Trump Prosecutor Wins, McCarthy’s Successor Is Set and Other Election Takeaways

Vince Fong, a state lawmaker in California and onetime aide to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, won a special election on Tuesday to fill his seat — representing the most conservative district in the deep-blue state. Mr. Fong succeeds Mr. McCarthy nearly five months after he resigned from Congress, following his ouster from the speakership.

Mr. Fong will now serve until the term expires in January and will again face his Republican opponent — Mike Boudreaux, the longtime sheriff of Tulare County — in the fall to seek a full term.

Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky and Oregon also held primary contests on Tuesday, with presidential primaries in Kentucky and Oregon yielding notable protest votes against President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump.

Here are some takeaways.

Nearly 30 percent of voters in the Democratic primary in Kentucky backed an option that wasn’t Mr. Biden, a notable underperformance for the president among Democrats in the state. The protest vote against Mr. Biden there was nearly double that against Mr. Trump, who won about 85 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. Turnout also plunged in the Democratic primary, with about 184,000 votes tallied, compared with the more than 537,000 recorded in 2020.

In Oregon, a write-in campaign in protest of Mr. Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza underperformed significantly, with less than 5 percent of all votes in the Democratic primary going to write-ins. In neighboring Washington State, the uncommitted ballot option got nearly 10 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary in late March. Mr. Trump was unopposed in Oregon’s Republican primary.

The Democratic primary for district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., ended in a remarkable blowout. Fani Willis, who is prosecuting Mr. Trump and others over his effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, crushed her opponent, Christian Wise Smith, winning with 87 percent of the vote.

Scott McAfee, the judge overseeing Mr. Trump’s case in Georgia, also won re-election with a yawning lead: 83 percent of the vote. He and Ms. Willis were considered the favorites in their respective races.

The result for Ms. Willis signaled confidence in her performance among Democrats after a romantic relationship with a lawyer she had hired to manage the prosecution came to light in January. Defense lawyers for Mr. Trump said that the relationship was a serious conflict of interest, and they had asked Judge McAfee to remove Ms. Willis from the case. The Georgia Court of Appeals will review Judge McAfee’s decision to let her remain on the case.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a progressive candidate for Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Janelle Bynum, two years after narrowly losing to a Republican opponent for the swing seat in 2022. Ms. Bynum, whom Gov. Tina Kotek endorsed, will face Representative Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, in what will be one of the most closely watched House races this year.

Mike Schmidt, the progressive district attorney of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, was trailing his challenger, Nathan Vasquez, a prosecutor in his own office.

Mr. Vasquez, who was previously registered as a Republican, blamed Mr. Schmidt for Portland’s recent problems with drugs and crime. Mr. Vasquez vowed to prosecute even petty crimes amid a rise in homicides, homelessness and overdose deaths during Mr. Schmidt’s tenure.

Mr. Schmidt, who had previously campaigned on making low-level crimes a lower priority in 2020, recently hardened his stance on drugs and shifted staff to prosecute more violent crime in response to voters’ concerns.