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Races to watch in Nebraska and West Virginia primaries on May 10

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The Republican-leaning states of Nebraska and West Virginia will hold primary elections on May 10 for the U.S. House of Representatives and other offices.

Following are notable races that could help shape the Nov. 8 midterm elections when Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Congress.

WEST VIRGINIA’S 2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

The race between two incumbent Republican U.S. representatives could be another test of the power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsements. Polls suggest a tight race between Alex Mooney, who is backed by Trump, and David McKinley, who was endorsed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

The two incumbents are facing one another because West Virginia is losing a House seat due to a shrinking population. The winner of the nomination contest will likely win in November as the 2nd district is solidly Republican.

NEBRASKA GOVERNORSHIP

Trump’s endorsement power gets another test in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Nebraska, where Trump-backed Charles Herbster was recently accused by several women, including a state senator, of groping them. Herbster, a farming executive, has denied the allegations.

While recent public opinion polls have largely come from political campaigns rather than independent pollsters, they have pointed to a potentially competitive race between Herbster and University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, who has been endorsed by the departing Republican governor and the Farm Bureau.

The November contest is seen as an easy win for Republicans.

NEBRASKA 2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Centered around Omaha, the state’s largest city, the 2nd district is seen as a potentially competitive race in November and has been held by Republican Don Bacon since 2017.

While Bacon is not expected to face stiff internal competition in May, the Democratic Party primary pits state Senator Tony Vargas against mental health practitioner Alisha Shelton. Vargas has touted his support for banning assault rifles while Shelton has pledged to help improve access to voting.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)

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