Arizona and Florida vote in primary elections

By Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN
12:36 a.m. ET, August 29, 2018
12:34 a.m. ET, August 29, 2018

CNN's live coverage of tonight's primaries has concluded. Stay tuned to CNN Politics for more.

12:19 a.m. ET, August 29, 2018

CNN projection: A professor just won Arizona's Democratic governor's primary

Democratic Arizona gubernatorial candidate David Garcia, right, answers a question as he debates with other candidates.

Arizona State professor David Garcia won the Democratic primary for governor in Arizona, CNN projects.

He defeated Democratic state Sen. Steve Farley and Kelly Fryer, the CEO of the YWCA Southern Arizona.

Garcia will face Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in November.

12:15 a.m. ET, August 29, 2018

CNN projection: Rep. Martha McSally wins Arizona GOP primary

Rep. Martha McSally, a former fighter pilot and the favored pick of the GOP establishment, has won the Republican Senate primary in Arizona, CNN projects.

She defeated former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio.

She'll now face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in a marquee match-up for the seat that became vacant when Arizona's other senator and intra-party Trump critic, Jeff Flake, announced he would retire rather than likely lose a primary over his criticism of the President.

Why this matters: Trump didn't endorse, but he gave McSally a shout-out at a recent event at Fort Drum in New York. He noted that McSally is "not only an Air Force veteran, but the first woman ever to fly a fighter jet in combat in US history."

McSally -- who sharply criticized Trump when the "Access Hollywood" tape was released in 2016 -- closely aligned herself with him on issues like immigration during her Senate primary run.

One thing to note: In the race's final days, both Ward and Arpaio set off controversy related to their handling of McCain's illness and death. On Monday, Ward tweeted -- in what she later denied was a reference to McCain's illness -- that "Political correctness is like a cancer!" Arpaio, meanwhile, complained that he offered McCain's family condolences only to find that Cindy McCain had blocked him on Twitter.

11:49 p.m. ET, August 28, 2018

CNN projection: Gov. Doug Ducey wins the GOP primary in Arizona

From CNN's Eric Bradner and Gregory Krieg

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, facing a potentially tough battle for re-election in the fall, has won the GOP primary, CNN projects.

What's next: Democratic state Sen. Steve Farley, Arizona State University education professor David Garcia and Kelly Fryer, the CEO of the YWCA Southern Arizona, are facing off to challenge Ducey in a traditionally red state that has shifted to the left in recent years: Hillary Clinton lost by just 4 percentage points in 2016.

The primary also came days before Ducey faces a major decision: Who to appoint to fill Sen. John McCain's seat. He'll have to choose between a Trump-like Republican and someone in the McCain mold -- or could try to bridge the gap, potentially with a placeholder pick.

11:47 p.m. ET, August 28, 2018

CNN projection: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema wins Democratic Senate primary in Arizona

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has won the Democratic primary for Senate in Arizona, CNN projects. She was expected to easily defeat attorney Deedra Abboud and was already campaigning for November, when she will take on the Republican primary winner for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

Some background: Sinema, who is the second most moderate Democrat in the House, made health care central to her messaging.

In one of Sinema's ads, she recounts her family's struggle with health care costs. "We were just kids when my dad lost his job. We lost our car, we lost our home, and we lost our health insurance. I know what it's like for a family to struggle to make ends meet," Sinema says in the spot. "Health care needs to be more affordable.

12:14 a.m. ET, August 29, 2018

He won Florida's Democratic primary, and he rarely mentioned Trump

Andrew Gillum, who CNN projects will win the Florida Democratic governor's race, didn't talk about President Trump on the campaign trial.

"I didn't talk a whole bunch about Trump as I moved around the state," Gillum told CNN's Don Lemon. "We all know that the President is uniquely unqualified for the position that he holds. He is dangerous to himself and to the country, in my opinion."

Instead, he said he focused on talking about everyday issues with Floridians:

"They feel like they had it worse before Trump and it has been bad for quite some time for them and what they want to know is what are you going to do for me and how do you make sure that I can work one job instead of multiple jobs as a way to make ends meet."

Asked by Lemon how it felt to be vying to be the first black governor of Florida -- "That's a big deal. Can you imagine?" -- Gillum responded, "Well, I will tell you, I am vowing to be the next governor of the state of Florida, and I just so happen to be black."

Watch:

11:12 p.m. ET, August 28, 2018

Her daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. Then she ran for school board — and won.

From CNN's Dan Merica

The mother of a student killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this year has won a spot on the Broward County School Board, according to unofficial Broward County election results.

Lori Alhadeff, a former teacher whose daughter Alyssa was killed in the shooting, won the District 4 seat handily on Tuesday, propelling herself onto the school board that oversees the high school where her daughter was killed.

But not all parents impacted by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, saw success on Tuesday.

Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was also killed in the shooting, narrowly lost a chance to vie for the school board seat, according to CNN’s projection.

Why this matters: The two ran in tandem as a tribute to their lost children and pledged reform to the county school board. 

The Feb. 14, 2018 shooting spurred both parents and students into politics. In addition to Alhadeff and Petty, as host of students from Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed, turned to the political arena to make a point about gun laws. Both parents pointed to the fallout from Feb. 14, 2018 shooting as the point they realized they needed to run for office.

10:56 p.m. ET, August 28, 2018

Meet the Republicans running for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat

Joe Arpaio, Martha McSally and Kelli Ward are all running for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat.

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake announced last year that he wouldn't seek reelection. (He did so with scathing speech from the Senate floor in which he burned President Trump and bemoaned the "coarsening" tenor of politics in the United States.)

Now, three Republicans are vying for the open seat:

  • Rep. Martha McSally hails from one of the most divided districts in the country — a place where Hillary Clinton won in 2016. She's the more establishment candidate in the race, but has been pushed to the right in the primary, most clearly shown earlier this year when she pulled her support for a moderate immigration bill to get behind the more conservative plan.
  • Former state Sen. Kelli Ward earned praises from President Trump even before Flake announced he would not seek reelection. Last year, the President tweeted it was "great" to see Ward run against "toxic" flake.
  • Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio entered the race in January — just months after President Trump pardoned him. Arpaio had previously been convicted of criminal contempt related to his hard-line tactics going after undocumented immigrants.

On the Democratic side, we're expecting Rep. Kyrsten Sinema to win the nomination, meaning the GOP winner will face her in November.

10:36 p.m. ET, August 28, 2018

Andrew Gillum is the first black candidate to win a major-party gubernatorial nomination in Florida

Andrew Gillum, who CNN projects has won Florida's Democratic governor's race, thanked his supporters tonight and told them his plans "for a state that makes room for all of us."

"I sincerely believe that what is going to deliver us to victory is the fact that they are everyday, hardworking people in this state who believe ... that they deserve a voice in our government, too," he told supporters at his headquarters. "And we're going to give it to them."

He added:

"This is not my moment. This is our moment."

Gillum is the first black candidate to win a major-party gubernatorial nomination in Florida. He will face Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-endorsed Republican, in a race that pits two 39-year-olds who in many ways mirror their parties' national moods against each other.

"The point has never been lost on me that my name on the ballot is simply a vessel, is simply the name. But what is underneath that name are all the issues that we care so deeply about," Gillum said before ticking off key issues.

Those include fair wages for teachers, reforms in public education, livable wages for Floridians, clean water and oceans, Medicare expansion and better transportation.

Gillum continued:

"The job of the governor of the state of Florida is to do what is in the best interest of the people of the state of Florida. I look forward to being that governor because I know that beneath my name is also a desire by the majority of people in this state to see real criminal justice reform take hold in the state of Florida."

Gillum, who is one of seven siblings, also described his humble upbringing and his parents' commitment to work -- his father was a construction worker and his mother was a school bus driver.

"Because of their example, it instilled in me a quality of hard work that I'll never forget," he said.