Primary races signal crime shaping up to be key factor in midterms

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Primary elections held in seven states Tuesday indicate that America’s crime crisis is shaping the landscape for November’s midterms in a way that could spell doom for Democrats.

Two California races, in particular, sent a clear message that Americans are fed up with the left’s soft-on-crime policies and progressive prosecutors. Voters in San Francisco – arguably the most liberal city in the nation – delivered a stunning rebuke to progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin, with 61% voting to remove him from office. A former public defender and the son of convicted Weather Underground terrorists, Boudin was elected to office in 2019 on a platform that he would end cash bail, reduce jail sentences, and crack down on police misconduct. 

Boudin’s opponents, many of whom are Democrats, spent nearly $8 million to recall the DA, citing rising violence, rampant property crimes, homelessness, and drug abuse.

Boudin’s ousting followed February’s recall of three progressive San Francisco school board members in repudiation of their decision to devote time and resources into efforts to rename a third of the city’s schools instead of reopening classrooms following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democratic Mayor London Breed will name Boudin’s replacement until a special election is held in November.

In another Democratic shakeup for California, Los Angeles’ expensive nonpartisan mayoral primary race saw billionaire developer Rick Caruso secure one of the top two spots, along with well-known progressive Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.). Caruso, who threw his hat into the ring at the last minute, switched from the Republican to the Democrat party weeks before the election and ran on a tough-on-crime platform. Previously dismissed as a longshot, Caruso appears now to be a potentially formidable opponent to Bass, once considered a shoo-in for the job. The two will go head-to-head in a runoff election in November.

Meanwhile, California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsome handily defeated 25 other candidates to secure the state’s gubernatorial primary, less than a year after voters tried to recall him from office.

In South Dakota, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem easily defeated her primary challenger following her first term in the role. Noem’s name is one being floated as a possible 2024 presidential candidate or vice-presidential nominee.

Noem is a favorite among grassroots conservatives for standing firm against nationwide pressure to adopt restrictive COVID-19 mandates and serving as a leading conservative voice in the nation’s culture war issues.

In New Jersey, U.S. Reps. Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew both survived their primaries, despite former President Trump’s previous censure over their support for Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. 

Smith defeated radio talk show host Mike Crispi, who was endorsed by former Trump advisers Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. Van Drew, a former Democrat who switched to the Republican party in 2019, fended off two challengers in his primary fight.

Elsewhere, former meteorologist Mark Ronchetti came out on top in New Mexico’s Republican gubernatorial primary. Ronchetti, who ran as a political outsider, will face incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham whose title went unchallenged in the state’s Democratic primary. Grisham is considered a rising star among the left for enacting gun control measures and laws supporting abortion access.