A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
A busy month of primaries concludes next Tuesday (August 23) with elections in Florida, New York, and Oklahoma.
In Florida, there’s an interesting contest between former governor Charlie Crist and current agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried to see who will take on the Sunshine State’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis in November. Fried, who has repeatedly attacked Crist over his previous Republican affiliation, may have some momentum going into the primary, possibly benefiting from voters galvanized by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Crist’s campaign, however, has dismissed her chances and insists he is better placed to siphon off voters disenchanted with DeSantis’ culture-wars brand of politics.
Also keep an eye out for the Democrats’ primary in the Senate race, where Congresswoman Val Demings is likely to secure her party’s nomination to take on Marco Rubio in November. Demings, a former police chief who was also one of seven House impeachment managers in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, would be only the second female Senator from Florida if she wins in November. But it’s a big ‘if’.
In New York, voters head to the polls for their second primary of the year after courts struck down district maps drawn by Democrats as gerrymandered. The most-closely watched races are likely the 12th Congressional District, where Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney are both running, the open race for the 10th Congressional District, the Republican primary in the 12th Congressional District between former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and state Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy, and the special election in the 19th Congressional District.
Finally, there’s a run-off in the Republican Senate primary in Oklahoma, where incumbent Jim Inhofe is retiring. Both candidates, Rep. Markwayne Mullin and former state Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, are anti-abortion, pro-guns, and of the view that the 2020 election was stolen. Whoever wins will be favored to defeat former Congresswoman Kendra Horn come November.
It’s also a big week for reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s June ruling in the Dobbs case. On Monday (August 22), a federal court in Idaho will hear arguments in a challenge to the state’s near-total abortion ban after the Department of Justice announced earlier this month that it was suing the state. Idaho’s law is currently due to come into force on Thursday (August 25), when so-called trigger laws are also due to take effect in Texas and Tennessee. On Friday (August 26), new laws restricting abortions come into force in North Dakota, Florida, and Oklahoma.
As the war continues in Ukraine, on Tuesday (August 23) world leaders are set to participate in the second Crimea Platform summit, this year taking place virtually. The gathering follows recent attacks against Russian military targets on the peninsula – now a popular destination with Russian tourists following its annexation in 2014 – widely believed to have been carried out by Ukrainian forces. On Wednesday (August 24), Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day, exactly six months on from Russia’s invasion in February. Although not confirmed, it is rumored that Russia could use the occasion to open a mass trial in Mariupol for Ukrainian fighters captured at the Azovstal steelworks.
There’s also a general election in Angola on Wednesday (August 24), where incumbent President João Lourenço of the MPLA is facing a tough challenge from UNITA candidate Adalberto Costa Junior in what is expected to be one of the closest races in the country’s recent history. A victory for Costa Junior, who is leading a coalition that also includes the PRA-JA and the Bloco Democrático opposition parties, would be a first for an opposition candidate since multi-party elections were reintroduced in 1992 following the civil war. In any case, election organizers will certainly be hoping to avoid the kind of chaotic scenes witnessed in Nairobi recently as extremely close results from the August 9 presidential election were announced.