House in November.

Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, is running for an open congressional seat in central Ohio against Republican Troy Balderson, a two-term state senator. The seat opened up when ex-U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (TEE’-behr-ee) retired after almost 18 years.

Trevor Moffitt is a public health doctoral student at Ohio State University who voted for O’Connor Tuesday.

The 29-year-old resident of suburban Westerville said he liked O’Connor’s willingness to work with Republicans.

Mike Flynn, a hospital unit coordinator from suburban New Albany, voted for Balderson as a show of support for Tiberi. Flynn said he didn’t care for the mudslinging on either side of the campaign.

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12:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s preferred congressional candidate — and his signature tax cuts — are about to be tested in battleground Ohio in the season’s final high-stakes special election.

The midsummer affair comes as Trump’s shadow looms over primary contests in four other states. None is bigger than Kansas, where the Republican president roiled the governor’s race by opposing the sitting Republican governor on the eve of the election.

Tuesday’s elections, like dozens before them, pit the strength of the Republican president’s fiery coalition against the Democratic Party’s anti-Trump resistance. The results will help determine the political landscape — and Trump’s standing within his own party — just three months before November’s midterm elections.

Voters in Ohio and Kansas join those across Missouri, Michigan and Washington state at the ballot box.

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