Primary Voters Make Their Choices In Six States

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

VOTERS went to the ballot box in Tuesday primaries in New Hampshire and Vermont, two states hit by a deep recession, and several other states.

In the Granite State, New Hampshire Gov. Judd Gregg's victory in the GOP Senate primary brings him one step closer to retiring US Sen. Warren Rudman's seat. Governor Gregg won over Republican rival Harold Eckman, and two others.

In the Democratic gubernatorial race, millionaire businessman John Rauh was victorious over Franklin, N.H., mayor Brenda Elias and three others. New Hampshire voters also favored female gubernatorial candidate Deborah Arnesan in the state's Democratic primary. Ms. Arnesan, a liberal state representative, is pushing for a broad-based income tax. She is the first woman to win a major party's nomination for governor.

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Conservative Stephen Merrill, former state attorney general, won the GOP governor's race over moderate Elizabeth Hager and three others. Mr. Merrill opposes a broad-based income tax while state Representative Hager campaigned for tax reform.

In congressional races, incumbent US Rep. William Zeliff narrowly won the GOP nomination in the First District, while Democratic incumbent US Rep. Dick Swett took his primary.

In Vermont's US House primary, GOP candidate Timothy Philbin won over two-term Rutland mayor Jeffrey Wennberg. Mr. Philbin will face incumbent US Rep. Bernard Sanders (I). Democrat Lewis Young ran unopposed.

In the Republican US Senate primary, James Douglas was the party's nominee in a landslide over John Gropper, a political neophyte. Mr. Douglas, a five-term Vermont secretary of state, will face long-term Democratic incumbent Patrick Leahy.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Howard Dean will run against GOP candidate John McClaughry in November.

Highlights from other primaries around the country:

* ALASKA: Senate: Two-term Republican US Sen. Frank Murkowski won his primary. Democrats nominated ex-state Commerce Commissioner Tony Smith. House: Ten-term US Rep. Don Young, involved in check-kiting, won the GOP primary. Former Valdez Mayor John Devens won the Democratic primary.

* ARIZONA: Senate: Activist Claire Sargent defeated retired US Air Force Gen. Truman Spangrud for the Democratic nomination. US Sen. John McCain (R), a senator charged in the Charles Keating scandal, ran unopposed. House: Three-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Jay Rhodes, involved in the House bank scandal, squeaked by in the Republican primary. He faces Democrat Sam Coppersmith. US Reps. Jim Kolbe and Bob Stump easily won their Republican primaries.

* FLORIDA: House: In delayed Dade County voting, impeached former US District Judge Alcee Hastings won a tight race with state Rep. Bill Clark for the right to oppose state Rep. Lois Frankel in a Democratic race. Democrat Carrie Meek won her Democratic primary to become Florida's first black congressman since Reconstruction. State Sen. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who won the Republican primary, will become the first Cuban-born man elected to Congress.

* UTAH: Senate: Voters nominated Republican Robert Bennett and Democratic US Rep. Wayne Owens for US Sen. Jake Garn's seat. Governor: Insurance executive Mike Leavitt defeated political consultant Richard Eyre for the GOP nomination, to replace Republican Gov. Norm Bangerter. Mr. Leavitt faces several candidates in November.

* WISCONSIN: Senate: Democratic state Sen. Russell Feingold upset US Rep. Jim Moody and businessman Joe Checota. Senator Feingold faces two-term US Sen. Robert Kasten, who took the GOP nomination. In a state congressional race, former Menominee Indian tribal leader Ada Deer defeated state legislator David Clarenbach in the Democratic primary. Ms. Deer will face first-term Rep. Scott Klug in November.

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