A growing ideological divide and the retirements of a number of longstanding governors and members of Congress are contributing to a wide-open and contentious primary season. The Onion outlines some of the most important primary elections taking place this spring and summer.


Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District (March 20): Many congressional Democrats have refused to endorse incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski, in a departure from the tradition of blindly supporting the most conservative members of their party for no real reason.


West Virginia Senate, Republican Party (May 8): Candidate Don Blankenship, former Massey Energy CEO, has vowed to use his experience permitting conditions that kill coal miners to bring the most unsafe, potentially lethal coal-mining jobs back to the state.


Ohio Governor (May 8): You’d probably have a pretty decent chance at winning this one if you want to give it a shot.

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Georgia Governor, Democratic Party (May 22): Democrats are hopeful that the political climate and Trump presidency mean that the state is finally ready for a moderately conservative leader.


Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District (May 22): Three Democrats—Jim Gray, a gay construction magnate; Amy McGrath, a female Marine fighter jet pilot; and Reggie Thomas, a progressive African-American law professor—vie to win the congressional seat and the right to become the subject of a future biopic.

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California Jungle Primaries (June 5): California could bridge the Democrat-Republican divide, as the state’s nontraditional system means the top two candidates from the primaries will be wed regardless of party affiliation.


Virginia Senate (June 12): If he wins the GOP nomination, E.W. Jackson, a man who believes yoga leads to Satan and that gay people are sick, would be an entertaining candidate for Democratic senator Tim Kaine to struggle to defeat in a debate.

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Arizona Senate (August 28): Republican candidate Joe Arpaio will test whether Americans are willing to elect a man with controversial views on immigration to higher office.


Florida Governor (August 28): One balls-to-the-wall gator-rasslin’ match, winner take all.

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