Women candidates dominated at the polls

By Meg Wagner
10:36 AM ET, Fri May 25, 2018
2:30 p.m. ET, May 24, 2018

She could be the first black woman governor in US history

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Stacey Abrams will win the Democratic primary in Georgia's gubernatorial race Tuesday, CNN projects, becoming the first black woman in the nation to hold a major party's nomination for governor.

If she wins in November, she will become the country's first black female governor.

The former state House minority leader defeated former state Rep. Stacey Evans, who ran a campaign that tried to appeal to moderates and independent voters.

Abrams, who grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, as one of six children, told CNN's Kyung Lah in an interview before the election she was aware that "as an African-American woman, I will be doing something no one else has done."

Watch her interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota after her historic win:

2:29 p.m. ET, May 24, 2018

A female fighter pilot will face an incumbent GOP congressman this fall

From CNN's Eric Bradner

A political newcomer knocked off Lexington Mayor Jim Gray — a prized Democratic recruit and major figure in Kentucky politics -— in a primary for a US House seat Tuesday.

Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, won the Lexington-area 6th District contest and is now poised to take on Republican Rep. Andy Barr in a red-leaning district that Democrats hope will shift in their favor in November's midterm elections.

Gray conceded the race Tuesday night.

"I want to congratulate Amy McGrath on her victory and her win tonight," Gray said at his election night event. "It was a spirited campaign, and I know that Andy Barr is in for the fight of his life. I am ready to help Amy and I want all of you to join me. It's time for us to stand with Amy and continue this effort to do all we can to send her to Washington."
2:29 p.m. ET, May 24, 2018

An openly gay Latina won the Democratic primary for Texas governor. That's never happened before.

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez won her runoff and became the Democratic nominee for Texas governor Tuesday night, making her the first openly lesbian and Latina nominee to win a major party gubernatorial nomination in the state.

Valdez won 53.1% of the vote while her competitor, Andrew White, obtained 46.9%, according to unofficial election results.

Valdez, a former US Army captain, accepted the nomination in a speech Tuesday evening, during which she advocated for equal opportunities for Texans.

"Tonight is a victory for all of us who are fighting for a stronger and fairer Texas. A tolerant and diverse Texas. A Texas where the everyday person has a voice and a fair shot -- just as I had," Valdez told supporters.
2:28 p.m. ET, May 24, 2018

Progressive women won big last night. Here's what that means.

From CNN's Eric Bradner

Progressive women dominated a slate of Democratic primaries Tuesday, winning races in Kentucky and Texas and giving Georgia the first black woman to ever be nominated for governor by a major political party.

The victories underscored some emerging realities of 2018's primary season: Female candidates -- of which Democrats have record numbers in House races -- have fared well.

Political veterans' experience, meanwhile, has been a burden.

And while Democratic voters have valued candidates' electability, the party's base, energized by opportunities to put checks on President Trump, has shown little interest in centrists.

2:28 p.m. ET, May 24, 2018

Here's how the primaries went down in Texas

From CNN's Eric Bradner

In Texas, several congressional districts that Democrats view as winnable in November held primary runoffs on Tuesday.

Here's a look at the women who won:

  • Former Air Force intelligence officer Gina Ortiz Jones won a runoff in Texas' 23rd District and will face Republican Rep. Will Hurd in a vast region that includes much of the Texas-Mexico border. Ortiz Jones defeated Rick Trevino, who was backed by the Sen. Bernie Sanders-aligned group Our Revolution, in Tuesday's runoff, CNN projects.
  • In Texas' 31st Congressional District, MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran and author of the memoir "Shoot Like a Girl," won her runoff to be the Democratic nominee.
  • In the Houston-area 7th District, attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher won her runoff, defeating Laura Moser, the target of one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's most aggressive attacks against one of its own party's candidates in recent memory, in the race to take on GOP Rep. John Culberson.
  • In the race for Texas governor, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez won her runoff to become the Democratic nominee. She is the first openly gay and Latina nominee for governor in Texas.